I am a city girl: a townie, through and through. I have never lived in the country, never worked on a farm, never even had a garden. The smell of manure in the air still turns my stomach. Get the picture?
BUT- I absolutely LOVE farms. I know that to move to one and begin living an agrarian life would be a terribly rude awakening for me, and would be such a dramatic and steep learning curve that I doubt I could hack it. But I love visiting farms, seeing other people’s backyard gardens, and enjoying fresh, local produce from our hard-working Ontario growers. So I may be a city girl but I know that, as a descendent of a long line of farmers(my dad grew up working his grandfather's farm), there is a country girl down in my heart somewhere dying to get out and dig in the dirt.
And my inner country girl had her wish come true today as I headed out to Herrle’s Family Farm in St. Agatha, ON (only fifteen minute drive from my very urban dwelling) to pick strawberries with my good friend Kristin from The Seasonal Family and our darling kiddos.
This was my first time going to a U-Pick farm. When I got into local eating last year I so wanted to get out there and get dirty, enjoying nature, the satisfaction of having some hand in acquiring my own food, and of course saving lots of money. But little bird had just turned one, and I knew she wasnt going to be up for sitting in a strawberry patch for an hour in the sun, so we skipped it.
Herrle’s allowed picking, we drove over. The day was GORGEOUS- sunny, warm but mild and not at all muggy. My little bird had no idea what she was in for, even though she kept repeating “aww-baawy” every time i said the name of the fruit, but when we got there she just about lost her precious little mind.
Do you see this big bucket of strawberries I have here? I paid less than 20 dollars for TWO of them. Pints of strawberries are going for 5.00 at the market, and while Im not sure exactly how many pints of strawberries are in these two containers, I guarantee you that its a lot more than four! I would say you probably save 2/3 of the cost picking your own. This is a great way to get farm-fresh Ontario (or wherever you call home) strawberries without paying the high price you can fork out at the stores or farmer’s markets. While I realize you can buy strawberries at the grocery store for cheaper than this, keep in mind those are not locally-grown strawberries, but ones grown and picked thousands of miles away. I find they are usually pretty tasteless and as we like to support our local farmers when possible, we wait until summer here in Ontario to enjoy strawberries.
Hurrles (and that is not a paid recommendation, just a friendly shout out!).
I cant wait to get some of these strawberries in the freezer, some on our plates for dinner and dessert, and some in my first batch of jam this season. Ill be sure to make some traditional strawberry jam as well as some of my sugar-free jam.
What about you, ladies? Getting ready for canning season? Do you ever pick your own fruit in the summer or fall? Do tell, I just love hearing your stories!
Thanks for stopping by today and hope you are enjoying strawberry season as much as we are!
Proud to be linking up with Life as Mom for Frugal Fridays, Cheerios and Lattes for Saturday Show and Tell and Linky Love Saturdays with The Accidental Housewife as well as Frugal Tuesday Tip at Getting Ahead, Teach Me Tuesdays at Growing Home, and Rednesday at Sue Loves Cherries, Share Your Cup Thursdays at Jann Olson's.