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Archive for June 6th, 2009

ready to pick

ready to pick

A month or so ago, I made a big deal about buying only organic strawberries.  Today, though, my friend Sharyn and I took Mimi and Jack strawberry picking at a little farm in Lafayette (pronounced, defiantly, La-FIE-et), where the only sign is a big slab of particle board with “U-Pick” and a big strawberry painted on it.  In other words, there are no visible declarations of their farming practices, but you can tell right away that this is not a “Green Chem-Lawn” type of operation.  It smelled like grass and mud and strawberries. One of the owners told Sharyn, “we try not to put too much stuff on them”—meaning chemicals. Compared to the berry farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where we went last year because it was on the way home from Jack’s school, and which appeared to be a perfect paradise of spotless leaves and giant berries, but where you could smell the chemicals, this farm today was a paradise of “imperfection.”  They use black plastic to control weeds, and insects to control insects.  Bugs and slugs and buzzing things were busy throughout the rows.  When a tiny local farm produces sweet juicy berries with the help of ladybugs, I don’t quibble about minimal chemical counts.
berries
Jack would wander far down the rows, and then run back triumphantly when he found a ripe berry.  He also found some “ticklers”—tall grasses with tufts on top—and put them to use:
tickling
Then Jack and Mimi found a little Jeep and decided to drive “to California… or maybe just a short trip to Kroger’s.”

see ya!

see ya!

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