Last Sunday, we went picking the first Manitoba berries of the season with Sharm, Sahana and Sabreena. I have never gone berry picking before - preferring to go to the farm and buy the already-picked ones but this year I decided to go on the spur of the moment. Sahana has gone before with her other grandmother but Sabreena has never gone so the whole experience was a great adventure for her.
Grenkows-u-pick is about 20 minutes from my home south of the city. The farm apparently has been a u-pick farm for several years but I am only now hearing about it this year. Anyway, we went over to Sharm's house and she followed us in her vehicle to the farm which as partly on a gravel road and then on a small dirt road in the field. When we arrived, Sabreena announced that she had never driven on a dirt road and didn't think you could do that. We then got our pails and a couple of additional baskets and went off to the field. The girl at the table with the baskets asked if Hana and Breen were pickers in training and by the time they were done, I think Breen had graduated as not only a picker but an expert taster!
The two of us took one row. Sharm and Hana picked two buckets very quickly and were surprised that we were still only on our first but when you are training a young picker, it takes time. I had to find the ripe ones and hold each one so she could pick it off the bush but in a short time she could distinguish which one was over-, under-, and just right. One of them was quite a big one so when she picked it, she held it lovingly in her hand. I told her to put it in the bucket but she stood there and repeated: "Put it in the bucket?" with a tone that said: DO I really have to put this luscious berry in the basket instead of my mouth? By the time I said she could eat it, half of it was already in her mouth being devoured with great delight!! So much so that the juices were all down the front of her shirt providing the later evidence to the seller that she must have had a feast in the field.
While we were halfway done, she stood up and looked around and announced: Nani this is a beautiful day for picking strawberries! I agreed with her wholeheartedly. When we went back to the table to pay for the berries, Breen could not understand why we needed to pay for them because we were in a field picking our own berries. I said that this was like a giant strawberry store but that we could go and pick only the berries we wanted to eat. The girl at the table as her" Did you eat a few berries?” and all she could do was grin because the berry juice was down the front of her shirt and her mouth had bits of red juice all around.
It was indeed a good day made better because I was berry picking with my grandbabies.