We went today for a first round of berry picking. After calling around, I found out about an organic pick-your-own in Plainfield called Littlewood Farm. In the past, we picked organic berries at Adam's Berry Farm; we really like Adam's, but it is so far away now that it feels too onerous.
Littlewood Farm was a very nice place to pick berries. The field was well-maintained (as in, we did not have to sort through the weeds to find the berries). The people were friendly, and the spot is lovely. It was also not too busy and was bursting with ripe strawberries. We picked 2.5 flats of berries in about 1.5 hours.
The children were very helpful. Ezra picked 3 quarts to every six I picked, Phaedra picked two to my six, and Sylvie picked 1 quart total. The thing I used to dream about is finally true. I was able to pick berries without stopping every 20 seconds to ride herd on one child or another, and I did not have to pick all the berries myself. Sylvie picked slowly, sampling as she went, and talked to all the other pickers. I kept thinking about Dudley Pippin, and I wondered what all she was telling about our family. Phaedra announced,"Sylvie is making friends again!", and then Phaedra jumped Sylvie's train. Sylvie would start talking, and then Phaedra would chime in. I worried that they were bothering people, but they seemed to share the wealth of their conversation evenly, and no one seemed bothered. Most even seemed a little charmed. Ezra focused on picking in a very bird-like way. He would pick three berries on one row, then wander two rows over and pick five, then move down twenty feet and pick one more. It was very aggravating to watch, so I quit looking, and he was obviously picking plenty fast.
Toward the end, Ezra regaled us with poetry. It started when Phaedra and I were trying to remember "Custard the Dragon", and Ezra began to help us. We did pretty well. Then, Ezra launched into "One Winter Night in August" and "Isabel". It was a delight to have poetry recited as we picked.
Then, Jason and I capped berries tonight. We'll do one more round of picking, because I owe a few jars of jam. So, once we've all the berries, we'll make jam. Then we can sing, "If you want the best Jam, you got to make your own."