About two weeks ago my youngest daughter, my son’s girlfriend, and I drove about thirty minutes outside of town to a “pick your own” strawberry patch. I had discovered their location from the Pick Your Own website, which has listings available for all fifty states, plus a few international locations. This was an adventure for me, for as I have mentioned before, I do not like to drive to “foreign” locations on my own. Well, this proved to be a bit more of an adventure than I originally thought, but a lot of fun!
We found the Wohletz farm with no problems, but even though we arrived before 10:30AM and I had confirmed the night before that they had plenty of fruit, they were totally picked clean! We were so disappointed. However, in true Midwest spirit, the owner apologized profusely and suggested we try another local farmer “just up the road a piece” The directions were minimal to say the very least, and I was afraid I would end up on the edge of the county without a clue how to return to civilization.
However, all those fears were for naught. We found the second farm, Lawson Brothers, without any problems (and it wasn’t nearly as far out of the way as I had originally thought) and they had loads of berries ripe for the picking. The three of us picked about 13.5 pounds of strawberries in about 45 minutes time. We could have easily picked more, but it was a typical hot, humid Kansas day and we were tired and sweaty.
So what does one do with that many strawberries? Well, I gave about two quarts to Amanda to take home to her mom, sugared down about two quarts for strawberry shortcake, and turned the rest into nine pints of Strawberry Freezer Jam.
The recipe is fool-proof (it is available inside the box of each Sure-Jell packet), requires no sterilization or paraffin seals, keeps for months in the freezer, and tastes out of this world! I think our family has already snarfed down about two pints!
I just got notification that the same farm now has raspberries ready for picking – but I am not a fan of all those seeds. However, the blueberries are just about ready at The Berry Patch and the same gang plus my eldest daughter hope to venture out next week and pick several quarts of those tasty treats that can be used in cobblers, smoothies, muffins, and pancakes.