Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Our first strawberry picking experience

Fresh strawberries, anyone?

Just when I thought the strawberry picking season is over, Jo invited the housewives of FC to a morning of U-pick at Swanton Berry Farm. Hooray! When I told Panda about it, he was really envious because we've been talking about it the whole summer.

It was a smooth drive along CA-1 until we reached a sharp turn at the road sign. The road leading in to Swanton was really small and the place was so laid back, with minimal signage, that we didn't know where to go after we parked our car. Fortunately, a fellow picker directed us to the strawberry shrubs a short distance away.

I didn't expect to see much strawberries since it was towards the end of the picking season. So it was a pleasant surprise to still find plenty of bright red little fruits hanging on the plants as we neared. We worked down the aisles with the baskets we borrowed from the main house, making sure that we only pick 'red ripe fruits'.

Before long, our baskets were filled with little red rubies that we have handpicked.

Pick only red ripe fruit!

Our 'harvest'

After toiling for our strawberries, we brought them back to the main house and weigh them on the little machines, jotting down the weight and price on the log book. I was going to look for the cashier when I realised there was a 'honor till', that is, you put down the money and get your own change. Don't you just love the trust system here in US!

Step-by-step instructions on picking and weighing

It's a trust system!

The main house has a lounge where you can chill after being out in the sun!
Swanton is only 15 minutes away from Santa Cruz, so we went there to have lunch and walk along the boardwalk. I think we only spent one short hour at Swanton but already, it made me appreciate the work that goes behind fruit growing and picking.

Tonight when I ate the first box of strawberries at dinner, they tasted extra sweet!
We are as sweet as strawberries (we hope!) 

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