Monday, June 6, 2011

Berries of Blue ~ Fun in the Summer Sun Link-Up!

Welcome to the 1st of our Fun in the Summer Fun event! Each Monday until September 7th Mama to 4 Blessings along with
 Adventures of Mommydom,
 Sweet Diva,
Harvest Moon By Hand, and
Sweet Phenomena
will be hosting Fun in the Summer Fun link up events.
Here's the line up:
The 1st Monday of each month: link up your "Kid friendly summer activities"
The 2nd Monday of each month: link up your "Kid friendly summer crafts"
The 3rd Monday of each month: link up your "Kid friendly summer recipes"
The 4th Monday of each month: link up your "How to stay cool in the summer heat"
Here's our family's  "Kid friendly summer activity"

Berries of Blue.....

Some of the best things about the summertime are the delightful natural gifts God has given for us to delight our taste buds with!  Every year, I think about taking my kids blueberry picking, but have waited too long and missed the short season before I know it!  Recently, when a ♥sweet friend♥ sent an email out with the location she frequents, I decided that THIS year, we wouldn't miss the opportunity!

My kids already have a great appreciation for fresh-from-the-garden, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, so I had no doubts at all that they would be all for it.  We have taken trips in the past to local organic produce farms and that "fresh-picked" taste is one that is easy to get accustomed to. ; )  There's also something about meeting the people that grow the food, talking to them and then choosing and/or picking your own items fresh from the Earth that tends to inspire a sense of wonder and appreciation not only for the food, but for the goodness and the wisdom of our God who created it for us. =)

I highly encourage you to check out what's growing in YOUR local community, get out.....and get picking!  To find local farms in your area, try visiting Local Harvest ~ a great site that should get you on your way......or ask around!  Your friends are often your best source for recommendations! 

If mine were younger, I would have pulled out our copy of Blueberries for Sal  by Robert McClosky and read it to them the night before.  But they're hoo.  Just suggesting it for you in case yours are of the many great books we discovered when we were learning with Five in a Row

On the morning of our recent trip to the blueberry farm, everyone was up bright and early ~ eagerly anticipating the rewards of our soon-to-come "labor".....water bottles packed, smiles in place.....

If you have a bit of a drive to get there and you're a super (ahem) cool (cough) mom like me ; ), take along your favorite new CD, turn it up really loud, and rock out on the way while educating your children on what good music is! ; ) { I don't worry about embarrassing them.....I've learned that as long as they don't know the other people driving around us, they're totally ok with their mom having a dance party in the vehicle. They even love me for my weirdness. ♥ As long as I act normal when their friends are around and within a block or so of church, it's all good! ; ) }

If you're local to my area, we went to:
Dowless Blueberry Farm
7010 Ricker Rd 32244

Bucket ready, all smiles!

Rows and rows of beautiful blueberries!  You pay for what goes into the bucket.....what misses the bucket and lands in your mouth instead is free ; )

Jacob was the most productive picker of the 3.....

These 2 spent more time sampling than collecting ; )

"Mom, I keep trying not to eat them, but I just can't help it!  They're so good!"

If you teach them from the time they're born to give thanks for all things, if you express wonder and gratitude for the creativity, thoughtfulness and wisdom that our Lord put into all the gifts He's given, perhaps you'll hear your kids making these types of comments along the way.....

"It's so cool how God made so MANY things for us to enjoy!  I mean, he could have just made ONE kind of food and we'd have to eat the same thing all the time.....but we have SO MANY things!" ~ Ashlyn, with a side note, "I'm sure glad He gave us taste buds!"

"I'm so glad God made these blueberries for us.  I guess He knew how much we'd enjoy them.....and they're really good for us, too!" ~ Robert

Two brothers, who were literally at each other's throats the day before, happily working side by side & commenting on the goodness of God in between mouthfuls of berries.  Boys who will be men before I know it, foraging for food. ; )

Tongue check!! (Not as blue as I expected them to be!)

The results of just under an hour's worth of picking (plus another 1/4 of a bucket) was starting to get hotter, more humid and the bugs were waking up.  Those factors started to lead to some mild complaints (plus the fact that they want to go back again next week with some friends) told me this party was over ~ because when the whining starts, the fun stops as far as I'm concerned! ; )

The weigh-in.....we left with lots of berries and a flat of those home-grown tomatoes in the back (oh, the difference home-grown makes!)  =)

As we pulled out of the parking area and onto the street, two of my kids said, "Thanks, Mom, for bringing us.....that was really fun" while the other one quickly chimed in with, "Yeah, you're awesome. You always think of really fun things to do.....I can't wait to go back"!

And so, I encourage YOU to get outside with your kids and discover what fresh, local flavors YOUR community has to offer this summer!  Good summer memories don't come just from vacations or expensive theme parks.....some of the best ones come from the little things that don't cost a lot of money, but instead your time, effort and energy.  That's my theory, and I'm sticking to it!  All the proof I need is in the laughter and smiles, the compatibility of working together, the conversations had and overheard, blue-tinted tongues and little blue chunks stuck in their teeth. ; )  Oh, and I'll admit the "thank you's" and "you're awesome" don't hurt, either. ; )

Join the Fun in the Summer Sun and link-up your kid-friendly summer activity below.....I can't wait to read about it!  Oh, and while you're here....please leave a comment for me so I know you stopped by!


Ticia said...

We missed berry picking around here this year. It's in March, and there was other stuff going on. Looks like ya'll had a fun time!

EastCoastMommy said...

Stopping by to "link up" my Super Summer Checklist.

Happy Summer!!!!

Kristi said...

That looks like so much fun!! I'll have to see when the berry picking season is around here and see about getting out there. ;-)

Stopping by from the HHH and following you!

Becky said...

Awesome! Thanks for coming by my site and letting me know about this link party. I'll definitely be here next week!! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for inviting me to come and link up. I love that your blog is so positive and thankful. It's not always easy.

Crystal said...

Thanks for the invite.

Can you delete number 20 for me? I mislabeled it. :(

5ennie said...

I have renewed my love for blueberries (picked up & ate too many in my childhood), and can't wait for Maine blueberry season. Yum!
Here from the Hop!

Brandy said...

Posted a link to our summer lessons. Lots of ideas for educational/fun activities this summer.