It’s field trip time! Don’t you love field trips? I know I do. Last Saturday, I had a really awesome opportunity to visit Driscoll’s Cassin Ranch Berry Farm in Watsonville with a group of bloggers & writers. Casey stayed home with Cooper while I got a little time to myself. (Thanks honey!)
I also got to scratch off another item from my 31 comes before 32 list! #7. Go to a farm. Done!
Curious what it’s like to visit a berry farm? Let’s take a look:
When you’re a farmer, your day starts early. This meant that I had to wake up at 5:30am to make the bus out there. Do you know how hard it is to wake up before a toddler? HARD. But I got to see the sunrise and binge on fresh berries for over 3 hours. Totally worth it.
When we arrived at Driscoll’s farm they had a berry packed breakfast waiting for us. Check out those big fat strawberries! Don’t mind if I do…
And look at this berry loaded yogurt parfait! I wish I didn’t have to share this with the others. I loved the combination of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries & blackberries! Berry overload? More like berry heaven!
This reminds me…I still need a trifle bowl.
We took our breakfast outside and enjoyed the view. That’s some view, huh?
I didn’t stay far from that parfait….
I sat at a table with Steve Garrett, Driscoll’s head berry farmer. I loved listening to him get all geeky about farming and how he delights in watching things grow every year. You can tell that he really loves what he does; he’s been farming since he was a hippy with long hair. And for a good 30 minutes I was trying to imagine him with long hair. I couldn’t help it!
While we were eating, out came a BUNCH of strawberries!
We got a chance to sample the different varieties of strawberries they’re currently working on. Each one had it’s own unique flavor profile!
Did you think that a strawberry just tastes like a strawberry? Think again!
I had my eye on this variety. It had a crazy number…no name yet. It was fat, juicy, perfectly sweet, vibrant strawberry with a beautiful crown of leaves on top.
Here was a strawberry that tasted like grape candy! Weird! Yet… somehow fascinating! There was one that looked like the color of a candy apple red car. I swear, it even sparkled!
After our breakfast, we went into the raspberry fields.
It’s currently berry season in California. Can you see why? Gorgeous California weather!
Here we are learning about raspberry breeding from Dr. Phil Stewart. We walked around with a Kindle filled with all of the varieties. Technology! I love it.
We got to meet a few of the workers working on pollinating the plants.
They take a little paintbrush and do their pollinating magic!
I might have eaten one off the plant… Shhh. Don’t tell.
And then we got to see some perfectly organized strawberry fields. This pleases me. I love driving past rows of crops.
A quick view of the workers harvesting strawberries! I can see why it’s considered back breaking work.
They put tents over the raspberries to prolong the season. Makes a 6 week season turn into 8.
Such a beautiful sight!
After the berry visit, we went the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival where I drank & ate myself silly (more on that later!)
Berries+ Food+ Wine….not a bad way to spend a Saturday, right?
Here’s what I learned:
- Hanging out with a farmer is super inspiring!
- Bees are everywhere on a berry farm.
- Driscoll’s dominates the market in raspberries.
- There are TONS of different berry varieties and it takes a long time to test & produce each one.
- Kindles are really cool. Especially if you need to read outside.
- Writers take a lot of notes during field trips like this…bloggers take a lot of photos.
- I want to grown tons of vegetables & fruit one day.
- That little strawberry plant I have at home is NOTHING compared to what I saw here.
- It’s very important to know where your food comes from! I grew up eating Driscoll’s berries and now when I see them at the grocery store, I will always think of this day and the effort & energy that goes into creating good food.
- A strawberry doesn’t just taste like a strawberry.