One of my fondest memories as a kid was picking strawberries and raspberries with my mom, sister and grandma. And, even before my daughter was born almost four years ago, I daydreamed about the time when she'd be old enough to pick fruit on a farm with me.
Conveniently, my daughter is going through a "barn" phase right now. She loves to look at barns, the older and more run down the better. So I was easily able to woo her to pick strawberries Saturday at Barthel Fruit Farm, 2246 N. Farmdale Rd. in Mequon, by promising her there was a barn on site.
This weekend was the first opportunity to enjoy the strawberry harvest, which will continue for a few weeks. And it was just about as fun as I remembered.
What I didn't remember is how early you have to get to the farm, since picking ends when the day's supply is gone. Barthel's opens at 7 a.m., and we arrived at 10:15 a.m. The picking hotline couldn't tell me if they'd still be open this late, so we made it to Mequon as quickly as possibly. Fortunately, there were plenty of of berries left to be picked – especially considering my daughter's attention span for plucking strawberries lasted about 20 minutes.
But she was certainly old enough to grasp the concept: Look for the biggest, reddest strawberries and throw them in the basket. Eat a couple along the way to make sure they're sweet (and they are). Stay in your lane. Be gentle with the fruit.
By the end, we had accumulated around two pounds of strawberries, setting me back about $5 and change. I probably spent more in gas than on fruit, but it was well worth it.
Of course, I had to hold up my end of the bargain on the barn part, too, so after our brief stint as berry farmers, we wandered around the barn, looking in windows and lingering about.
On the ride home, I asked my daughter what her favorite part was. "The barn," she replied, obviously. Her second favorite part was eating the strawberries.
For me, I can't pinpoint just one favorite part, because getting to relive one of your favorite childhood memories through your own child is the best part of parenthood. That my kid told my wife to stay home – "This is more of a daddy activity," she declared – made it even more special.
The father-daughter events at this age melt my heart. And now we have plenty of strawberries frozen to remember this event for a long time to come. We'll be back for the apple harvest this fall.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
We all had a good laugh when the word spilled that Scott Walker substituted "Molotov" for "Mazel Tov" in his Hanukkah letter to Frank Gimbel. But you know that Gov. Walker didn't write that letter, right? He didn't even sign it.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were good fun, but Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to our community. It's a relatively new concept, but several Milwaukee nonprofits participate, including Discovery World, UPAF and Pathfinders. One local organization, Penfield Children's Center, is making Giving Tuesday work through crowdsourcing.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
I'm going to beat the Milwaukee winter. I will not be cold again. I will laugh in the face of Snowmageddon. I will be toasty warm when the temperatures drop well below zero. Here's how.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Take it for what its worth, but Playboy Magazine has Blue's Egg as one of its 101 best breakfasts in America (don't worry, the link is reasonably safe for work). The restaurant at 317 N. 76th St. came in 21st place out of 23 Midwest selections, just behind Mickie's Dairy Bar in Madison.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Can you imagine how social media would've melted down exactly 101 years ago? Nov. 11, 2013 was the end of the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury" or the "White Hurricane," a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and and destroyed 19 ships.
Published Oct. 28, 2014
I really didn't have any hope left after 25 days. As we entered the fourth week without our sweet, kind, missing cat, Jabie, I was beginning to come to peace with the reality that I'd never see her again. Then, yesterday, less than four blocks from home, a woman called my wife and said she had cajoled a black cat into her basement. My wife bolted home from work and immediately recognized Jabie coming up the stairs. Just to be sure, she took her to the closest vet to scan her microchip. And it came back as a match from Elmbrook Humane Society.
Published Oct. 22, 2014
Apple's new killer app, Apple Pay, may indeed someday change global commerce for good. That day isn't here yet, however. Three days after launch, my experiences with the NFC-based payment / tap to pay system show that Apple Pay is still very, very beta. At this point, you may find yourself using it barely at all.
Published Oct. 21, 2014
Mazen Muna, the owner of the Dogg Haus group of restaurants, shared his plans today to launch PhantomBar this spring at 780 N. Jefferson St. in Cathedral Square. The bar is under the umbrella of his new 12AM Management Group, which Muna says he founded to house "the new wave of businesses being added to the portfolio."
Published Oct. 16, 2014
Well before the Chinese eCommerce company Alibaba began making IPO rumblings in America, I was familiar with its offerings. I'd never bought anything from it ... until this month.