If you’re eating strawberries right now, chances are they come from a field within 50 miles of me. Fresh strawberries are EVERYWHERE and the big annual Strawberry Festival in Plant City is just a few days away.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, and I can remember many summers going to a strawberry patch behind the local hospital (sounds a little random when I describe it like that, huh?) to pick pint after pint of fresh strawberries with my grandmother and whichever cousins also happened to be staying with her that day (we have a big family). My grandmother died a couple summers ago, and for some reason, I’ve really been thinking about her a lot lately. Random memories keep catching me off guard.
When I realized it was strawberry picking season here, I thought this would be a great thing to share with E. and my husband, and at the same time, spend some time with my memories.
After checking PickYourOwn.org, a site that helps you find local farms in your area, we set off for Pappy’s Strawberry Patch in nearby Oviedo.
We picked up our flat and baskets and got the lay of the land — the berries to the left of the shed above were the smallest and sweetest. Then, there were two other varieties to the right, and they were bigger and a little less sweet. Clearly, we’d need to hit all sections to get an accurate idea about what we wanted.
We wandered around, filling basket after basket.
And we just enjoyed being out in the country. A bald eagle circled overhead. It was very cool. One of the farmers pointed out an eagle’s nest and said there was a new baby inside, so the eagle was circling around to protect the nest and squawking at anything that got too close to the tree (like his truck).
He also pointed out the new calves to E. and made me even more homesick (my grandparents were farmers, too).
So what did we do with all those berries? I’ll share that in my next post. For now, I’m too full from taste-testing all our recipes! But I still have some left. Share your favorite strawberry recipes and I promise I’ll give you some link love!