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strawberry fields for a limited period of time

As my canning hero Marisa of the Food in Jars blog noted, strawberry season came early this year. Unlike her, however, I refused to submit to the demands of living life and I've now made two trips out to the strawberry plantation to fuel my jam-making habit. I hope to get at least one more in, in order to try out her recipe for strawberry jam with vanilla: unlike the recipe I use, with comes included in the pectin box, hers doesn't contain almost a third more sugar than strawberries.

The picking was even better this morning than the last time I went, and both times seemed to me to be better than either last year or the year before. But maybe I'm misremembering, and actually just think the present and recent past is always better than the more distant past. Hey, I hope that's actually the case: that sounds like a pretty useful skill for staying content! I suppose that's why I'm not a conservative. Still, the season will not last forever so we have to gather our strawberries while we may.

I noted a few things out there in the fields:

  • It is amazing that so many people can visit that farm each day, and all come away with a satisfactory number of berries.
  • Strawberry picking is harder than many people anticipate. Strawberries grow on the ground.
  • Many people have the idea that all strawberries should be as big as the mutant ones we get from California. I'm glad of that: it means that they leave many many delicious, rational-sized berries for me to pick.
  • I am also glad that many people see berry-picking as a fun, cheap outing for themselves and their kids instead of the deadly serious essential-for-winter-survival mission that it really is, for the same reason. Take no prisoners, pass over no strawberries!
  • Everyone (myself included) naturally wants to pick where nobody else is picking. And yet as soon as each person leaves, someone else happily takes their spot. And finds strawberries. See point one.
  • As I pick I alternate between despair that I will ever be able to fill my containers and unbounded optimism that leads me to consider heading back for another flat to fill. There is no middle ground.

All these observations occurred to me as I picked, as well as many more that will sadly never be recorded because I can't remember them. Next time I'll take notes.

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