Sunday, May 27, 2012

Strawberry Picking at Gizdich Ranch

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

Have you picked up any strawberries at the supermarket lately?  Go check the packaging and see where they’re from.  Chances are, they are from Watsonville, California – about 30 minutes up the road from where we live.

With strawberry season just beginning to peak, the kids and I, along with my friend Staci and her kids, ventured up Watsonville, the strawberry mecca, to pick our own berries at Gizdich Ranch

We drove out to the pick-your-own field, grabbed some buckets, and got to picking.

 Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

Trenton was more than ready.  He was going to pick 100 strawberries!  And only the red ones.  The green ones still had to grow.  The problem was that he walked around repeatedly telling everyone else this rather than actually picking any berries!  Thanks to some help from the Zaker crew, Trenton did wind up with a bucketful of red berries though.

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

These two had fun walking around pointing at strawberries and being cute in their matching pigtails.

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CAGizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

It wasn’t long though before Charlotte was bored with just looking at the berries.  She just HAD to taste one (or maybe a few more than one).

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

John was the star strawberry picker.  That kid could pick some berries!  He was probably faster than both me and Staci.  But then again, he wasn’t dissecting the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy while filling his bucket.

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

After each family had filled two buckets, we went over to have our strawberries weighed.

I’m pretty sure the girl working the stand had no idea that Charlotte had done her fair share of sampling…

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

We wound up yielding nearly 10 pounds of strawberries to take home!

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

After all that hard work, it was time for some treats!  We drove over to the main Gizdich Ranch barns, and checked out the pie shop.  I decided on a slice of olallieberry pie, Charlotte wanted an apple slushie (made from the farm’s fresh pressed apple juice – amazingly good!), and Trenton wanted a slice of strawberry pie.  They were already out of strawberry pie for the day, so he settled for a strawberry tart, made to order.  I was figuring on one of those little mini tarts, but this is what was brought outside to us…

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

By this time, all of the kids were already enthralled with the awesomeness of the outdoor play area, and this is what I was left to eat…

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

Thankfully the kids did come by the table a few times to help me out with the sweet treats.  I did take a nice little run through the neighborhood later in the evening though!

The kids all loved the play area out behind the Gizdich barns.  They played on an old tractor, in a sandbox, and on top of and inside of a hay tunnel.  And boy did they like getting dirty.

Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CAGizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CAGizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA

And yes, those are white capris that you see on Charlotte.  Pretty sure I could win Smartest Mom of the Year for dressing her in those!

So what does one do with nearly ten pounds of strawberries?

Well, so far we have made…

Strawberry ButterStrawberry Butter

Dreamy Creamy Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream

Simple Strawberry Cake
Simple Strawberry Cake

And I still have close to five pounds of strawberries left!  If you have any favorite strawberry recipes, send them my way!


Rebecca @ Sink or Swim said...

Strawberry shortcake, smoothies, freezer jam (the only jam I know how to make!) We've been going through about a pound a day because they have been so fantastic lately!

Jenny said...

I made strawberry jam using this recipe,, on Sunday night. I didn't have an pectin, so this recipe was perfect. And it tastes great!

Didi said...

Yum Yum. I'm going to have to try that strawberry butter recipe. We've never tried strawberry butter before. It will be a fun food adventure for us. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

Stephanie Kay said...

Cute pictures!! We've been strawberry picking with the same friends since 2005, when my oldest was 2 and her oldest was 16 months. We've grown to 7 kids, and our babies are both 3 yrs old. Strawberry picking is a fun tradition that I'm so glad we started! Oh! And I have a great post with tips for picking with kids. :)