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Jul 23, 2010

kinderGARDENS Week 15 - Children are workin' the fields!

Inadvertent Farmer

Ha! That means it must be blueberry season! I am certainly not one to waste such great child labor - laws, schmaws...

The heat and humidity has been relentless for close to 2 months now, no relief in sight. Our own garden is suffering horribly, and the insects have all but taken over since we aren't out there doing battle until after 7 pm most days. I think I had 20 mosquito bites the other night while trying to tie up tomato plants!

We had planned to go blueberry picking this morning, and heat or not, I was determined to get those berries. It was already 92 degrees when we pulled into the berry farm at 8:45 am! The place was packed, most likely everyone with the same idea - it was scheduled to be triple digits by noon.

The crowd was only in their parking area, however. Once out in the field, there are acres to spread out in, everyone seemed to have their own row of paradise!

The lil' chilluns' are just the right height to get the best ones!

Loch gets one berry and then swears there are better ones... down there! The seasons could change again before he fills half a bucket!

Finn has a scowl in every picture today, he absolutely hates the heat and hates sweating! Loch is the one who yells out "all right!" when the weatherman says temps will be 109-110 this Sat & Sun... ugh!

It's actually a photo of me, I can't believe it. I asked Loch to take a pic showing how tall our Southern Highbush Blueberries really get! Don't worry, northerners... although the size is impressive, taste does not always follow suit - I absolutely love Northern lowbush and wild blueberries and would pick them over these. Not to say that these are bad, they're quite good - but it's a taste thing - Southern taste sweeter to me and the Northern have a more berry-like pucker to them, which I prefer.

More berries...

They are DONE, wanna go hooooome! No time outs in the berry patch today, I was too hot to discipline, I wanted to throw a good tantrum too...

Finn still scowling...

I let Loch pay for the berries, then we hopped across the dirt road to their produce stand. Finn got some math practice in by counting out a dozen ears and paying the farmer. Very lucky today, the farmer himself was cooling off in the shade and talked to the boys a bit about how this corn was sweeter and a different color than the stuff he was going to harvest in a couple of weeks. I'm happier with the education this old guy was giving my kids than the school system! Forget the SOL's... I'm taking my kids to farm! Finn got to count out 3 dollars, that was his first time handling money. On the ride home we all talked about how it's always better for the farmer, the food, and the family to buy our produce as close to the spot where it came out of the ground as possible. They get it, and that's a great feeling!

Home with the day's harvest (tomatoes are ours). We'll have to go back for more berries on another day when it's a little cooler. On the agenda for this afternoon, kids shucking corn, freezing blueberries, and headed to the community pool for a floatie-toy party in the evening! I am sure some of you are frustrated by the way pool toys are sold everywhere but they are never allowed in pools? Our YMCA lets kids bring pool toys every Friday night, yay!

I hope to post a link to my favorite recipe for blueberry muffins with a streusel topping later this weekend when I get a chance to make them!

Kim at The Inadvertent Farmer is host to the kinderGARDENS contest. Check her blog for links to other participants ways of getting the kids into the garden. This week's post on her blog is by a guest author who writes about designing a garden with kids in mind, check it out!


  1. Blueberry picking should be fun. The boys look happier once back inside - where I assume it's air conditioned. Heat gives me tantrums too. :>)

    Great pics!

  2. Blueberry picking! How fun! I love the picture of Finn scowling! That would be my expression on my face in this heat too!

  3. Ohhh you made me hot just reading your post. Tell you guys 'great job' in spite the the heat.

    We love blueberries...so much that we have over 30 bushes. Yet we never seem to have enough to freeze thanks to all my brood eating them right off the bushes!

    Have a good (if not hot) weekend...Kim

  4. Just did a post showing off (not) my blueberry bushes . . . which was prompted by the pictures of the bushes you picked from this morning.

    I would have been standing right next to Finn with the identical expression on my face in that heat. UGH!

  5. The boys did a great job picking blueberries! I think that Loch did a great job taking that picture...love your blue bra!! You look just like me from behind! Your probably a little taller though!

  6. Conny, yes... a/c inside!

    meemsnyc, Finn's expressions are priceless, LOL... he sure doesn't hide anything!

    Kim, 30 bushes? Wow!

    Robin, LOL... the blue bra is actually a swimsuit! I always wear these loose tank dresses now that it's so hot but I can't seem to get on the bandwagon of having your undergarments showing all over the place, so now I just wear a swimsuit top then I'm ready for the sprinkler after LOL! And I am SHORT! 5'2! (almost :))

    Mama Pea, the heat was terrible! To top it off, I had promised the kids they could go to the outdoor pool at the "Y" tonight but with all the humidity and heat of course there was random lightning and sprinkles so they closed the pool just as we got there. Finn's face again: not happy! I let them have popsicles instead at home and promised another day. I'm going to hop over now and see your blueberry bushes!

  7. Hurray for child labor. I'm a firm believer myself! The blueberries look great. We had a total of 1 blueberry from our bushes. Of course, we just planted them. We're up to 4 now, so maybe next year we'll have a handfull to eat.
    It's great the boys got to talk to the farmer. That kind of knowledge is priceless!

  8. The heat and humidity makes everyone unhappy. I'm tempted to send your kids those little neck kerchief things with the water-absorbing crystals in them that are like little wearable AC units. I did get to pick blueberries in TN last week, and they should hit CA tomorrow in my sister's luggage.

  9. Our little bushes just don't want to grow at all, so I went to a local u-pick this year also. The skeeters must have hopped from our patch to yours! We were all slap-happy!