Strawberry picking is synonymous with summer for me. We are so fortunate to have a wonderful Pick Your Own farm just down the road from us, and between June and October, we will head there now and again to restock our larder with fresh produce.
It's not just the fact that they grow their produce organically that draws me back time and time again, but its the whole experience... the recognition for the children that food doesn't just land on their plates... that someone has planted it, cultivated it, picked it, delivered it, cooked it. And when they can be part of that process, learning is much more organic (excuse the pun). They are experiencing it first hand, and any teacher will tell you, first hand experience is where the best kind of learning takes place.
And so, last week, while David tackled the final bits of paintwork in our extension (I'm hoping to put a post together with a few photos later this week - I know a lot of you have been asking!), the children and I headed to the pick your own farm with some dear friends, and headed straight for the strawberry fields.
They had only just opened for the summer, and those little rows were ripe for picking!
I'm not sure what it is, but there is something so incredibly rewarding about getting down on your knees, hands grubby with soil, picking out bright red, fresh, juicy strawberries. Ripe and ready for our picnic lunch afterwards! There were a lot of full little tummies by the end!
We came home laden with three punnets full, and very happy children!
Over the next few weeks the farm will open up more and more produce for picking - broad beans and brocolli, cabbages and carrots, spinach and sugar snap peas, and I'm planning a few more return visits for my little crew... lots of opportunity to query and question and learn.
Strawberry picking was bliss... and the best bit?
It means that summer is here!