Thursday, August 24, 2017

Annual Berry Picking Trip To Vermont

Growing up in South Florida, other states were so far away.  Just to get out of the state took about nine hours.  Day trips to neighboring states just wasn't possible.

One of the perks of living here in the North Pole...ahem Upstate that I can get to other states in under an hour.  Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and several others are just hours away.  Or less in the case of VT and MA.  Over the years of living up here, I've taken advantage of proximity and made a habit out of little day trips.  It's fun to go to a new place, have a full day, and then sleep in your own bed, too.

I've made it widely known that I adore Vermont.  It really is the cutest state.  The Green Mountains and charming towns and miles and miles of old stone walls...swoon!

Every year for the past who knows how long, I've taken a day with my dad {because I've yet to convince anyone else to come with me to be honest} to go to Vermont for a little berry picking adventure.  We both love it.  It's a lovely day in the sunshine on the most beautiful berry orchard, eating and picking the most gorgeous black raspberries to use all winter.  It's definitely one of my favorite summer days!

I think the new growth on the raspberry canes, what will produce the fruit next year as berries form on second year canes, is so beautiful.  They start out a dark pink and red, eventually maturing to the green we know and love.

Those gorgeous Green Mountains make my heart skip a beat!  I don't think we could have pick a more picturesque day to play outside.  Crisp fresh air, stunning scenery, the most delicious berries, and not a soul around.

Because of the timing of berry season and summer travels, we usually end up picking on one of the last days of raspberry season.  This year it happened to be mid week.  Which was sort of a pain for my schedule as it was just two days after returning from my big Florida trip.  But the perk of going on the last day that fell in the middle of the week was that no one else was there.  I don't mean that there were only a few other people there.  I very literally mean that it was me and my father...and the farmer who chatted us up as we paid.  No other customers!  And no complaints from me as it was the most peaceful adventure that make my little introvert heart happy.

I didn't realize this shirt was so baggy until I saw these photos.  But it was hot and I was a mess of scratched up arms and berry juice so it really didn't matter, I guess.  

We normally pick two varieties of berries.  But as the black raspberries are my very favorite, we solely picked those this year.  I'm thrilled to have so many bags of perfect berries in my freezer already!

Dad loves it when I force him to take selfies.  Loves.  It.  Doesn't grumble at all.  

I take these same photos every year because they just never get old for me.  I can't imagine waking up to this view every day.  Being a You Pick Raspberry Farmer is definitely one of dream jobs.  

Part of the balance in picking a date to go raspberry picking is that blueberry season is later than raspberry season.  At least that's the case in this little corner of Vermont.  Down the road from Mad Tom Orchard, my beloved raspberry orchard, is a fantastic blueberry orchard.  As blueberries are my dad's favorite, that's how I get him to agree to come with me.  

Notice that little painted strawberry rock.  Remember when I started painting them after losing Sadie?  I have an excess.  So I bring them with me here and there to quietly place for others to find.  Every single berry rock I've placed around my Troy has been found in a day or two so I hope they brought smiles to strangers faces.  I amused myself by bringing a strawberry rock to a blueberry farm.  It's the little things in life that give us the giggles, my friends.

Raspberries and blueberries filling the entire back seat of the car.  The smell was out of this world.  It smelled like summer to me. {note: I make the same statement about the beach, sweet grass, and about a dozen other things.  But I mean it each time.  And warm berries in the back seat also smells like summer.}

The berries are in East Dorset, VT, which is just up the road from my favorite town in all of New England, Manchester, VT.  So as we always do, we headed there next for a late lunch and look around.  I flipping love this town!  And this house that is white with blue trim and the most magical display of hydrangeas out front is a thing of dreams.  That porch...oh how I love a porch!

My dad had never been to Orvis and I thought he might like to see it before we headed home.  As the car was filled with fresh berries that needed to be handled rather quickly, our stops are limited.  But I found a shady spot and dragged him inside.  

If you've never been to the Orvis store in Manchester, VT, you need to go the next time you're in the area.  It's stunning!  It's a huge property that includes a fly fishing school {on my bucket list}, the factory where they make all the flies and rods, an outlet store, and their amazing flagship retail store,  The back of the store is why I brought him there though.  It's a two story wall of windows that looks out on a pond where they teach fly fishing.  With those Green Mountains in the background, of course!

In the fall, Orvis does the most breathtaking pumpkin display out front.  People like up to take photos because it's so perfectly New England.  

As always, the day was a great daycation with my sweet Dad.  We laughed a lot, ate a lot, and took in the sights and sounds of the mountains.  And now my freezer is stocked with berries to enjoy all winter.  I'm a happy camper!


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