Picking Strawberries

So we were told a farm had a good harvest this year and it would cost the farmers more to hire workers for harvesting work than offer cheap strawberries to the public on a condition - they pick the stuff themselves. We thought it was a good idea and so we drove north into the suburb of Bullsbrook and to see for ourselves what the hype was about.

The moment we alighted from Ugly Green, we were greeted with a stench of rotting strawberries. Are you even surprised? In any kind of farming activity there will be thousands of life cycles happening all at the same time even while you sleep at night. There will be death along with life. So don't be surprised if a farmer gain more insights of the meaning of life than we'll ever did while not even leaving his little farm. As for rotting strawberries stench, it might probably be the sweetest smell of decomposition ever. No one would be likely to mind getting a few deep whiffs of those anytime.

Now the deal - we pay $10 upfront and will be given a tray. Then we proceed to pick strawberries in a designated lane open for harvesting that day. Once the tray is filled, it is done. We did just that.

Picking strawberries wasn't hard work, especially when I was gobbling strawberries as I worked. In all honesty, I was never a strawberry person but the first bite of a strawberry there got me hooked. It was the sweetest strawberry I had ever eaten. There wasn't a corner of my imagination that allowed a strawberry to taste that sweet. The companions reasoned out that strawberries sold in shops might be picked a stage just before the fruits are fully ripe in order to maximise shelf life. Thus they would never taste that sweet. I could accept that as a possible explanation. The problem was, after tasting strawberries so sweet, I doubt I would accept the sourish strawberries from shops any more.

Little Albany hopped around the sparse lanes in delight, following daddy like a little hungry puppy. Jen had to carry a bottle the whole time to wash a fruit before Albany popped one into her mouth. Before long, her cheeks were stained red.

There were at least 20 cars parked by the road with us. Every picker seemed to be genuinely happy to be free labour. At least for a first-timer like me, the experience was marvelous. The weather was perfect, cloudy with slight breeze (of sweet strawberries). Every picker seemed to be imbued with contagious enthusiasm. Every fruit popped into my mouth was a consistent juicy sweetness and no one was around to bark instructions like us. I felt like a free bird, my lunch was whatever I could find.

That kind of experience could make somebody develop a strong impulse to buy a house with a bit of land to do a bit of farming at the back yard. I made a mental note of a possible project in the future. Patience, patience. It was one of the most difficult thing to do. The few seconds before a winner mount the podium to receive his prize often felt like eternity. I could only wait. Freedom would come eventually as planned. Till then, I would have to keep myself occupied with little activities of meaningless gratification. That'll do for now.

Our yield for 10 bucks and some bending work. Worth it?
We ended the day with too much strawberries, even for 3 families. Jen made some jam with the excess that I couldn't finish. Needless to say, it was the best strawberry jam I had tasted. Prior to that, I wasn't even a jam person but it wasn't easy to reject great homemade jam made entirely from real fruit. That was a happy experience. Wouldn't you be happy too, if you have lived my day?

1 comment:

  1. Picking strawberries is a lovely summer activity. We also pick blueberries and apples too.