Strawberries on Sunday
After last year’s successful strawberry picking adventure, I made sure to put it down as an option for every open weekend this month…just waiting for the day we didn’t have plans and could make the short drive over to Belleville, IL for our berry fix. The season goes by fast and I didn’t want to forget!
It was cold on Saturday, but Sunday promised to be gorgeous so we met friends at Eckert’s bright and early to beat the crowd. We arrived to a close-to-deserted farm and hopped on the wagon ride with our baskets at the ready. I wasn’t totally sure what Finn would do this year, as last year he spent the whole journey happily strapped to my back.
He figured things out pretty quick.
And I didn’t even get a shot of Ethan for the first 15 minutes because he high-tailed it to the middle of the field for some serious berry hunting. He and Stu made finding the perfect strawberry their mission and had overflowing baskets in no time.
The wind was blowing so we were grateful for our sweatshirts, but the sun kept us warm and cool mornings are apparently the best time to pick berries anyway so yay. Ethan and his buddy Joaquin were perfect gentlemen, walking through the fields, wisely choosing the best berries to add to their collections. What a great way to spend a morning—burning some energy and being close to nature. There’s something magical about eating produce right from the vine.
Finn ate and ate and I couldn’t bring myself to wipe his strawberry juice covered face, it was so cute. Every passerby exclaimed, “Did you eat a few strawberries??” or something of the sort and he grinned his biggest strawberry-covered grins in return.
We stopped at the country store and Strawberry Festival carnival after a tractor ride back from the field. The big kids went on the little train and I took Finn to pet goats and cows. They even offered pony and camel rides and a yoga class! Eckert’s really is a cute place. They have this fruit picking thing so streamlined, which makes it all that much more fun for families. We’ve always wanted to make it for Honeycrisp Apple season so fingers crossed this fall we’ll fit a trip in the tiny window they are available.
I spent that afternoon cleaning and freezing our overstock of berries (we always get too many) and made the puree for Jeni’s Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream that we’ll be churning this weekend.
I’m not a jam person, the amount of sugar scares me, but ice cream I like. I’ve been busy prepping decorations for our school’s Ice Cream Social fundraiser happening this Sunday, so ice cream has been on the brain 24/7. Hope my homemade stuff turns out!
Have you been berry picking? Where do you go? Any recipes to share?