Strawberry Fields

I’ll admit, I wasn’t up to it when I woke up Thursday morning, but the sun was shining, the in-laws were coming, and I was tired of just taking a nap when they arrived (did I mention that extreme, constant fatigue is another early-pregnancy symptom?); I decided today would be the day for our local excursion to pick strawberries.

Silverton Farm is the last standing farm in the area- it’s surrounded by McMansions that have long-since replaced the formerly rural landscape. Since we knew the drill, we just grabbed some wicker baskets and headed out to the small field to pick. At first, my Mom-In-Law didn’t seem too keen on bending in the sun just to search under the leaves for what looked liked tiny berries (compared to the supermarket size). But as we picked, I prompted her to taste at least one, straight from the plant. It’s times like these I feel the joy of being a real-food evangelist: I watched her expression as she bit into one, and her marveling at its perfume and flavor. “I’ve never had them straight from the field, still warm from the sun!” My work here was done.

It didn’t take long to fill a basket, and as experience has taught me that they don’t last long, I made sure not to get more than we can possibly eat in a few days. I took Julian over to check out the few chickens they keep, while he and I discussed what a great strawberry finder he is (And he is! At 5 years old, he’s got less distance to bend.). Then it was time to take our treasure to the shack to be tallied up. They also sell honey from some of their hives which I picked up (oh, boy-Toms River honey! Weird, huh?), but was told that the eggs were all gone for the day. Bummer. I eyed the already-picked pints they had out, thought about how half the field still had its blossoms, and plotted a wicked plan to swing by next week and grab some more, no effort involved. Sigh, I love living around here.

That night, sitting at the backyard table in the evening breeze with my wonderful husband and beautiful child, eating juicy, perfect strawberries with whipped cream, I forgot about how sick and tired I was; I regretted nothing.

Well, OK, thanks also to the nap I took when we got back.

Silverton Farm – 1520 Silverton Road, Toms River (732) 244-2621

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