Last Monday, we piled into the car and headed to one of our favourite local strawberry farms, Paulridge Berry Farm just north of Napanee.
It’s a rite of passage each spring, picking berries. Strawberries are the first berry to ripen in the spring. I think for Canadians, it’s reaffirming. We take to the fields, celebrating the passage of winter and heralding the advent of the harvest season, grateful that another season of crops are bearing fruit.
When Dave and I were dating, we’d pick berries at Andrews Scenic Acres, north of Milton (I see it now also has a winery—time for a return trip!) My favourite part of their operation was the frozen yogurt machine at the entrance—you could have fresh frozen yogurt on the spot with fruit picked from the fields. In the fall, they’d have corn roasts and we’d have fresh apple pie in front of the fireplace in the barn. Many of my most well-thumbed recipes in my recipe box to this day are from Andrews Scenic Acres.
My other favourite part of berry picking is the wagon ride. In an age of trains, planes and automobiles, it’s nostalgic to lumber across open fields on a wagon, baskets in hand, to the perfect patch.
Of course, nothing beats the ultimate reward: eating the sweet, succulent fruit. There is nothing sweeter than a freshly picked strawberry.
This week’s #HappyAct is to visit your local berry farm.
Be sure to check in advance on their operating hours and to see what’s in season. This may be the last weekend for strawberries, but it won’t be long before raspberries and blueberries will be ripe, including the wild raspberries on my property.
Here is a great recipe for homemade strawberry shortcake. Enjoy!
Yummy Strawberry shortcake
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp baking power
1 tsp grated lemon peel
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 450. Grease a cookie sheet. In medium bowl with a mixer, blend all ingredients. Drop dough in 8 equal mounds on the cookie sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until golden.