Well, it’s finally that time of year! The berry harvest has begun and things are up and running on the farm! We’ve got a whole mess of pickers out in the fields doing their thing, and the crates of berries are rolling in one by one. Taylor told me that the crew picked 25,000 pounds on the first day. Can you believe that!? The scale of fruit that is harvested every year never fails to blow my mind.
The way our harvest goes most years is: handpicked blueberries, machine picked blackberries (by variety) and machine picked blueberries. The Black Diamond blackberries ripen earlier than the rest, so those go first, and then there’s usually quite a few pickings. Each picking is basically one time through the fields, which can take a few days due to the large acreage. Even though it means Taylor is gone most nights late into the night, there’s just something magical about seeing those big old machines out there doing their thing while the rest of the world sleeps. Farming is amazing!
Our farm also has a small U-Pick section available every year through Willamette Valley Pie Co., with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, and grows a large amount of grass seed which is harvested later on in the summer. This year we’ve also got some spinach and in the fall, hazelnuts, but Taylor is focused mostly on berries so I tend to focus on them too. Plus berries tend to taste a little better than grass seed. Ha!
This time of year the farmers are totally nose to the grindstone and don’t really have time to stop and marvel at their work, but growing and harvesting this gigantic amount of really delicious and healthy food is pretty darn cool.
Each year we do our best to be “ready” for harvest season, and each year, despite the planning and anticipation, it still feels a bit like jumping in a cold lake. There’s just really no way to prepare for your family dynamic changing so drastically. Emmett and I are doing our best to support Taylor, trying to be intentional about visiting him at work, and keeping things running smoothly on the homefront while he’s away. But to be perfectly honest, it’s hard! I love this life so much and believe so much in the way we are choosing to live, but it’s always a tough season for us all and I think it’s okay to acknowledge that.
The last few days I’ve done a lot of reflecting and contemplating how we can do our best through this busy time, and honestly I think it’s just a matter of throwing our expectations out the window and doing our best. Taking it one day at a time, trying to slow things down and cut things out that feel overwhelming. Sometimes I feel guilty about going at the pace that feels right to me, because honestly it’s pretty countercultural. Moms especially are supposed to be everything and do everything these days. But really, if all we do in a day is manage a bike ride to the farm and maybe eat some popsicles, so be it! I’m giving myself permission to be a full-time mama this summer and everything else can take a back seat.
How do you navigate the busy seasons in your life? And have you picked any berries yet? Come on down!