Organic Pick-Your-Own Farms

A large windmill spun overhead as we pulled in past the gate. Parking our van we quickly spied over the metal bar fence. Picnic tables adorned the lawn to the side of a large red barn. Nestled on the barn’s porch were white rocking chairs and a table with a box of freshly pulled garlic stalks resting in it.

Paula took some of the family to ask about the process at this farm. I followed up with some equipment and water.

“There’s a ‘train’ that picks up here and takes us to the berries.”, she said.

We didn’t wait long when a green John Deer tractor pulled up with a large red and white bench seat wagon rolling behind. The driver showed us where to pick the red currents and where to pick the black raspberries then slowed to a stop to let us out.

We spent some time picking currents. After pulling together two pints worth, we began picking the raspberries. The combination of mid-90 degree heat and thorny bushes was difficult for the children to bear so they headed back to the barn for shade when the next ‘train’ came by. “Get the black ones!” cried out the driver over the tractor engine. I nodded as she pointed in an area “These are more ripe here!” she called out again.

I continued to pick berries for some time longer before heading back to the barn area myself. My girls picked flowers and dug up carrots during that time. Once we were all together again we drank water and sat on the shaded porch in rocking chairs. Then Claudia came by.

Claudia and Tim are the owners of Berry Patch Farm. Her tan face and energetic smile display a level of passion she has for her farm. She kindly answered questions Paula had about organic farming. She mentioned that the Colorado State University was invaluable as a resource – that the university even takes classes to her farm to study organic farming techniques in practice. She talked some about the expenses related to this type of farming, but also related the benefits to it.

A few minutes later we were joined by Tim. He waved to us as he stepped off the tractor. A few minutes later he was showing the children a medium sized rock that had been split by lightning.

When I asked if I could get a picture of him and his wife together he asked if I were from the media. “No”, I replied, “but it might end up on my blog, though nobody really reads it.” He and Claudia looked at each other and chuckled.

“A few weeks ago we were visited by some Microsoft bloggers. They called ahead and made arrangements then took some nice pictures, too.” He was talking about the Eco-Trippers who were making a journey from San Francisco to D.C. for the “Live Earth” concert and stopped by on the way.

We perused the barn some more. They have a variety of fresh vegetables of course, but they also have honey, eggs and some great tasting almost-natural candy. It isn’t quite completely natural since it uses non-organic corn syrup amongst some other purist taboo ingredients. One of the girls and I went out and picked some fresh basil then checked out.

That night we had a fantastic Margaretta pizza with the basil. As for the currents and raspberries, I plan to make some fantastic jelly with them. The rest of the family can hardly wait.

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