We finally went strawberry picking early Friday morning. I have been wanting to go pick strawberries with the boys but between traveling and trying to coordinate a time to pick with friends, we had not gone yet. We almost missed our window of opportunity. It was a completely spontaneous decision made before breakfast was even made. I had just put our baby down and decided if we didn’t go then we likely would not make it at all.
Since my husband works from home and my baby usually takes great morning naps, I knew that it was the perfect timing. The boys and I could go pick berries in the cool of the morning and I wouldn’t have to worry about Molly getting too hot or uncomfortable being carried while I tried to pick. It was a win for both of us.
We drank our green smoothies in the car on the way to the farm. This is becoming a pretty regular routine for us. Filling up with a yummy blend of fruit and veggies on the way to the park or other activity so that when we get to our destination we can get right to playing or working.
On the way to the farm, I told the boys what kinds of berries I wanted them to fill their buckets with– bright red, no bug holes, not mushy.
At the farm a helpful lady informed us of where we would be likely to find the best berries. We each grabbed a pail and set off for the far edge of the field. Scratch that, we each grabbed a pail, then became distracted by the goats and chickens. Then had to make a visit to the porta-potty. Then, after a bit of cajoling, we headed for the field.
We alternated between eating, picking, and chatting.
I have talked before about how all these little ways we are spending our days are sowing seeds of learning and how I am loving this relaxed approach. Strawberry picking was no exception. We talked about what it meant for produce to be ripe, about different types of farms, and how goats can give us milk to. By simply being intentional with our conversation, they are learning about all kinds of things everyday.
This is one of the things I look forward to most about homeschooling our children. But it’s not only homeschooling families who can take advantage of all these opportunities. Each day affords a wealth of opportunities to talk and learn together.
Which brings me to the second half of my strawberry story: a broken stove.
I had hopes of making jam and had even spent a couple of hours preparing the berries and jars. The jam was bubbling in a large saucepan and my jars were sanitizing in my enormous canning pot. And then…
I’m not sure if I smelled the foul stench of an electrical fire or saw the smoke rushing out of every opening on my stove first. Either way I knew the situation was serious and could quickly become dangerous. I am very thankful that my husband and my father-in-law were nearby when it happened. And I am very thankful that the Lord kept everyone safe. As we discovered later, the lake of grease (!!!) underneath the eyes of the stove where we could not see it could easily have caught on fire. Fortunately though, the only thing that happened was that the wires shorted out and were fried.
Now, I have a broken stove and a gallon of “jam” that never thickened. Necessity being the mother of invention that it is, I am figuring out creative things to do with chunky, sweetened strawberry sauce. All in all, not a bad problem to have!
Coming soon: 5 Reasons Not to Cry Over Ruined Jam!