Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Strawberry Picking (or: I love Facebook ... sometimes)

As you can tell from the title, this post has a little to do with Facebook.  I waver on how I feel about it -- it's a love/hate relationship (not hate in the sense that I hate Paypal, but hate in the sense that it seems, in some ways, to be a necessary evil.  And it's so strange to me that the list of things I do when I wake up includes checking Facebook.  Wake up, check email, check Facebook, brush teeth ... it's a whole new world!).  Anyway, this week is Spring Break here, and originally we'd planned to go North to visit family.  Last week we changed our plans -- the kids had pink-eye (or we thought they did; we actually got lucky), and a million things were happening here.   (We got lucky in a few ways, actually, because the day we were supposed to leave, Mick ended up sick, and he's been pretty knocked out by some bug ever since.  There's no way he could have done the drive, and so we're pretty sure there was an angel on our shoulders whispering in our ears to cancel our trip!)

I didn't want our Spring Break to go by in a blink, though, and not have anything other than "well, we slept late and watched tv" to show for it.  (Those days will come; they are called HIGH SCHOOL.)  So I put out an all-call on Facebook, asking friends to suggest some fun things to do with the kids in and around Georgia.  Besides birthdays, this is one of those places where I think Facebook just plain rocks.  Within minutes, I had a bunch of suggestions -- some for things we already knew about or planned to do, and some with some fresh, new ideas.

One of those ideas was to go strawberry picking.

Now, if you know me, you know I love, love, LOVE strawberries.

If you really know me, you know I am doing my best to similarly indoctrinate my children.

And if you really, REALLY know me, you know that when I was about four or five years old, my parents threw me a big old family birthday party (long before the family all packed up and moved to Florida, as most good New Yorkers eventually do; back when we had a big old Italian family all present on LI), and I went ahead and found the biggest mixing bowl my mom had, picked all the strawberries from the patch (and a nice, hearty patch it was!), went into my room, hid behind my bed, (or "hided," as WHM would say!) and ate the entire bowl full.  To this day, my mother still marvels at how I didn't throw up!  (Sorry.  TMI?)

But if you really, really, REALLY know me, you know that despite my affinity for fresh fruits and veggies, I have the blackest thumb on earth.  I am serious.  I have killed more than one cactus.  It's awful. My mother-in-law used to send me flowers and plants for my birthday and Christmas, in an effort to either train me or convince me/herself that I could do it.  Ten years later, even she has given up on me (and reclaimed some of my gifts so she could revive them)!  And I am bad with weeds.  Very. Bad. With. Weeds. 

So, we don't garden much, and I have somehow managed to never go strawberry picking.  In my entire life.  Pumpkin picking in a real farm patch for acres and acres, yes.  Strawberry picking, notsomuch.  So we went today.

We went to a place called Washington Farms, and they have two locations.  It's pretty cool, actually -- you check online the morning you want to go, and they tell you what the pickings are like at each location.  We went to the farther location, stopped for lunch and a quick dash into Target (it was on the way and the Easter Bunny needed to pick up a few things, so believe it or not this random stop made sense), and then headed to the farm.

We tossed on some hats, sprayed ourselves with SPF 9,000,000 and headed out.

IT WAS AWESOME!   We ended up with two gallons (and it took me over 30 minutes to clean them all; 2 gallons is a LOT!).  I kept some in the fridge and froze two giant bags.  The kids are already asking when we'll go back.  I'm thinking we'll go back in about a month ... it was too much fun, too peaceful, too relaxing, and even in the heat, it was still too "cool" to not!

Here are some photos.
The fam heading out to our row ... we got to pick!

Holding up his bucket.  He's saying "Cheese" but doesn't realize I can't see his face!
If you've been strawberry picking before, you might be familiar with the flag method -- basically, they put flags in the rows, and you start where the flag is, carry it with you, and put it down where you end.  That's how the next group knows what's been picked that day.  So that pink flag you see is actually sticking out of Mick's back pocket.

CAM posing!

Finding some good ones!


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