We are in the midst of prime strawberry picking season here in Maine. I wish I could say I make it out to pick strawberries every year but I don’t. We get busy, the weather is poor and before I know it I miss the small window when I can pick berries.
Yesterday I was determined to gather some of those natural rubies of sweetness. It is no fun to go alone so I invited my teenage daughter to join me. She was reluctant but I sweetened the deal by offering to pick up an ice coffee on the way… she was in.
We made our way down the country roads that lead to the farm on banks of the Kennebec River. As we got closer the road narrowed and turned to dirt. We enjoyed views of Merrymeeting Bay with the water sparkling and bright blue sky.
We arrived at the field and began to dig in. It is hard to get comfortable… Do we sit, squat, bend over??? Which shade of red is just right… Bright red? Deep red? Don’t pick the ones with white on them. We had to get into the swing of strawberry picking.
We settled in and we were making good progress down our row. I was able to listen in to snatches of conversation:
“Mommy I’m done,” stated a blond three year old girl.
“We’ve only just started,” her mom replied.
“Well I have enough for my strawberry shortcake,” the little girl insisted.
“We need to get enough for everyone’s shortcake and jam,” her mom reminded her.
Two older women were on the other side of us analyzing the quality of the berries in their thick Maine accents:
“The berries are much smaller this year than last,” stated the first lady.
“Ayuh,” the second lady replied, “But they are still sweet!”
I looked over at my daughter and realized she was lagging behind. I noticed she was comfortably sitting on her side of the row eating the berries. “It’s a good thing they don’t weigh you before and after our time in the field.” I teased, “I don’t think I could afford the extra berries.” She smiled. I have said this to her before in past years. Age doesn’t matter… It is hard to resist the sweet berries.
After about an hour we filled our containers and headed home. We feasted on strawberry shortcake with our fresh strawberries for dessert. The only thing sweeter was the time spent with my daughter.