Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the Berries are Juicy & Ripe

When September rolls around, a little voice inside my head whispers to me, the berries are juicy, ripe, and ready for a pickin. It would be a shame to miss a trip to Berry Patch Farms in September. Berry Patch is one of those nostalgic feeling farms, the kind that makes me long to have a farm of my own. It has the quintessential red barn, brimming with freshly picked organic produce. A few barn cats linger around just long enough to tempt Sj into thinking she may actually get a chance to pet their whispy coats, but no such luck. Fresh chiles are roasting outside the barn and the aroma mingles with the air even out into the far reaches of the strawberry patch. A tractor takes you on a bumpy ride through the vegetables, out into the motherload, endless fields of strawberries. As you approach the rows of strawberries, you can see little red gems glistening in the sun. It always turns into a bit of a hunt, pick a few berries from one row, then a simple glance turns into a quest to pick the ripest berry on the plant. Before I know it, I am criss crossing from row to row, picking a half dozen, eating one, picking, eating, picking, eating. I continually remind myself to put more into my basket than I am consuming, or the dreaded "berry belly" will rear it's ugly head. Finally, our baskets are full..we then move onto the raspberry patch, full of more juicy gems, and loads of eager bees. It's amazing how well I can work next to a swarm of bees when I know what sweet treats I am going to be enjoying later that afternoon. I suppose it should come as no surprise that our dinner plates are cleaned with haste, so the strawberry shortcake can be enjoyed not a moment too soon.

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