Saturday, July 13, 2013

Berry Pickin'

A great time to visit northwest Oregon is during strawberry season.  Oregon grows the sweetest strawberries you've ever tasted.  Beginning in early June, and usually lasting a couple of weeks, it's the best time to sample these wonderful treats.

Strawberry time!

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.


  1. I'm having the hardest time with my computer not wanting to load photos.. so I will back to see your strawberry picking shots in their entirety!
    Definitely speaking our language, though.. Our local patches are in full swing right now for pick-your-own berries.. They're good, but they're not famous like your Oregon ones, to my knowledge!
    However, our home patch has been booming with some pretty knock-your-socks-off berries! We laid fresh straw today & pulled some plants, trying to tame the jungle so we can get to them all.
    I've made dozens of jars of freezer jam, and we've been eating strawberries in every form!
    Sound like a good day at the patch, and I can see from the first photo that they are gorgeous!

  2. Mmmm! I would have to agree--our berries are the best! Your parents had impeccable timing for their Oregon trip:)

  3. Our strawberry season has already peaked. The best ones are from Kent which is close to where I live and they always aim to have the best strawberries ready for the Wimbledon tennis. Yummy.

  4. Fresh strawberries fro Oregon? Yes!

    Loving the photos of the berry picking. How fun is that?

    And I haven't had a strawberry margarita in ages -- may I come over sometime? :)

  5. You given me a great idea for yet another US road trip....follow the strawberries! Those look yummy, but are about a month behind ours which are also delicious. When I'm in FLorida each January, I'm able to take advantage of their prime growing season. So just follow them from TN in early May to Oregon in June! Great idea, don't you think?

  6. I've never picked strawberries in Oregon but I have picked wild raspberries growing along a mountain road in Washington and they were the best I've ever had. So, I believe you may be correct in your claim about Oregon strawberries...being that both the berries and the states are so closely related.

  7. Those berries look soooo delicious! It looks like you guys did pick a lot of strawberries. I went to a u-pick farm last year and had a great time picking strawberries. It's so neat to see how they grow!

  8. Beautiful photos..It has been years since I picked strawberries.

  9. Your parents are so adorable!

    I'd love to go strawberry picking sometime. I'd make jam with them too, but I'd have to do that BEFORE I drank the strawberry margaritas. LOL. They are good in smoothies too or dipped in chocolate or sugar.

  10. Linda, thanks for letting me know of my mistake about the name of Meditation Point. Perhaps it was a Freudian slip -- we had to motivate ourselves to go go go because my son was so grumpy Sunday (teething ugh!)

    Speaking of my son, he has recently discovered the strawberry plants at my moms. Needless to say, when he goes to visit Grandmas house, her poor strawberry plants end up bare :)

  11. Ohh! yum! that looks like so much fun!

  12. What gorgeous looking yummy strawberries ! Those Margaritas must have tasted marvelous ~ now I am craving strawberry short cake .

  13. Yum, those look delicious. That's one thing I miss living at high elevation, truly fresh fruit like that.


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