Friday, June 21, 2013

{Blueberry Picking!}

I took the girls to pick blueberries one day while the boys were working to earn some extra money. We have only been to this particular farm once for a strawberry festival. I was familiar with the layout but honestly didn't know what to expect because we've never picked blueberries before. It was a GREAT time!

When we first arrived, we made a stop at the bathroom to ensure we would have plenty of time to pick without having to "go" later. When we came out of the bathroom, we saw a group of people listening to instructions from one of the farmers. He then handed out half-gallon buckets to everyone. Side note: we have gone strawberry picking at a different farm and at that farm, customers were required to pay prior to getting their buckets. I was assuming this farm operated in the same way. I was wrong. I was only wanting a total of 1 half-gallon bucket of blueberries. Since each of the older 3 girls had a bucket, I was trying to convince them we were going to SHARE the bucket and contribute to filling it. Thankfully someone overheard me and explained the way this farm operates. I definitely like it better with each person having a bucket to fill without sharing. We just combined the berries into one bucket when we were finished, and I paid for exactly what I wanted and turned in the extra buckets. We proceeded to walk to the blueberry fields, which was about 1/4 mile down a dirt road.

As we were walking, a woman turned around and asked me if I homeschooled. I told her that I did, and she commented she hadn't met me before. I thought that was strange (it's not like all homeschoolers know each other!) but introduced myself nonetheless. She continued to ask questions and it occurred to me that I had somehow joined a homeschool group upon exiting the bathroom! I explained my mistake to her, and we both laughed hysterically. Thankfully they were more than willing to include us, and it made for good conversation and a better time for the girls since there were other children picking with us.

We picked blueberries, of course eating our fair share as we picked. The girls each picked and filled their own buckets, excited to show me their loot every 2 minutes or so! Taryn just enjoyed the fresh air and even fresher blueberries. We couldn't pick them fast enough for her; she was double-fisting them into her mouth! We enjoyed talking with the farmer about how they grow, the types of critters that are attracted to blueberries (ladybugs love them!), and how to tell a really ripe blueberry from one that is almost ripe (it's not just about the color!).

While in nature, we heard many types of birds, saw turtles (the fields were across from a pond), and enjoyed hearing the sounds of being outside. I heard the familiar sound of an airplane overhead, and as I pointed it out to the girls (I am slightly obsessed with airplanes, always have been), I was thrilled to see it was a biplane! We watched it fly over us and then resumed picking our berries, just talking and enjoying our time together.

After about 45 minutes of picking, we made our way back up the dirt road to begin the process of paying and leaving. As we reached the top of the hill, we saw the biplane parked in a field next to the strawberry fields. Of course we had to stop to take a picture. The girls wanted to get close to it, but the exhaust was still hot because it had just landed. After we paid for our berries and walked to the truck, we heard the airplane prop start up. We watched it taxi down the grassy field, pick up speed, and take off over the trees. The girls were disappointed because it flew off in the opposite direction, but as we continued to load up in the truck, it flew directly over us and we were able to wave at the pilot and his wife. The girls were so excited because they got to see it again!

Blueberry picking, especially at this local farm, is definitely something we will be doing again. The boys want to go with us next time, as does TJ. I actually foresee another trip in the near future as we have already ate the half-gallon bucket we picked (only 2 days ago!).

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