Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Strawberries: Summer in one bite

by June

Yesterday, we shrugged off the shroud of mist and went strawberry picking. I have been out in the strawberry fields since the age of six months, but I have never been out in the fields in my winter boots. (Granted, these are my beloved Bogs, which I brag are my three-season boots because I wear them comfortably from leaf season into snow into mud; they just got promoted to four-season!)

A wise friend of mine (who may have come by some of her wisdom in a twelve-step program) once told me that if you don't feel the feelings you want to feel, act as if you do and then you might. She swore it worked in regard to her mother-in-law. What we want to feel is the feeling of summertime: The sense of blue sky and possibilities stretching to the horizon, the sound of the lake lapping at our toes, the smell of the tomato plants in the sun. So how to get that feeling when we have seen the sun maybe a total of ten hours since the solstice? Hmmm.


We do not grow our own strawberries because if we did, we would not have a reason to drive out to our favorite farm on earth. Dole's Orchard is a yellow farmhouse and acres of apple and cherry and plum trees and a dog named  Vosker and strawberry fields that run forever
 and blueberry bushes and raspberry brambles and three-generations of a family of people we hold dear. It all sits on a hill, and the sky bends all the way over it and touches the mountains in the distance.

The four of us joined other pickers in the field. We filled up the new strawberry flats Grandpa Hickory made us (and it was his birthday too). The strawberries were bountiful and beautiful and tasted like summer. When I bit into the first one, the perfume burst into my mouth and I thought, "It tastes like a rose," and there it was...summer in one bite.

Later, at home, we stemmed the berries with spoons and laughed together. It was dark outside and with Madeleine Peyroux singing on the stereo, we couldn't hear the rain. The house filled up with the aroma of strawberry jam and the feeling of summer. 


GardenMum said...

A mouth watering post. I think perhaps strawberry picking should make it onto our to do list. We have had some from our garden but I think we could manage to eat a few more!

The Hip Homemaker said...

I really need to find a local strawberry farm. You are the fourth blogger whose posted about picking giant baskets of berries. I really want to get some too! I have some strawberry transplants, but they aren't fruiting yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I look forward to picking strawberries (and blueberries) each year. We eat some up fresh, make jam with some, and look for inventive recipes to use up the rest. I better check with my local strawberry famers, it must almost me time!

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

These strawberries look incredible! We pick them by us too since the chipmunks eat the fruit on ours. -Jackie

Wren said...

I am thinking the same thing Amy is...but I don't think we have any pick your own berry farms left around here. Your berries look wonderful. Sounds like a perfect day!!

gardenmama said...

After reading the first few lines I thought to myself you must be from New England, and I see you are! Lovely photos paired with beautiful writing!
It was a joy to read your post, it brought me right into Summer I could taste the sun warmed berries that you were describing!

ozark summers said...

the strawberries and blueberries have come and gone here. blackberries are ripe and holding true to their 4th of july ready date. getting ready to plant FALL garden this weekend. I need to find where to buy fall spuds. your pictures of berries make my mouth water.the older I get the more it comes to my attention what the wise old farmers mean when they say " gotta get moving, winters right around the corner",& its only the 4th of july. it makes sense to me now.. that means im old....have a great weekend. check out re;HD xoxo

Flo said...

It's going to be a really good fruit year here - not so many apples, but loads of blackberries, damsons and even wild raspberries! Our strawberries have been and gone now but the flavour of fresh strawbs is unsurpassable...reading your post has given me a real craving for them!

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