What is the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside? If you guessed strawberries, you’re right! Last year I missed the strawberry picking season by one week, and I promised myself I wouldn’t miss next year’s. This year we headed for Stade’s Farm & Market in McHenry, IL. The drive wasn’t bad, especially since we stopped in a small town called Pistakee Highlands along the way. There is a pretty gazebo in the center of town where we had a picnic lunch. Once we arrived at the farm, we parked and purchased our strawberry picking baskets before heading for the fields. Their basket prices range from $4-$11. We were a little too ambitious in the beginning because we purchased three baskets. It turned out that filling up those baskets was much more work than we anticipated. On the way out, the cashier offered us a refund for the two baskets we weren’t able to fill, which was nice. Even my little guy enjoyed the strawberry patch for awhile. He insisted on holding the basket, which was great, until I realized he was chucking my strawberries back out into the field. Now you know why we only ended up filling one basket! They also have sugar snap peas for picking that are the same price as the strawberries, so you can pick a combination of the two in the same basket if you like.
When my kids had had enough picking, we headed for their farmer’s market for a treat. They had strawberry-lemonade slushies, strawberry donuts (They were unbelievable!), apple cider donuts, among other things. Around the corner were their “attractions.” Kids under two were free; everyone else is $6 each. At first I thought it was a little expensive, but I quickly changed my mind when I saw how much fun my kids were having. They had a lot of fun things to offer. Its pretty spread out, so if you have a little one, be sure to bring a stroller!
In the end, my kids had a blast, and all three passed out in the car on the way home. We got delicious strawberries that we turned into delicious strawberry bread the next day! Check out http://www.pinterest.com/pin/56787645276277225/ for the recipe to this glazed strawberry bread. We are looking forward to another trip to this great family farm when raspberry picking season begins!