We’ve gotten back into the Mama Camp swing of things now that we’ve recovered from the plague, so it was back to the farm for our CSA. Remembering our lesson learned last week, Pkin wore leggings so as to avoid an unwanted weed contact with her bare legs. Of course, we were in different fields this week, so they may not have actually been necessary (but just in case).
It was, thankfully, a gorgeous day — mid 70s and sunny with a gentle breeze. And did I mention sunny. Yeah — this week’s lesson: wear a hat or sunscreen (or both). Of course, I already knew that…
Pkin was super engaged and involved this week. She was even OK with needing to walk a bit more than usual. We started by picking purple plums. OK, to be more accurate, she stood where she had a full view of the tree and sent me on missions to retrieve the particularly ripe ones she spotted. I think she may have ventured in a foot or two and grabbed one at one point. Maybe.
As we walked back to the farm store, we saw that the hayride to the blueberry field was leaving about 5 minutes early. As might be expected, this stressed Pkin out. She repeatedly demanded that I explain why he (the driver) would leave early. After several different variations on explanations, I hit on the one that worked: Maybe his watch was set a few minutes ahead of my phone. Can’t argue with that — technology can be that way (and that also meant that neither we nor the driver was at fault. Blame is a really big deal right now and whoever is to blame gets to hear about it for a good while. Lucky for Mr. Farmer I had his back!)
After a good bit of wandering around the blueberry fields to find ripe ones (and, eventually, getting some of those into our container rather than into Pkin), we hopped the hayride back to the farm store and headed up the hill for black raspberries. Now, we’ve walked down the hill after picking many times, but haven’t walked up before. Pkin had to make very certain that it was entirely OK for us to do this. She is not a rebel. Once she was sure, then she needed to whine about the walk a bit. I offered to drive up instead, but she was quite confident that this was not acceptable behavior and, as I said, she is not a rebel. We walked and there was no complaining.
For anyone who has never had black raspberries, trust me when I say to you that if 1 in every 3 actually gets into a container rather than a mouth, you are achieving great odds. We were no exception. Pkin adores black raspberries. When we first found the farm a couple years ago, it was because a friend posted on Facebook that she was going to go pick some. I had never heard of them and assumed, wrongly, that it was actually just some East coast way of saying “blackberries.” It isn’t. They are black raspberries. And they are awesome.
The first time we picked a few years back, DH and I kept reminding Pkin that she needed to put some into the bucket. She looked at us, cocked her hip, pointed at her mouth, and said, “This IS my bucket.” She may have gotten older since then, but that just means her bucket is bigger. The evidence is clear below (and yes, that is black raspberry juice on her forehead).
We topped off all the picking with a trip to the sluice and a bit of panning for gems (the farm store sells bags of dirt stocked with gems, emeralds, or fossils). This is, besides eating things she’s picking, Pkin’s favorite activity at the farm. We have several little bags full of colorful stones strewn about the house. Pkin suggested we make jewelry out of them. I have not yet actually done that, but it seems like a good plan for a future Mama Camp project (especially if I can accidentally get her to learn a bit more about geology as a result). Look for wire-wrapped jewelry coming to an arts market (or website or Etsy store) near you!