A friend texted me Thursday night to see if we wanted to join their family to go strawberry picking Friday afternoon. It was on our spring to-do list, so I happily agreed to go. Though we live in the city, we actually have several farms to choose from within a 45 minute radius. We decided to drive to Hall Farm.
I had never been to this particular farm. I was really impressed with the set-up and variety of play areas for the kids. There was a small, enclosed area for toddlers.
Jackson really enjoyed pumping water to make the ducks swim across open pipes.
The most exciting "toy" was a real firetruck with kid-size fireman suits. Jackson and his friend dressed up and pretended to be chiefs who were spraying water out the window.
James climbed to the furthest corner and disconnected some kind of head lamp. Sigh...
The most frightening play area was this tunnel slide. Both the ramp and slide were unusually steep, causing young children to ricochet off the landing. There were no mats and the wood was unfinished, leaving kids vulnerable to splinters. (As you well know, Lucy!) Amelia nearly got whiplash going down the slide. James and Maddie walked to the top, then changed their mind and had to crawl backwards down the ramp.
Jackson and his friend enjoyed sliding multiple times.
After an hour of playing, we finally rounded the kids up for strawberry picking.
It was the perfect day to go with a field full of red strawberries and beautiful blue skies. It was a bit cooler than expected, but pleasant.
At the farm we went to last year, you had to buy the specific size (pint, quart, or gallon) container before you were allowed on the fields. The procedure at Hall Farm is to pick freely, then weigh your containers at the end. This method worked much better because each kid could hold their own container.
I more or less let the kids loose. Jackson ran ahead with his friend while my mom friend and I stayed back with the toddlers. I noticed right away that they needed more guidance in their strawberry selections.
After repeatedly chanting, "find all the red ones", they got a little better.
James frequently double checked with me and said, "This one?"
Once Amelia saw another person eating a strawberry, she spent the rest of the time taking a bite out of every strawberry she plucked.
Jackson did a great job picking bright red strawberries.
After four hours at school and two hours at the farm, Jackson was exhausted.
I combined our baskets and payed for our selections. We ended up with 4 lbs of fresh, locally grown strawberries for only $10.
The trio's chins and hands were stained red by the time we got home. The strawberries are so sweet and juicy. We will have no problem consuming the berries before they go bad. In fact, I have a strawberry cobbler in the oven as I type this. We may even check out another farm next week.