Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Strawberry Picking

As much as I love living in a large city, I can certainly appreciate spending an afternoon at the farm. Strawberry season has begun, and a few local farms allow you to pick your own strawberries. I thought this would be a fun activity for the kids and I, especially since we all love strawberries and being outside.

Jackson doesn't have school on Tuesdays, so I planned to go to the farm this morning. However, it was still 40 degrees outside. We ended up waiting and going much later than I had originally expected, which worked out even better because Jackson's MiMi and cousin were able to join us. It was a gorgeous afternoon!

The kids and I arrived before my MIL and nephew did, so we took our time perusing the fields and farm animals. I brought the stroller, but the trio walked the majority of the time.

There were signs regularly posted along the animal pens that said, "Animals may bite." Not surprisingly, James had no fear and kept putting his hands through the fence. Jackson would nearly knock his brother over, yelling "No sir!"

 All was fun and games until the pigs approached the fence and began snorting. Jackson started running and James, Amelia, and Maddie all began crying. Thankfully, this was the same time when MiMi called to say she was just a few minutes away.

While I could have managed navigating the fields by myself, it worked out really well having an extra adult with me. Unlike the pumpkin patch, the rows of strawberries are much closer together and are raised, making it impossible to use a stroller.

Everyone had ample time to pick strawberries. Jackson scrutinized each strawberry before selecting one. 

He was so excited about going to the farm. His enthusiasm multiplied as soon as I told him his cousin, Levi, was going to meet us there.

You could buy a pint, quart, or gallon of strawberries. I opted for the quarts solely because they were the easiest size container for the kids to carry. Together, my MIL and I requested four quarts, which meant the kids would have to share. The girls fought over their turn to carry the bucket. They did much better when they each had their own bucket.

James was initially engaged, though he had a bit of a meltdown halfway through. Sitting in the stroller with his water and a pacifier was enough to calm him down until the rest of us finished filling our quarts.

 Of all the kids, Maddie took her job most seriously. She was very focused at plucking red strawberries and keeping her bucket close by.

Amelia required a bit more guidance and love from her MiMi. She was happier to hold the bucket and follow MiMi around.

Jackson and his cousin were inseparable. The two would disappear behind a row of strawberries, then reemerge with a prized strawberry, saying how red it was or what a crazy shape it was.

Despite my requests to wait until we washed the strawberries, Jackson ate a handful of strawberries on the car ride home, before falling asleep. It was a beautiful, exciting afternoon that was followed by a fun, busy birthday party.

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