It’s strawberry season in California.
Or, at least that’s what California wants us suckers in Colorado to think.
So far, the strawberries Safeway and King Soopers are selling us in plastic quart containers are mushy and half-red and not at all sweet. I’m certain they ripened in the back of a tractor trailer.
I’m craving some Columbia County berries from the fields of my childhood.
Michael and I have wonderful baby- and childhood memories of berry-picking with our Mimi and momma. We’d each carry around a small container — my mother a large metal pail that once belonged to Mimi — just for picking. When we arrived at whatever patch struck our fancy on a particular Thursday or Monday or Tuesday (all the days were the same in late spring and early summer — sunshine and swimming and playing) we’d get our pails weighed and get to picking.
I loved the smell of warm berries and their leaves in the field. There is NOTHING like the taste of a strawberry that’s ripened on the vine in a big wide field.
The last time I picked was the week before I moved to Denver. We were at Queechy enjoying July and our last bits of home before taking a huge leap and big adventure. My mother was making shortcake and needed us to get her some berries. Pick we did–on Route 9 in Valatie at Yonder Farms.