Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pick-Yer-Own Berries!

Note to self: do not take toddlers berry picking.  Wait until children are old enough to understand the concept of not squeezing the life out of the berry to get it off its stem.

On this glorious Saturday morning we decided to go berry picking at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville.  We learned a lot about berry picking, mainly that toddlers and berry picking don’t really mix.  Ben spent most of his time picking berries to his heart’s content, most of them unripe, and stuffing them in his mouth as fast as he could.  I counted it lucky when he would actually pick them off the stem, but there were some unlucky occurrences when he picked up discarded berries from the dirt...yuck!

Tommy, bless his heart, was an earnest berry picker, but his technique was really lacking.  He would grab the strawberry and yank with all his might, only to make toddler-sized finger holes in the berry.  No amount of “Look, darling, pinch the stem like this and pull gently....see?”

would change his method.  We didn’t even want to tempt fate by picking the very delicate olallieberries with the boys. [An olallieberry is a cross between a loganberry and a young berry, each of which are crosses between blackberries and other, very squishy and juicy.]   We decided to just buy a few pints of olallieberries and call it a day.

After our adventure of berry picking, we ate a picnic lunch at a peaceful site on the farm.  They had an old tractor and haystack that the kids enjoyed playing on.  After we ate the food we brought, we indulged in some of the goodies the farm had to offer:  an apple cider slush, a slice of lemon meringue pie, and a slice of olallieberry pie.  A good time was had by all.

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