Olallieberries U-pick, or Me-pick, rather
by Pim under SF Bay Area, Travel with 11 Comments
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
(If you are reading this post on a RSS reader, you might want to click through to Chez Pim for the slideshow.
This is the tail end of Olallieberry season in Northern California, so when my friends Beccy and Sean asked me to join them to pick olaillieberries at a farm just north of us on the coast highway, I jumped at the chance.
Have you had olallieberries? If not, you really should try. I love them. I mean, how could you not love a berry whose name is pronounced oh-la-la berries. Ok, some people say oh-la-lee berries, but I much prefer saying oh-la-la. Makes me happy just saying the name. It’s a cross between something called Loganberry and youngberry. Don’t look at me, I am just clueless at this as you are. Go check out Wikipedia yourself.
We drove up the gorgeous coast from Santa Cruz, and just twenty
minutes later we arrived at Swanton berry farm, right off the
Highway 1, with the ocean shimmering just over there. The farm happily
provides a fleet of Radio Flyers and wooden boxes with wood and wire
carriers for the berry pickers’ convenience. The basic rule is, you
pick just as many as you’d like – what you eat while picking is fair
game and doesn’t count – and then take the basket to weigh and pay on
the way out. Quite civilized, really.
This was my first time picking berries at one of these U-pick farms
that are everywhere around here. I actually wasn’t as bad at it
as I had feared. I even had fun doing it – though I felt my city girl
cred slipping away with every berry I picked.
What did I think of the entire experience? Let me sum it up for you
this way, u-pick berries, especially the ones you pick from thorny
brambles like these, are like moments of contemplative meditation -
going from one tangle of brambles to another with your eyes (and your mind) finely tuned to the
force to find the ripest berries – punctuated by loud, startled cries
of intense pain. The brambles didn’t let us pick the berries off them
lying down, they put up a fight. Ouch. Did they ever put up a fight!
Now I have five pounds of olaillieberries I have to figure out what to do with. Stay tuned.