Behind the Curtain: Summer Food

Carrying on a Strawberry Tradition


When I was a child, my grandfather had a very large garden. He had been a farmer before entering retirement and afterwards he shared this pleasure with his grandchildren by teaching us about gardening. I can remember him teaching my brother and me about the depth a seed is planted and how far apart to plant seeds. I also remember sneaking into my grandfather’s garden to pick sweet peas and later him telling us, “I saw two rabbits in my garden earlier.” We would giggle, knowing my brother and I were the rabbits.

Every year, besides helping my grandfather with his vegetable garden, he would also take us on a trip to pick strawberries (See the picture above of me and our strawberries in July 1988). It was a drive to go to a big strawberry farm and I remember him taking a lot of gravel back roads to get to the farm he liked. My mother would go on occasion but some of my first memories are just my grandfather, my brother, and me picking (and sneakily eating) fresh summer strawberries. These sweet memories definitely flavor my longing for the fresh, red fruit.

I am continuing my grandfather’s tradition by going to pick strawberries with my daughter. This year (see picture above) I was able to take her to a local strawberry farm with one of her friends and together we picked about a full flat of strawberries! My daughter doesn’t remember the first time she went strawberry picking (see picture to the right, June 2014) so I hope this time will be a fond memory for her. The berries are just as sweet as I remember, though I swear they were bigger when I was a child.