This year our schedule didn't work out with our friends who have picked with us in the past, so MC and I went pretty early on a cloudy, cool morning; we practically had the patch to ourselves!
pre-picking photo op
Earlier in the week, the weather had been gorgeous, so the patch was more picked over than it has been in years past. We still got a ton of great berries; we just had to work a little harder to find them! #firstworldproblems
The strawberry season here has been open for about a week, which is a week or so earlier than usual, so I asked one of the ladies working the check-out station how much longer she thought this year's season would last. She said we'd get at least 4-6 more weeks of berries, barring any crazy weather events - hail or freeze. I'd noticed that the strawberry plants were loaded with white flowers, and she said the white flowers were strawberries in 4 weeks, so it looks like we'll have a really nice long season this year.
We picked for about an hour and ended up with just under 10 pounds of fresh berries. It was a little more challenging than I expected to be almost 6 months pregnant and trying to bend and reach to pick berries. But we weren't in a hurry and the cool-ish weather made it really nice, so we just took our time and worked slowly down the row.
MC picked a few berries, and when she got bored with that she entertained herself by running up and down the rows, looking for ladybugs, and eating her weight in fresh strawberries.
post-picking photo op
When we got home, she helped me clean and cut berries. We made an angel food cake and then topped it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. So yummy! BD cleaned and cut the remaining berries for us later that night. I saved about 2 pounds in the fridge - some for us to eat fresh and some to make our favorite strawberry cake (recipe) - and the rest went in the freezer.
Edited to Add: We did arrange to go back to the strawberry patch with our friends a few weeks after MC's and my original trip. I am so glad we didn't miss it this year; these girls have been picking strawberries together now for 3 years in a row!
We didn't pick quite as many berries during our second trip, but we did pick plenty enough to make a batch of strawberry muffins. I sent this picture to BD on the day we baked them as proof that they really got made because they were so yummy I thought MC and I might eat them all before he got home from work that day! Spoiler alert: We didn't eat them all, but between the two of us we ate SEVEN in one day!! Whoops.