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Strawberry Gleaning

On Wednesday I went strawberry picking with my friend Charlene.

Charlene is the queen of good deals, and these strawberries cost: $0!  Yup, since the farm was getting ready to till under the second year plants, they were letting people come glean for free! (If you are in the Salem area, you should check them out.  They still had quite a few yesterday.)

There were a lot of good strawberries, and even more not good ones.  That is what gleaning seems to be all about, what you lose in time (looking for the good fruits or veggies) you make up for in money (its all FREE!).  Since I have plenty of time, and not a lot of money, it seems like a great trade to me!

Ideally I would use a portion of the berries to make jam.  But since I have never made jam before and don't have any pectin, I think I am just going to continue my plan of freezing them for smoothies and snacking.  I know I could easily look up how to make jam, but I would probably put it off until the strawberries were all moldy and gross.

The downside of picking your own food is that there are a lot of bugs and spiders in fields.  It is pretty gross.  Luckily I didn't see any snakes.  I have a healthy (abnormal?) fear (phobia?) of snakes, and anytime I am doing something outside, I am terrified that I will run into one.  I think this is Biblically sound thinking though:

Imagine my disgust when I woke up Thursday morning and realized I had spider bites on my face, scalp, and arms.  Spiders had been CRAWLING on me in the strawberry field.  Or at least that is what I am hoping.  It sure beats the alternative of spiders crawling on me in bed.

Spiders and fear of snakes aside, it was a fun, productive day.  I can't wait to do more gleaning with Salem Harvest this year.  Free, local food, that I pick myself is awesome!

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