We went to Larriland Farms in Woodbine, MD, and I highly recommend it to any locals. It is a nice 30-40 minute drive, I always enjoy getting out of the metro area to see the countryside a bit, reminds me of home in Nebraska (I know, I know.) The day we went was the first day that the raspberries and sweet cherries were available for picking. Spinach was ripe as well, but surprisingly Aliyah wasn't too interested it that crop....
We spent a good two hours picking goodies. First we hit the strawberry patch where the picking was good! I felt like a kid on a treasure hunt, every time you lifted a leaf a ruby gem was there, waiting to be plucked. The strawberries weren't the jumbo size fruit that you see at the supermarket; they were small, plump, and almost seemed like props because they were so perfect looking. Aliyah put maybe two berries in our basket, then she just started putting them in her belly :) I ended up carting away 5 1/2 pounds of strawberries, and there is a certain satisfaction in knowing that you selected each berry yourself.
Next we checked out the raspberry bushes. There weren't enough ripe berries to take home a good haul, so we just meandered the row a bit and sampled the fruit. Again, the berries just taste sweeter straight from the source, and I was very satisfied after just a few. Aliyah really enjoyed the one she tried, until she discovered the seeds. I don't blame her, most adults hate raspberry seeds too.
Our last stop was at the sweet cherry orchard, and I think the girls enjoyed this spot the most. They struggled a little with the strawberries because they had to make sure they were red and ripe, but basically all the cherries were ready to pick and the branches hung low enough for them to reach. I took home just under a pound of cherries, and Aliyah actually didn't eat any of her pickings (of course, I did tell her NOT to eat them because of the pits).
After we got home I had an immediate request for strawberry-banana smoothies and I gladly obliged. I froze about half of the strawberries. We've been having strawberry shortcake for dessert almost every night and snacking on the cherries (pits removed for my sweet pea). There are just a few fresh strawberries left, and I think they'll taste fine dipped in chocolate. Perhaps some cherries will join in!
We will definitely be returning throughout the summer to pick more fruits and veggies, I think I'm most looking forward to peach season. If any of you local ladies want to join me we'd be happy to have more picking partners.
Now I'm off to dream strawberry sweet dreams...
Until next time,