Growing up pretty urban-y in Vancouver, I don’t ever remember going to pick strawberries in the summer! (MOM!?? Wuh happened!?) It could have also been because my dad worked in the produce industry selling fruits and vegetables all day long – so our house was always a cornucopia of fresh fruit through the seasons and the last thing my dad probably felt like doing was adding MORE fruit to his days?? Rich and I finally added berry picking to our lives over the last few years, first when discovering hordes of blackberry bushes through the Vancouver Gulf Islands on past sailing trips, glistening berries like dark caviar which we’d pack carefully into tupperware and turn into blackberry pancakes or even blackberry pie, made in a tiny sailboat galley! I was so proud of my buttery crust made by (floury goop covered) hand, rolled out with a wine bottle and messily pressed into a aluminum pie pan I found at an island provision store. No temperature dials on the mini galley oven either – just a single flame and a slow watchful eye, bobbing at anchor.
Just outside of Vancouver lies a heaven of strawberry patches for big and little hands to pluck away at! Sometimes it’s serious business, women in straw hats pulling wagons packed to the brim with bright, perfectly ripe berries – jars of winter jam await, and pies galore. We did a double whammy of strawberry picking Vancouver this past weekend – I was determined to powerblast summer while I could – what if I missed strawberry season because of stupid old chemo making me feel like a grey potato??? Never!!
We first headed out to Langley to Krause Berry Farms, meeting up with my good pal Becky and her two freaking adorable kiddos. Teddy and Mo crouching low to pick berries… Krause Berry is super fun for “the whole family” as they say – a sandy play pit with toys and a giant play tractor with slides, plus they have a takeout stand featuring strawberry milkshakes, pie and baked goods, a huge market full of bakery items, ice cream buckets to go and anything strawberry you can think of. Wear sunscreen and a hat! It’s MEGA hot. We picked with the kids for about 20 minutes Then off to get milkshakes… Teddy kept picking the green ones or “tasting” them as he went … our basket was a scattering of half-bitten berries.. oops. Krause Berry Farms is about 45 minutes from Vancouver but it’s a fun destination for sure! It would be a cute place to go on a first date, hint hint, to anyone who’s looking to charm a future boyfriend or girlfriend! ^__^ Then you can bring the berries home and make a pie together! This would be a great test of compatibility, don’t you think?
On Saturday we met up with another good friend Tara and her daughters and went to Emma Lea Farms- a lovely, more mellow joint out in the cutest town of Ladner, which doggoneit – was not very far from Vancouver – we zipped along the freeway and arrived in just over 20 minutes! So a closer strawberry picking drive if you happen to live in Vancouver. Emma Lea was so cute too, they have a mini playground and a sandpit for the kiddos, plus SOFT SERVE ICE CREAM which is a crucial purchase for a conehead like me. I topped mine with a mini strawberry… ha.
Here’s Teddy doing some “picking” of his own. Oops. I can’t get him to stop picking his nose for the life of me so I just let it be. Hopefully he’s not still picking his nose in college.
Our freezer is loaded! I think I will make jam, scones, ice cream, popsicles … ! Strawberry picking Vancouver 2015! Inspiration Nook had a “summer food bucket list” idea which I thought was way more do-able than listing off a lifetime bucket list. Strawberry picking was on my summer bucket list. Still oodles of berries to be picked – do it! What is on your summer bucket list? xo Lyndsay
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