Sunday, May 2, 2010

Strawberry Fields Forever

I think that might be the longest I've gone without a post since this blog started. Sorry, readers! I don't know what got into me.

It certainly is not for lack of goodness to share. For instance: last weekend, I finally got to fulfill a lifelong desire to go strawberry picking. It was lovely! I had mentioned to Jodi Bart of Tasty Touring that I wanted to go via Twitter, and several other foodie types chimed in that they'd like to join in the fun. Next thing we knew, a group outing was being planned. Jodi generously agreed to send out the info via her Tasty Touring Facebook group, and just like that, a little strawberry posse had formed.

Chris was in a seminar on the appointed weekend and his dad Carl was visiting from Lubbock, so Carl got roped into accompanying me for the trip. We met up with the rest of the group on Saturday morning and made our way out to Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls. We were delayed for quite some time on the way out by an accident on Highway 71, but when we finally arrived, this is what greeted us:


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Stop here first to pick up a picking basket for $.50. After that, whatever strawberries you pick are $2.75/lb. No entrance fees, parking fees, etc. Note that they do not weigh you before you start picking!

The fields were lush with gorgeous, ripe strawberries. There were rows and rows of plants, and gently pushing back the leaves between the plants would reveal a bounty of the juicy red gems.

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Before too long, Carl and I had two boxes full of strawberries. This was actually the less-full of the two boxes! They tell you that a level box of strawberries will run you about $16; our two boxes cost around $25.

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Aren't they gorgeous?

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Before we headed out, we had to indulge in some of Sweet Berry Farm's homemade ice cream. They have pumpkin, vanilla, strawberry, and berry-berry (a combination of strawberries and blackberries, which you can also pick there from May-June). We tried the strawberry and the berry-berry. Both were fantastic, but I preferred the berry-berry because of the nice texture that the blackberry seeds imparted to the creamy treat.

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If you'd like to make a day trip out of this, there are several other fun places to visit in the area. We stopped at Spicewood Vineyards for a wine tasting (just $2 to taste six wines, and the generous cheese/cured meat plate was $13):

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Then we wandered through this really neat shop specializing in unusual cacti and succulents, Spicewood Spines. I am a sucker for funky and easy-to-care-for plants, and came away with three fun little guys.

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This was such a nice way to spend a gorgeous spring day! Big thanks to Jodi for making this happen, and to Carl for being game to join me on this trip!

15 comments:

  1. Those berries look amazing! Makes me want pie... or shortcake...

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  2. So glad you made it out there - isn't it great? Love those endless fields of juicy bright red gems. Glad you had nice weather than we did, although on the bright side, the mud added a certain sense of adventure to our trip too. : ) Mia

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  3. Actually, Mia, it was still really muddy when we were there, and there were pools of water in some spots that we had to wade through. I had worn shoes that could dive right in, but Carl had to take off his tennis shoes and roll his jeans up. I think he kind of enjoyed it, though!

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  4. I had strawberry shortcake for dessert-before-lunch today. Summer's on the way! (90 degrees and humid is another indicator)

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  5. I would have eaten myself sick on strawberries there. Yum!

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  6. Optimista, please write a post about what you made with all those luscious berries. I slice fresh strawberries, sprinkle them with sugar, and then eat them atop yogurt. Yum--but I couldn't eat a whole basket that way. Share! -zia

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  7. Those strawberries look delectable but I want the cacti. I may have to make a trip to check that place out!

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  8. Those strawberries look so juicy!!! I have always wondered about Spicewood Spines when we drive by there. I'll have to check it out next time I'm out there.

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  9. Those 3 little plants are easy to care for? They look complicatedly unique. (I do not have a green thumb so laymen's POV over here)

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  10. Zia, thanks for asking! I made two strawberry pies and covered some with salted caramel...if I can get it together, I will post about both of these adventures very soon!

    Shelley, I loved Spicewood Spines. It was almost like a little cactus/succulent museum! I should also mention that at Pecan Street Festival last weekend, there was a vendor there that had some similar cactus/succulents, and their prices were actually cheaper than the ones at Spicewood Spines. I am not sure, but I THINK it was these guys: http://www.eastaustinsucculents.com/

    Linda, YES! Cacti and succulents need very little water or TLC of any kind...just make sure they have well-drained soil and sufficient light, and you are good to go.

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  11. Michelle - It was great to see you. Thanks for making this field trip happen!

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  12. I love strawberry-picking! And, I'm glad to hear you took advantage of the other fun places on Hwy 71. Looking forward to your posts about what you make with the strawberries.

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  13. Zia and I drove out to Sweet Berry this morning, thanks to you. It was great! I'm definitely going back for the blackberries in a couple of weeks.

    photos here: http://bit.ly/92b2uL

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  14. Oh Mixette, I'm so excited that you and Zia got to go and enjoyed it! Your photos are great. I didn't get over to see the animals in the petting zoo, and now I wish I had! Next time...

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  15. What a delightful day trip! I love Sweet Berry but I've never stopped by Spicewood Vineyards. Sounds like a perfect ending to a wonderful day!

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