Last year, we were thrilled to discover 5 cherry trees growing along the side of our property. It was late in the season and what cherries remained had already been picked over by the birds and the bugs, so this year we’re determined to get to them first.
A few days ago I stumbled onto a huge patch of wild strawberries, bearing tons of thimble-sized fruit. This morning I took our 5 younger children (ages 9, 8, 6, almost 4 and almost 2) out to hunt for them. They armed themselves with mesh bags and pails, and we set out to brave the humidity and mosquitoes.
The 3 acre walk took us through the hayfield and a huge stand of tall weeds. After misplacing a few kids (and Piper the puppy) we got to the strawberry patch. The kids marveled over the sweetness of the tiny berries, and we talked about the differences between genetically modified crops and wild fruit that just happens to be organic completely by chance.
6 year old Rikur ate more berries than he put in his bag, but he had a lot of fun and got plenty of exercise in the process.
Picking cherries required a little more effort. Almost 10 year old Sadie gallantly slung the old metal step ladder over her shoulder and hauled it from the barn out to the cherry trees. The best fruit was always just out of reach, so Ivy (8) and ook matters into her own hands and started climbing.
We managed to close out the expedition with 5lbs of cherries, a few uneaten strawberries (exactly 7) and only a few minor scrapes and scratches from errant branches and weeds.
Two of the trees were loaded with cherries just starting to blush, so it looks like we’lll be back out for round 2 in a few days.