One of our most favorites things to do in the summer is to pick berries….blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Strawberries ripen first. Today was our first strawberry picking day of the summer. We plan to go out again! The patches open based on the ripening of the berries, then close due to weather or being picked out for the day. So the biggest piece of advice I can give about strawberry picking with two young kids, is to call ahead to make sure there are enough berries to pick and that they are open. Other piece of advice…have the kids wear red. Not only does it look really nice in pictures (all matchy matchy with the juicy red berries), but when your kids taste test and inevitably drip, it’s not so obvious! Today’s berry picking was rather impromptu, so I didn’t follow my own advice. Berry stains! Oh well! Our favorite patch is Bure’s Berry Patch in Barneveld. This is a large patch and the berries are always delicious. It’s such a kid-friendly patch as well….nobody is uptight about the kids taste testing or accidentally walking over a plant. Today, we picked at Berry Hill in the Town of Middleton. This is also a nice patch, although it is small. Last year’s berries were teeny, most likely due to the drought, but today’s berries were huge, very flavorful and plentiful. We picked for 15 minutes and left with a half flat. We would have stayed longer except somebody had to go potty! We barely moved in the row we were in, the berries were everywhere and so easy to pick! We ate a ton of berries the rest of the day, then made jam. I always make a strawberry rhubarb pie or two as well…I’ll save that recipe for another blog post! Hulafrog has a good little directory of local berry farms in case one of these two doesn’t work for you. Check it out here.