Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strawberry fields forever

"Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill..." (John Greenleaf Whittier)

Today Sam and I enjoyed my birthday present from my sister--a strawberry picking outing. We went to Knutson's Country Harvest in Newark, Illinois, about 20 minutes from Aurora, a very quaint little family farm.

The berries are grown in these hydroponic stackers made of styrofoam. At first I thought it wasn't "authentic" enough of a faux farming experience, but since it was 90+ degrees today, it was kind of nice not to have to sit in the dirt. Each stacker had about 20 plants and could be spun around.

Sam knew exactly what to do! Of course, he put them right into his mouth instead of the pail.

Amy scores a nice big ripe one! My sister also babysat Sam all day yesterday while I was at work and teaching, and while Ed was doing some projects around our condo. Sam had a blast, as he always does at the Manion house.

Sam was also good at taking strawberries out of the pail. He wasn't exactly clear on the concept of putting them IN the bucket. Oh well, we didn't have to pay for those he ate in the field.

I love living in the city, but I also love getting out of the city. Sam seemed to enjoy being out in the country. The Knutson farm also had chickens. Sam said, "Cluck, cluck" to them. I guess all that singing of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" is paying off.

I also got some rhubarb, so I hope to make some strawberry-rhubarb compote or jam or pie or something. I may have to freeze some of the berries, since we're leaving for a conference in Florida in a few days. It can't be any hotter there than it is here. Sam got a little red-faced and sweaty out in the field.

All strawberried out on the way home. Notice the red stains all over his face. Thank you, Amy, for such a thoughtful gift. I love gifts that are experiences--especially ones as Schlumpfy as strawberry picking.


roseylittlethings said...

So fun, what a cutie! Need to get my kidos out to pick again!

Di said...

Oh the best summer time activity! My friend took her little boy last weekend and at 15 months he knew exactly what to do....bend down, find a big red strawberry, pull it off the bush, remove the little green bit (now even I was impressed by that) and then put it in the ............................mouth.......ok not quite got the pail bit either!

Mary Belle said...

Heidi, that picture of Sam with the pail is so cute. I have been trying to get it so I can print it out on photo paper and can't seem to capture it. I keep putting it up on my computer so I can look at it all the time. Can hardly wait to see him again.

Love, Mom

heidi said...

that sounds like so much fun! and how is sam getting so very big? sigh.

Charity Grace said...

What a cutie you have there! Looks like a fun strawberry day. :)