Strawberry season, anyone?

Now that summer is in full-swing, what better way to spend a Saturday morning than picking strawberries?  Or, in my case, what better way to spend a Saturday morning than working at a strawberry patch?

That’s right, folks.  Strawberry season is here.

You see, my family owns a pick-your-own patch (and apple orchard).  I’m on the summer work crew and we’ve been toiling for weeks getting the fields weeded, fertilized, and ready for customers.  Yesterday, we picked up all the planks and sandbags up from frost season and mowed everything–The fields look amazing.

The plan was to open at eight o’clock this morning, but the weather had other plans.  My alarm went off shortly before seven and I woke to the sound of pouring rain.  Determined not to let our opening day be a rainout, my dad decided to open at ten instead.  (Which meant I got to go back to sleep!)  At the appointed time, he and I loaded up our golf carts with our scales, picking boxes, and gear and got to work.

It was a slow morning, but boy, did the berries look nice!  I worked check-out and my small-talk skills were quickly pulled from hibernation.  Most of the customers were regulars–not deterred by the wet fields.  One lady was so determined that she arrived wearing plastic poncho-pants and left completely dry with three flats of berries.

We were open till mid-afternoon and my day was sustained by conversing with adorable small children and sassy old men.  I had the foresight to bring a book, so when things got slow I plowed through Bleak House (I’m almost to the 600 page mark!).

Strawberry season is both a relief and a torture.  It’s wonderful to have a change of routine (we’ll be running the patch instead of doing field labor), but since I live on site, its presence always looms.  The season eclipses dinner conversations.  The phone rings off the hook.  Dad darts in and out of the house stressing about all the work that still has to get done.  I work every day–even weekends.

I’m glad to finally be open and I look forward to it being over.   (The funny thing is, I don’t even like eating strawberries.)

What’s your favorite way to spend a summer Saturday morning?