About two years ago the Kenan Connection (the group for MBA Students’ trailing spouses) hosted a blueberry picking activity. I realized that I had never been berry-picking ever in my life and was interested to go, but Sam was too young to drag along to such an affair. So I decided to try my luck last year. When I inquired again, I made another discovery: there was also a season for strawberry picking in Chapel Hill! That was much more appealing to me because I LOVE strawberries!
Apparently the season for strawberry picking happens much earlier in the year. Lucky for me my friend T was also interested in doing some berry picking and came across Notes from a Mom in Chapel Hill’s post on Jean’s Berry Patch. She noted that Jean’s would open for picking by April 9, and that we shouldn’t wait too long if we wanted to go and get some good berries.
So – after a 24-hour weather watch to ensure that there would be no rain, we took the girls out to pick ’em strawberries just last Saturday morning.
The weather started out as perfect, it was cool and sunny with a little bit of cloud cover. Jean’s Berry Patch was an easy 20-minute drive from where we live, and to think we had never been down that road in all our 4 years here in Chapel Hill.
We arrived at the same time that Elie’s family did which made the berry-picking a lot more fun for the little ones to do together. This was a first for Sam too and she dove right into it. At first that she started by picking the berries I pointed to her. Her untrained fingers would hold the bulb and when she’d apply pressure to yank them, some berry juice would spill on her hands. Her inner-OC kicked in after that and her new strategy was to have me pick the berry for her to put in the basket.
I taught her a little bit about picking the berry from the top of the stem, but the berry juice damage had been done. She was just happy to listen. Jamie on the other hand, was all to happy to pick and squish. I think she even tasted a few!
The bunch that we got was fairly decent compared to the other strawberry pickers. You pay $1.55 per pound — I think we only paid $1.50! Nonetheless we were out there for the experience first and foremost.
After picking there’s an area with a sandbox and some see-saws so the girls got to hang out a little bit and play with the berry patches as their backyard.
On our way home we stopped by the shop at the front which sold pre-picked strawberries, some strawberry made pastries and pound cake. We brought home the Strawberry bread and 1/4 of a pound cake which were pretty good! I wouldn’t mind going back for more. In fact, I’m sure Sam would like to make a trip back, if only to see her “friend”… the dancing plastic strawberry man (with the nice smile).
And as for the 20 little berries that we took home — what became of them? Sam, Jamie and I tried our hands at a simple strawberry muffin recipe!