U-pick

I took the kids raspberry picking yesterday.

I'd never gone before, but if I'd attempted this three years ago my approach would have looked like this:

Research all local u-pick options. Go to farm in the cool of the morning and pick efficiently towards predetermined poundage goal. Pick raspberries and strawberries, and purchase week's groceries at farm bakery and market. Leave u-pick in time to visit another local attraction, such as the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Return home and make preserves.

My current method looks more like this:

Pick u-pick based on a two-minute Google search. Leave home for Krause Berry Farms when convenient, close to mid-day. Have as goal only that kids enjoy themselves. Pick raspberries until children tire. Bypass all other attractions at farm. Return home. Put berries in fridge.

The secret to happy motherhood: lower your expectations.

We had a wonderful time. It was sunny and warm and quiet as we picked the fat pink berries at our respective heights. The only sounds were the breeze blowing in the massive fir trees surrounding the farm, and the occasional murmur of conversation drifting over the rows. It was peaceful.

At one point I sat down between the rows, and Leif lay his head on my leg and napped. A few pickers passed us, pulling wagons, carrying ice cream buckets with the plastic handles bending dangerously, and even filling Ziploc freezer bags directly from the bushes.

Thirteen dollars for one of the best excursions the kids have had this summer, and more raspberries than will fit in my little freezer. We'll be back for blueberry season.