"We did it, yeaaaaaa we did it!" It's official, I/we had been watching so much Dora The Explorer, that, said theme song was making its way into my blog. We needed an intervention STAT.
Strawberry picking at Farms View Roadstand to the rescue! Farms View, a working produce farm in Wayne, (Passaic, NJ) is located off Rt 202. I suggest arriving bright and early when day picking begins -- 9 am, like we did; it just ensures you get the ripest bestest strawberries of the day and nothing will be picked over. The farm is totally free to visit; you only pay for what you pick. Love this concept.
Added bonus #1 to arriving early? Kiddos, like mine, who love big machines, will get to see the farm workers driving around in tractors collecting produce for the Farms View market. Shep loved pointing to the tractors and waving "hi" to the busy farmers. It was seriously a thrill for him. Added bonus #2? Since we were the first and only ones on the farm we were able to scope out the lay of the land and run free in the fields. Never a bad thing to blow off some steam.
Shep loves strawberries (I seriously question anyone who doesn't swoon over them) but I wasn't sure how he would do at this new adventure. I mean, this was technically the first thing we were checking off of our Make It Memorable summer hit list. Would we be able to conquer it?! I wondered, would my two-year-old understand what we were actually doing? Would get the "picking" concept or would he just try to eat all the berries?
Guys! He got it! He sooooo got it and it made my day. Last fall we went apple picking but strawberry picking was way more hands on for him. The berries were just the right size for his little hands. I told him to "pick pick pick" and said/pointed to "RED" as I showed him how to pull off the first few, little ripe ones. Shep followed my lead (!) and aside from a few gung-ho-let's-go-crazy picks here and there (after all, he is a toddler), my guy picked lots of winners. I watched as Shep and his friend Jack meticulously roamed and combed through the fields reaching for ripe berries and tossing them into the box (**boxes are given to you when you arrive at the farm, don't worry about bringing anything to collect the berries in**).
My mini me didn't want to stop picking but I knew we had more than enough strawberries to last us many-a-morning fruit bowls, homemade muffins and even a bunch for grandma and grandpa. Alas, it was time to head home. We had picked berries and traipsed around for an hour in the morning summer sun. Finally, on our way out of the fields -- I bribed Shep with added bonus #3...the allure of the animals Farms View has on hand: cows, ducks, peacock, bunnies, goats...and I showed him he could actually eat these adorable red berries...
Uh oh, my bad. Now my little rascal couldn't stop shoving berries into his mouth. Oh well, what's a mama to do? He was having fun so I let him stuff his face and I gave the cashier a few extra dollars for the berries we ate along the way.
This was a great adventure for my mini and me. So much so that we are going back next week. I mean we already ate all our $14 worth of strawberries! Farms View isn't the only local farm within 45 mins of NYC but it was perfect for us that day. We smiled a lot and had FUN, and that's what matters most of all on days with my Sheppiedoodle.