Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Best Strawberries Ever!

"These are the best strawberries ever!" exclaimed my 4 year old with red juice running down her chin. We had just picked two buckets of organic strawberries from Shadow Lawn Farm south of Oconomowc. She was right, these strawberries really are amazing. Those bloated imports from California can't compare to the freshly picked variety. 

As I have tried to transition more and more to locally grown produce during the summer  months I have reflected on what we have lost in the span of two generations. During my grandparent's generation much of the food was locally produced, now you really can't find anything in a grocery store (except perhaps sweet corn in July) that is freshly picked. We live in an agricultural state yet we have become content to eat bland food imported from across the country and the world without complaint. I would imagine that there are many children now who don't even know what a real tomato tastes like. No wonder they won't eat their veggies. 

Until a few years ago I had never had fresh asparagus. No one in our family cared for the stuff, but when our neighbors gave us some, we tried it. It was so delicious and unlike any asparagus that we had had before that soon the kids were fighting over who could have the last stalk. This is how food is supposed to taste! As I have rediscovered the real taste of food, there are some fruits and veggies that I find not worth eating unless they are fresh-strawberries, tomatoes, sweet corn, and asparagus. I have decided that don't need to eat them all year round. Instead we look forward to their season and then eat them like crazy. Just about the time we can't eat another bite, they are out of season and the next delicious food is ready for harvest. 

To try some of these yummy strawberries yourself, you can pick your own or buy them by the quart at Shadow Lawn Farm at 826 N Griffth Rd, Oconomowoc. It is 2 miles south of I94 off Hwy 67. The rows are widely spaced so it is easy for kids to help pick. They also have goats and sheep and chickens so it is a fun outing all around. 

Anyone know of other self-pick options in the area?


Julie-Ann said...

Reminds me of being in Costa Rica a few years ago with Sally & Miki. We were in the rain forest at a retreat center and they had fresh, organic mangos. Each of us took one back to our cottage and we sat on the porch, eating our mangos. The juice dripped down our chins and our hands were sticky. YUM! We were moaning and groaning about how wonderful they tasted, a passerby might have thought we were doing something else besides eating mangos! I will never forgot how wonderful they tasted or how we laughed over the sounds of delight we made.

I have 3 different types of tomatoes growing in containers in my yard. I planted flowers in the containers, too, so they look pretty. Can't wait until I'm able to harvest!

Kris said...

There is a reason that fruits are often a symbol of sexuality! What a great story.

linda said...

Thank you for the strawberry tip! We went this AM and will be making strawberry pie this year for the parade/picnic on Sunday. So nice to see a family farm using the honor system with beautiful organic berries! We have picked for 13 years and have seen many places come and go...
I completely agree that some things just need to have a season. Just beacause you can get all year, doesn't mean it's good!