Yesterday I took a break from settling into the new place to go berry picking with the girls. Since we were after more exotic berries then the simple blackberry that we all find in our back yards and local parks, this involved an expedition to the town of Sequim, WA. For those of you who've never heard of Sequim, they're famous for their lavender festival (the only one larger is in France).
It's a great place, full of gentleman farmers, tons of lavender farms. And a huge berry farm that offers U-Pick for everything from strawberries to Marion berries. After all that work picking berries of course we needed sustenance, which took us to the Highway 101 Diner for the best Cobb salad I've ever had and an amazing Orange Creamsicle shake.
Then, since Sequim has so many cute shops, well, we had to check them out. One of the places we stopped was the gift shop at the Jarden du Soleil lavender farm where we were tempted to spend money on everything from fresh lavender and lavender soap to tea towel and gorgeous little bits of home decor. Since I'm downsizing I resisted temptation. But then my pal Theresia got me an adorable ceramic magnet with lavender on it so, of course, I had to be polite and accept it. It looks great on my fridge. While we were there the owner was distilling lavender to make lavender oil, and that was fascinating. Nothing goes to waste on a farm, and he told me that after the oils have been steamed out of the lavender it either goes in the compost or gets used as bedding for the chickens. It all looked so idyllic. For a millisecond I thought it would be really cool to have a lavender farm and have a garden plot again. And chickens. Then I remembered I'm downsizing and pulled away from the ledge. I think, when it comes right down to it, I'd rather visit a lavender farm than work on one.
That wasn't the only farm we visited. We also went to a small dairy farm that sells raw milk, where my friends stocked up. I settled for petting the baby cows.
Our adventure lasted all day and I've got to say I sure slept well last night. :)
This morning my boysenberries got turned into jam and frozen for pie this winter. And I even managed to make a small batch of syrup. This, by the way, is easy to do. Mash a few berries through a sieve and mix in some water, then add simple syrup and boil it down until it starts to thicken. Don't do this for too long. I turned my syrup into gel and had to add more water and reheat the whole mess. The taste didn't suffer any and I'm planning on serving pancakes to my overnight company this weekend.
And how about you? Do you go berry picking? Tis the season!