Every summer I plan to go berry picking and every summer it doesn’t happen. The last time that I graced the fields of a strawberry farm was when I was 8 months pregnant with Rhys and come to think of it, it wasn’t so graceful. Last summer I had a day picked-out and planned to get strawberries with a friend but she decided to have a baby instead. Oh the nerve of some people. Anyways, my mom and I actually followed through this year and we even brought the little ones along thinking they would be good helpers (we were way off). Amelia had a strawberry feast. It was amazing just how many strawberries she was able to pack into that little frame of hers. She’d find a nice plump berry, pick it, hold it up and exclaim, “It’s a beauty!” Then she’d chow down.
Thankfully my mom and I picked our 6 boxes fairly fast and were done just in time for the kids to start complaining about going to see the petting zoo. We decided to head-out to Boonstra Farms just north of the city. I’d heard it was a good place for kids because they’ve got washrooms close to every field, a concession stand (for those people who don’t plan ahead and feel the need to stop at a Tim’s for coffee and Tim Bits every time they leave the house), a playground and a petting zoo.
I ended-up feeling really bad for Amelia. At the table where we paid for our berries there were a couple of little plastic baskets and inside the baskets were little kittens…just sitting there…looking horribly cute. Now, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but Amelia is OBSESSED with cats and what’s cuter than a kitten in a basket? I don’t even like cats and I was gushing over these little guys so you could imagine what was going on inside of Amelia’s mind. I’m at the table purchasing a basket with strawberries inside…she’s at the table waiting to purchase a basket with a kitten inside. I started feeling bad that I’m insanely allergic to her feline friends but there’s not much I can do about it (and kitten’s eventually turn into cats and I’ve only ever met one cat that I’ve liked…Minnie, my sisters cat that acts like a dog). So we carried on and walked to the petting zoo and Amelia found a million more adorable kittens and she was in heaven.
Come to think of it, I was in heaven too. There were goats. There isn’t anything cuter than baby farm animals in my mind and goats are probably my favorite. Look at me, look at that smile on my face! Man, I was born to have a hobby farm! Amelia walked into the petting zoo with a bunch of dandelions she’d picked out in the Strawberry fields. She was so proud of these flowers and I’m sure she was planning to bring them home so you can just picture her shock and amazement as she was watching Bert, the largest goat in the petting zoo, make some lunch out of her pretty bouquet. I wish I’d gotten it on video.
We figured we’d go all-out and pick Saskatoon’s as well. We drove to a little Saskatoon farm and spent about an hour filling-up a couple of buckets. This is where Rhys caught-up with Ammie on the whole ‘eat your weight in berries’ contest. His lips and teeth were purple by the end of our stay. I came home and cleaned, sorted, froze, and packaged our day’s bounty. I made Strawberry Jam and Saskatoon Syrup (although apparently not enough since we ate most of it on waffles last night). I’m thinking about going out again and getting some more berries. It’s just so exciting, all the possibilities of what I can bake! So many pies! I think I’ve got berry fever.