I forgot to bring my camera 🙁

After over a week of getting up in the morning and saying “TODAY is the day I am going to go pick strawberries!” and being variously put off or dissuaded by:

  1. Rain.
  2. Laziness.
  3. “But… there will be BUGS.”
  4. “WTF, pick-your-own not available today?”
  5. “WTF, they’re closed today?”
  6. “WTF, yesterday they said they would be open today but now they say they’re not?!”

I have finally made the epic journey to Carandale Farm, 14 miles from downtown Madison, to pick my own strawberries. The drive there was scenic and relaxing. Wisconsin scenery is far superior to other mid-western scenery in my opinion. In contrast to the monotonous flatness of Iowa and the oppressing humidity and monotonous flatness of Nebraska, Wisconsin has rolling, verdant hills. Picturesque houses with incredibly vivid flowers (tulips are choice) dot the landscape, especially amazing to someone like me who calls Las Vegas, with its cookie cutter developments, home. Sometimes when I visit my parents, I drive right past our house.

Don’t get me wrong we’re leaving this place as soon as The Schmoops gets his PhD, but in the meantime I guess I can grudgingly acknowledge that living here is not all bad, in between frothing at the mouth at … I can’t go down this route, this is a post about strawberries.

The weather today was prime. A strong cold breeze for comfort, a cloudless sky for beauty. The pictures on the Carandale Farm website do not do it justice. The air is inundated with the scent of strawberries and flowers I can’t identify.

Today I conquered my fear of bugs and bravely plunged my hands into the strawberry bushes. And hurt myself on this weird thorny weed that grows amongst the aforesaid bushes. I was overall satisfied with the quality of the strawberries, given that this season has been non-optimal anyway. Most berries were about the size of a quarter or smaller, which doesn’t matter to me since size is not the end all indicator of quality, it’s the color that matters. There were a lot of berries that were molding on the vine, but the abundance of dainty, perfectly shaped, ruby red, succulent berries made up for it. Picking was harder than I thought it would be, most berries are low to the ground, buried deep in the bushes.

I picked 3.5 lbs at $1.60/lb, met my outdoors quota for the month, wondered why the grocery stores here mostly sell berries from California, and am now back to admiring Nature from the inside of a windowpane.