Lucky for them, my parent's mid-June visit coincided perfectly with strawberry season. Of course we had to go berry pickin'.
|Heading out to the strawberry field|
The Portland Metro area is ringed with farms, and lots of them grow strawberries. You don't have to drive very far out of town to find one. Many of the farms offer U-pick produce. That's the cheapest and funnest way to get some berries.
|Let's get pickin'!|
You can look online or in the local paper to find farms offering berry picking. Or do what I did. Just drive west of town looking for U-pick signs. It didn't take long to find one.
|Tons of luscious berries|
My parents, Cody, and I pulled into the parking lot at Hoffman Farm. In no time at all, we were hoofing it out to the field clutching empty plastic buckets.
|My Dad is finding berries|
The field was chock-full of huge red berries, ready for the pickin'. It was great fun to lift up the leaves and discover how many were underneath.
|My Mom finds a huge one|
Sometimes we'd find a really big red, juicy one.
|Mmmm....don't they look good?|
Strawberries began to pile up in our buckets. A friendly young lady working in the field came over and helped me fill my pail. We had a nice chat about kids, berries, and life in general.
|Cody is hard at work|
Ever since he was a young boy, my son Cody has loved to pick strawberries. It was great to have him home, and even more fun to see him back in the fields grabbing them by the handful. He was by far our fastest picker.
|One bucket almost full!|
When we first arrived at the berry patch, everyone kept hearing funny noises that sounded like hawks screeching. After listening for a few minutes, we realized the farmer was broadcasting these sounds to keep birds away. I can imagine ripe berries are quite the temptation for hungry feathered friends.
|A little bird watches closely|
However, it didn't scare all the birds. I found this little guy perched on a fencepost at the field's edge. He appeared to be waiting for a chance at lunch.
|Three buckets full|
Pretty soon all seven of our buckets were full. Time to walk back to the office and get our berries weighed and paid for. But it's so hard to stop. You keep seeing just one more bright red perfect berry peeking out from under the leaves. It's irresistible! I kept grabbing strawberries as we walked to the field's edge.
|Showing off our red thumbs|
Those bucket sizes were deceiving. We ended up with way more strawberries than anticipated. Once home, I put every bit of Tupperware in my house to use storing them.
|Heading back to weigh and pay|
Cody, my Mom and I went to work freezing as many strawberries as possible. Cody ran to the store for pectin and canning jars, and made a couple batches of jam. And of course we ate as many of these yummy sweet berries as our stomachs could hold.
|Too many berries? Make margaritas!|
What else does one do with so many strawberries? Why make margaritas of course! A perfect drink for a hot summer's afternoon, don't you think?
Remember - come to Oregon in early June for sweet juicy strawberries. (See you next year!)
Sharing with: Sunny Simple Monday.