Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

This past week we took Abi Kate strawberry pickin’ (it seems more Southern without the ‘g,’ right?). Tommy’s schedule differs from about 95% of the people we know. He works Saturdays and usually takes off one day during the week. It’s a bummer sometimes because when everyone is posting their fun Saturday plans, our day is relatively normal-- just her and I. But, the benefit is that we get to do things during the week together when everything is less crowded….

As Abi Kate has gotten older we often try to spend our family day together doing something purposeful, going somewhere together. I’m really big on giving her experiences, no matter how big or small they are. Anything out of the ordinary becomes a great learning opportunity and gives her a chance to create fun. We also just like doing things together as a family, so win win. J

I’ve written about our pursuit of cleaner living right here. It is still an ever-evolving process, and we go up and down with it. But, one of my favorite things about Spring and approaching Summer is that it makes it much easier to find quality produce locally. Instead of paying exorbitant amounts for organic produce at the grocery store, we can find it much cheaper at a variety of Farmer’s Markets and pick-your-own farms. So, we went on the Tennessee Pick-Your- Own website, found a nearby strawberry farm, and trekked the 45 minutes out there this week. While they’re not certified organic, they don’t spray, and that’s good enough for me! I also tend to be a bit more lenient with local farming practices simply because the food is typically so much richer in nutrient content. It wasn’t picked two weeks ago in California, packaged through a facility, and flown out to my local chain grocery store where I buy it after it’s been on the shelf for two days….  Freshly picked=more live enzymes, nutrients, and minerals. So for me, I come up pretty even on buying certified organic that’s two weeks old with freshly grown produce that isn’t certified… I’m also big on supporting local farming so that quality food can stay in MY community instead of supporting a farm in California that I don’t live even remotely close to… you get the picture. They’re also such a great price it’s easy to get a ton and freeze them for later when they aren’t readily available or in season.

We almost opted not to go because it’s started sprinkling rain as we loaded up, and a chilly wind was kicking in. We went anyway, and I’m so glad.

It was a little bit like heaven walking through those strawberry fields. For one, we are strawberry eaters. They’re delicious and are one of Abi Kate’s favorite foods. And these not only look beautiful, they are hands down the best strawberries I have ever eaten. Juicy and soft, sweet not tart…

We put Abi Kate down to let her have a go at picking them, too. Her favorites? The white ones. You know, the unripe ones. Every time I’d turn around she’d be sneaking a bite of one…. After showing her a few times, she started choosing the red ones. Usually. I loved watching her chubby little hand grasp that red berry and yank hard to get it off the vine. Precious. Sometimes, she put it in the bucket. More often than not, it went directly into her mouth. Seriously, they were so good, who could blame her?! When I tried to show her that we put them in the bucket, it was met with a hand up and a, “No.” ;0

So, we made a dropping game out of it and she decided the bucket might be ok….

 Still sneaking the strawberries at every chance ;)

It started raining while we were picking, so Tommy said he’d run to the car and grab his big umbrella. I thought he meant a golf umbrella. Incorrect. He meant a Tommy Bahama beach umbrella. And it popped backwards in the wind, which was also hilarious. I know that farmer was looking at us like we were crazy, going up and down the rows with a white-strawberry stealing baby under a huge porch umbrella. I’d laugh at us, too. J

We were damp and cold by the time we finished filling up two gallons worth of strawberries, but the experience was so fun. Watching her enjoy the activity we chose was so fun.

 Learning about strawberries :)
 This little girl adores her Daddy

So we headed home, eating strawberries from the bags… You know how you keep saying, “Just one more. This is the last one. Promise.” That happened on that 45 minute drive. Like over and over again. Oops….

Every summer we try to make a big batch strawberry jam and freeze it. It’s so much healthier than store bought brands, lasts for several months, and it also just tastes really good….

 STILL snatching strawberries at every chance she can ;)

Once the honey and sucanat went into the berry mix, this girl was a bowl licking fool! She threw a great big fit when we pulled her away….bless her, it’s hard giving up a snack you really want!

So we got out her little table to give her a cooking station of her own, threw some whole wheat flour in a bowl and gave her a spatula. Not too much “cooking” went on there. It was mostly her eating the flour. 

I think it's obvious how she feels about the flour... look at that face :/

I love these days spent with my best friend and the little girl we share. 


  1. I think this is the first post where she has had on pants in every picture... I'm kinda sad about it. :)

    1. I will most certainly try to correct that next time! ;)