Monday June 20, 2011

It was our first berry picking excursion.  They kiddos are now hooked on fresh picked blueberries so it probably won’t be our last.

Jessup Farm is a local “you pick” berry farm that grows blueberries and strawberries, plus a variety of garden vegetables.  It’s a very kid friendly set up complete with picnic tables, sandbox, grassy areas, and a bounce house.

This past Thursday Jess, Mom, Trish and I took the kids for a picnic lunch and some berry picking.

They have the sweetest little produce stand with herbs, wild honey, berries and vegetables.

I should explain that this was no ordinary berry picking outing.  It was a fundraiser for our friends the Walkers, who are raising money to adopt Ali, a special needs child from Russia.  A portion of all the proceeds sold that day, went to help with the cost of the adoption fees.  It seemed like a win/win situation; we love the Walkers and we love berries so… yeah, no brainer.  If you are interested in knowing more about this new adventure our friends have embarked on you can read about it on Diana’s blog

Someone did NOT want their hard earned berries eaten!

After a bite to eat;  Jess, Trish, the boys and I grabbed some buckets and headed to the fields.  Mom stayed behind with the little girls and kept an eye on them while they bounced in the bounce house.

Um bud, I don’t think that’s what that’s for.

The bushes were full of plump blueberries.

We picked and snacked and picked a little more

The boys came in real handy for gettin’ the berries under the bushes.

They were good little pickers!

This is were I held up my camera and said, “Okay girls!  Show me your berries!”

Hey look there’s April with her mouth open… again.

The boys were getting a little tired and hot so we left the fields and let them play for awhile.

There was even a couple of holes for putt-putt golf

The bounce house was a big hit

The girls were more than happy to help us eat our berry harvest.

Before I could blink they had stuffed about a third of a pound of berries in their mouths!

So here’s what I learned:
~When berry picking, go early in the morning
~Blueberries that come straight from the bush are amazing.  I didn’t think I liked blueberries very much, but that was because I had only ever had store bought berries.  It’s like thinking that canned bacon bits are the same as applewood smoked bacon.  They’re.not.the.same.
~I was trying to think of some clever third thing I learned but, I got nothin’

I now have a neat little stack of bagged frozen blueberries in my freezer.  I see a lot of blueberry muffins, cobblers, pancakes, and smoothies in the near future.

I’m loving this summer so far, how ’bout you?

24 thoughts on “Monday June 20, 2011

  1. Lucy_or_Ethel

    Following a rec to you ! Sure wish we had a berry picking place in our part of Iowa.Looks like great fun and those blue berries look so yummy. Cute kids, looks like they had fun.

  2. smilesbymiles

    Oh, me too, me too on the loving summer thing!  And what fun to go pick your own berries!  I almost always buy mine already picked, but this year I was wishing I could pick my own.  You’re making me feel a little more diligent about scouting around for a good place.    And you’re right.  There is nothing quite like just picked fruit!

  3. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    o my goodness! that is an amazing berry picking place! all that extra stuff for the kids is awesome! i took my boys strawberry picking last week, and Forgot my camera! i was so disgusted with myself, but, i’ll be going out again this week for blackberries…i shall NOT let my kids see all the fun stuff that y’all had to do besides pick berries! ;O)
    yes, summer is such a great time.
    have a great Monday!

  4. Jewelbeetle

    I miss the U-pick blueberry farm near my town.  I remember it just as you described.  Did you pour the blueberries out on a sheet pan and freeze them before putting them in the freezer bags?  I have a large blueberry bush in my garden now. I also make and freeze fresh blueberry sauce for pancakes and ice-cream.  I love making blueberry pancakes with blueberry sauce on Christmas morning and talking about the blueberry picking on a hot June day.

  5. fourkidsonemom

    One summer my brother and I picked blueberries with my Mom. They are delicious off the bush – as are most fresh berries. Much better than store bought. Looked like a fun hot day!

  6. lifeisadance

    Oh, this looks SO fun! What a neat set-up -  the different vegetables, the you-pick berries, the kid-friendly area, AND the fundraiser! Wow! I LOVE fresh blueberries too. The ones you pick, not the ones that come from store! You’re right – there is NO comparison! We pick our own berries too, and the season will be in full swing around the 4th of July. I can’t wait!! And I know my kiddos will devour many a berry that will not make it into the bucket. :)

    Ahhhh, delicious summertime!

  7. the_fur_pimp

    what a great post!!  awesome pics too!  the boys are princes and the girls OMG are sooo adorable!!!!    I hope the little girl gets to come from russia!!

  8. mrsclark11

    Beautiful pictures and it looks like everyone had fun! I used to love going to pick strawberries with my family when I was a little girl.  We were supposed to get together and go together this year too, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out.  Maybe next year.  :)

  9. NVPhotography

    Awesomeness! :D I used to pick blueberries in Indiana when I was younger, we’d pick from early morning to early afternoon and then head over for a day at the Indiana Sand Dunes, good weather provided we swam in Lake Michigan and climbed the dunes and ran down them :) Thanks for stirring some of my better childhood memories :)

  10. turningreen

    Mmmmm.  Last week, we had some fast defrosting fresh blueberries that just HAD to be mixed with yummy vanilla ice cream from Trader Joe’s.   Delicious milkshakes for a hot day!

  11. ABAHM

    Nice berry pickin!  It looks like summer with the berries, rosy cheeks, and fun.  Hope lots was raised to bring Ali home.
    Our best picking ever was cherry picking.  The boys were so excited, and the man said it was OK to eat and pick

  12. inanorchard

    @TConway - I’m completely flattered that you would think so ;)   See you tonight!  World’s best bread pudding right?!

    @wildberrytea - We picked a ton, well not literally.  I thought it was way more than we would need but we’ve already eaten half of them!

    @ofunlo - yeah, I like them a lot.  There harmonies are impressive and they’ve got a lot of talented musicians playing with them.  It’s a whole lot of old-time-y goodness :)

    @Lucy_or_Ethel - Thanks for stopping in!  Love new visitors :)   It was a nice way to spend the afternoon!

  13. inanorchard

    @Jewelbeetle - Oh shoot!! I forgot to spread them on a sheet pan before I froze them!  Now I really have to go back   I love the idea of a taste of summer on a cold Christmas day!  I think I might have to do that :)

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - They have strawberries there too but they had just planted their second crop so they weren’t any to pick that day.  Blackberries are my favorite!  I hope you take lots of pictures :)   Have a great week Rachel!

    @fourkidsonemom - Yes!  So much better than store bought.  They don’t have tough skin, that’s what bothers me about store bought blueberries… that and the cost!

    @lifeisadance -  I know what you mean about devouring berries.  I think we ate as many as we picked :)   Not quite.  Berry picking in July sounds perfect, you just can’t beat summer memories :)   Still thinking about all your beautiful creations Clarita… I need to get in the sewing room!!!

    @bamsniko22407 - Have fun!  Is it hot where you are?  Be sure to go early and bring water!  The kids were tuckered out by the end of the day.

    @the_fur_pimp - Thanks!  I’m pretty partial to those little faces ;)   Our friends are very anxious to get Ali home, conditions in the orphanages in Russia are horrible.  Hopefully they are much closer to their goal. 

    @mrsclark11 - It’s a fun thing to do with friends or family.  I think I would have gotten pretty bored out there by myself.  Thanks for stopping in and saying hi!

    @manic_lizard -  Thanks!  I read the interview you did with Beth.  Love, LOVE the necklace you made!

    @NVPhotography - A swim in the lake after picking blueberries all day… I am 100% certain that life does not get better than that    We were all pretty drippy after our picking, a swim would have been perfect!  Glad you liked the post :)

  14. inanorchard

    @turningreen - I love T.J’s vanilla ice cream!  And it’s pretty reasonably priced.  The kids and I are going to have to try that!

    @ABAHM - They let us eat and pick too!  I think the boys were a little worried they were doing something they weren’t supposed to do ;)

  15. WildWomanOfTheWest

    I totally missed this post~ makes me want to go strawberry pickin’!  I was hoping to get a patch in the ground here at our new place, but not enough time.  Next year!

    I really like the pavilion~


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