Saturday, June 18, 2005

Strawberries!!!

I love strawberries, the real kind that is, and not the chemically grown pesticide-infested stuff from California. I love farmer's market quality, but even better, I love freshly picked strawberries.

When I moved to Vancouver two years ago I convinced David to rent a car so that we could go strawberry picking. We found a farm in Delta on Westham Island and headed down there for the day. The berries were great, and so was the river, the fields, the cows and the view of downtown and of the mountains. It was an expensive day but I adored it.

Last week I discovered that the strawberry season was in full swing and I decided that we would go pick some. On Saturday we decided to go picking instead of going hiking, because the weather was not so great (and good thing, because it did rain a lot at points, although not where we were). From the website of the Fraser Valley Strawberry Growers Association we found the U-Pick listings and we chose W & A Farms in Richmond - the closest farm to us.

w & a farm

scary potatoes, not so yellow

We went to their produce stand first, which had some neat signs on the side of the building. I specially liked the sing for the smiling "yellow" potatoes (you might need to look at the large-size picture to see the faces). After looking around for a bit we noticed that we were not at the right place and saw the sign for the U-Pick field down the road.

w & a farm

So we hit the field and started picking. With the rain we've been having lately a lot of the berries were smaller or rotten on the plant, especially those close to the ground. But the berries that were red and intact, although a little paler than what I would have chosen, were incredibly sweet and juicy. (They were selling very red berries at the stand though.)

good, good, rotten

There was not a lot of strawberries left in the U-Pick section and so after two basket full we called it quits. We were also short on cash! We went to weight the fruit of our labour and it came up to 6 pounds. At $1 a pound, it was pretty cheap!

$6

After such hard work we headed out to Granville Island for some grocery shopping. We got some great nectarines and apricots, but it's too bad that a lot of the produce there is still from the States. We need the farmer's market at Granville to be actual produce from farms! Aside from the false advertising though, it is the best place around to shop for food around here.

Later tonight: dinner with friends and a movie. What a fun-filled day! And now, off to make jam!

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