It’s pick-your-own season and we kicked it off with a trip to Fishkill Farms for their last weekend of strawberry picking. There is something that is so very special about u-pick farms. They are set up to be very family friendly because what kid (or adult for that matter) doesn’t love running up and down patches of yummy edibles that you can pick and eat on the spot (even though you aren’t supposed to do too much of that)? Fishkill Farms is otherwise a very large working farm that grows and sells produce to stores so they section off areas for u-pickers.
This year the farm has added pick-your-own veges to their selection, carefully creating rows just for guests to pick. Their sugar snap peas were ready for pickin’ but we have our own in our garden. Instead we took a look at the lovely display of rows of peas (orders of magnitude larger than our trellis) and chatted with the sweet young woman who was overseeing that section. She pointed out the rows of bush beans and tomatoes that will eventually be ready to pick-your-own. We plan to go back to pick blueberries and peaches when they are ripe so we will investigate how their tomatoes and beans compare to ours ☺.
The fall is the busiest time for most pick-your-own farms because of the enticement of crisp apples and welcoming pumpkin patches. However, there are many delicious fruits to be had and fun to be had in the summer months while picking them on sultry days with friends and family. Sunscreen and hats are definitely required on the wide-open-to-the-sun fields of glory. And the fields are indeed glorious—with sweeping views of the Hudson Valley, there is true magic in picking-your-own fruit warmed from the sun. And of course there is the reward when you get home of enjoying the freshest fruit imaginable, perhaps with a little—or a lot—of fresh whipped cream!
By Léonie Adams
Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood,
And top with silver petals traced
Like a strict box its gems encased,
Has spilt from out that cunning lid,
All in an innocent green round,
Those melting rubies which it hid;
With moss ripe-strawberry-encrusted,
So birds get half, and minds lapse merry
To taste that deep-red, lark’s-bite berry,
And blackcap bloom is yellow-dusted.
The wren that thieved it in the eaves
A trailer of the rose could catch
To her poor droopy sloven thatch,
And side by side with the wren’s brood—
O lovely time of beggar’s luck—
Opens the quaint and hairy bud;
And full and golden is the yield
Of cows that never have to house,
But all night nibble under boughs,
Or cool their sides in the moist field.
Into the rooms flow meadow airs,
The warm farm baking smell’s blown round.
Inside and out, and sky and ground
Are much the same; the wishing star,
Hesperus, kind and early born,
Is risen only finger-far;
All stars stand close in summer air,
And tremble, and look mild as amber;
When wicks are lighted in the chamber,
They are like stars which settled there.
Now straightening from the flowery hay,
Down the still light the mowers look,
Or turn, because their dreaming shook,
And they waked half to other days,
When left alone in the yellow stubble
The rusty-coated mare would graze.
Yet thick the lazy dreams are born,
Another thought can come to mind,
But like the shivering of the wind,
Morning and evening in the corn.