Summer Activity: Berry Picking

As I mentioned in my last post about blueberry lavender butter, I love summer fruit season and I feel very lucky to live in northern California, where I’m surrounded by farms and fields in every direction. Recently I took advantage of this and went to a farm nearby to pick berries.

Blackberries and strawberries are in season and available at this particular farm. At other places you can find boysenberries and olallieberries (both similar to blackberries but with more tart and complex flavors), as well as blueberries and cherries.

One of many rows of plump, juicy blackberries. It looks like they go on forever!

It was hard work to find ripe berries (I think the fields get picked over by Sunday). There were lots of unripe pink berries and even the darker berries were often tart. To make sure they were ripe, we had to sample berries from every bush. It was difficult work, but someone has to do it!

Here’s a more promising patch. Better get to taste testing a few…

The strawberries were even harder to find than the blackberries. Many were half white, half red or shriveled and starting to rot. They were a variety I’d never seen before, one that makes smaller berries than the average store bought strawberry. They were surprisingly sweet and flavorful and I really wish there had been more to pick.

One of two buckets we picked, ready to be weighed and paid. I brought this all home, devoured many of the strawberries and made a thick, sweet and tangy blackberry pan sauce to drizzle over pork chops. Stay tuned and I’ll share the recipe on Friday!

Oh, and I made a little friend out in the fields. He wants to know, what’s your favorite summer food-related activity?

21 Comments on Summer Activity: Berry Picking

  1. Ann
    June 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm (11 years ago)

    Those pictures are incredible! I love that you have a fruit grove you go to! Beautiful, as always!

    • Stephanie
      June 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm (11 years ago)

      @Ann – thanks! It was a fun adventure.

  2. Wheels
    June 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm (11 years ago)

    Can’t wait til we go!

    • Stephanie
      June 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm (11 years ago)

      @Wheels – me too!

  3. visda
    June 22, 2011 at 2:32 pm (11 years ago)

    I love berry picking. You have taken gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing your adventure.:-)

    • Stephanie
      June 22, 2011 at 2:50 pm (11 years ago)

      @visda – thanks! It was fun to take the pictures and share them.

  4. Lindsey@Lindselicious
    June 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m so jealous! Ive been wanting to go to a U Pick farm with my BF, we keep putting it off… I hope i get to go before the season is over. Loved your pics!!

    • Stephanie
      June 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm (11 years ago)

      @Lindsey – you should definitely go! There’s always peaches and plums in July/August and apple picking in the fall too.

  5. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    June 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm (11 years ago)

    We don’t get blackberries here. At least not at our local places, not sure why. But that is ok, I make up for it with strawberry picking 🙂

    • Stephanie
      June 23, 2011 at 9:22 am (11 years ago)

      @Erin – strawberries are just as good and fun to pick!

  6. Carolyn
    June 23, 2011 at 4:25 am (11 years ago)

    Strawberries are the only ones in season right now in New England, and I took the kids this week to pick some. It was so fun, even the littlest one got into it. I always pick the smaller ones, they are sweeter and have more flavour!

    • Stephanie
      June 23, 2011 at 9:22 am (11 years ago)

      @Carolyn – what a fun family activity!

  7. sweetlife
    June 23, 2011 at 6:47 am (11 years ago)

    Thank you for taking us along on your berry picking trip. When we visit my little brother in CA we love to visit the strawberry patches. so much fun. heading over to check out your butter recipe!
    have a great thursday

    • Stephanie
      June 23, 2011 at 9:23 am (11 years ago)

      @sweetlife – my pleasure. Have a great Thursday too!

  8. Angie@Angiesrecipes
    June 23, 2011 at 10:42 am (11 years ago)

    Love those blackberries! Looks like that you had lots of fun picking those summer fruits.

    • Stephanie
      June 24, 2011 at 8:00 am (11 years ago)

      @Angie – it was fun! I love the summer.

  9. Melissa Daams
    June 24, 2011 at 7:50 am (11 years ago)

    there are two things that i like to do for summer. #1 go for italian gelato

    #2 blueberry picking…

    i’m sure there are also strawberry farmers nearby…

    • Stephanie
      June 24, 2011 at 8:01 am (11 years ago)

      @Melissa – You’re my kind of person – those are 2 fun things to do! I love gelato and blueberries.

  10. Liz
    June 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh, lucky you! I bet the pork chops were amazing!

    • Stephanie
      June 25, 2011 at 8:26 am (11 years ago)

      @Liz – they were really good! I rarely cook meat for myself so it was a treat.

1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Summer Activity: Berry Picking

  1. […] hunk of meat that I smothered in fresh blackberry sauce. On Wednesday I told you about the picking blackberries at a local farm. I was determined not to make jam or bake a dessert with the berries. Too easy and typical for me. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *