Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Willamette Valley Riches

People came west for wide open spaces. They soon learned that Oregon has a fantastic growing season for those open spaces. Each year I am amazed at the sweet bounty that can be found by traveling in any direction and finding those small local farms dotted around the valley.

Last year my picking goals were met with a wise dose of reality as I envisioned the littles in the midst of the colorful patches. I did manage to can some pears...but a nice sister did all the picking.

This year I had the same idea, but the other side of my brain boycotted the reasonable side.

Strawberries: they did wonderfully considering their natural toddler ways, and I got 20 - 30 lbs.

Not only did Jake's have to be just the right ripeness, but the right shape too.

Noah wandered far...but always came back

Ollie decided to show me each one...before eating it

Max was my big picker, picking five containers full.

They have already been well worth the effort for our new strawberry spinach smoothie.

Next came blueberries. Well... raspberries ripened in the midst, but the number one thing I have learned being a mom to five: you can't do it all while keeping your sanity.

With blueberries I got a surprise: my mom offered to watch the littles. 50lbs later, we left the field with a successful load and a horrible sunburn. With only one child who doesn't need much watching, I hardly knew where to direct my thoughts! Thank goodness for sisterly company. Jake was rather disgusted as he helped me wash and sort at all of the stems that I left on the berries. His, he informed me, had NO stems. From the way he was picking, I believe him. That kid needs a job in quality control.

Jake and his new friend Lucy. Take all the other cousins out of the equation and it is amazing who will play with who.

Came back to this sleeping beauty.

Also on the harvest list are peaches, pears and blackberries. But those are for another day.


Mainely Me said...

Jake and quality control...yep. The littles all did so well; I don't think there was one squabble! And, I had Lily all to myself:)

Sheri said...

oh, what a wonderful story. I could just imagine how each would be, knowing their personalities. Jake - he is too funny. He'll have a job at a young age! And Max, I'm so proud of your "stick with it" ability! Jodi - next time NO STEMS!!!!