If I needed another reason to love my hometown it would be this:
The kids and I stopped by Mill Creek Farms the other day to pick strawberries. We've done this a few times before when they were little, but we missed the last few years and just barely made it in time for this year as their strawberry crop is about finished for the season.
We all had a great time picking our own strawberries and learning a lot long the way.
Owner Theresa Roegge, whom we call Miss Theresa, came to join us. We learned all sorts of things as we picked strawberries, moseyed through the asparagus patch and walked the kale line.
We learned that the asparagus plants that produce the berry-looking seed are female and shouldn't be picked as hard. When 75 percent of the plants are pencil thin, it's time to stop picking. And for every year of the asparagus's life, you can pick for a week — up to four weeks. (Year 1 = 1 week)
Oh, and that strawberries taste best when eaten straight from the plant and that asparagus tickles.
We asked important questions like "Why are crop dusters yellow?"
While picking kale we were told to look for the bigger curly leaves and a plant called purslane is actually not only edible, but also extremely good for you. With high levels of Omega 3 and all the vitamins, it's a great "weed" to throw in a salad!
We are steadily getting through our summer to-do list and learning a lot along the way. Working hard and reaping the benefits of our labors. The kids had a blast, and all tried the fruits of their labor.
This farm-to-table was an experience I would recommend to all.
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.