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 â€“ 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 â€“ "This is more of a daddy activity," she declared â€“ 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 May 7, 2016
I won't lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.
Published April 28, 2016
Angry readers, self-righteous writers and surly social media speculators are in a tizzy about an uptick in "clickbait," and in many respects, they have every right to be. In lots of cases, it's a bogus attempt to lure gullible readers, and ultimately, it won't and doesn't work.
Published April 25, 2016
I've known about Mel Brooks' upcoming June 11 visit to Milwaukee for a little while now. Make no mistake, this is a "bucket list" show for me: Brooks is one of my all-time favorites in Hollywood, and "Blazing Saddles" has sat atop my favorite movie list forever.
Published April 15, 2016
For the many dozens of times I've visited the historic Pfister Hotel - for meetings, meals, weddings and drinks - until prepping for OnMilwaukee Hotel Week, I never spent an overnight at this Victorian masterpiece. Cross that off my bucket list - and I didn't even have to meet a ghost to do it.
Published April 14, 2016
As today's the wonderfully-made up "414 Day," or "Milwaukee Day," depending on who you talk to - it's a sexy day to look back at this excellent video from 2014 by the Five Card Studs.
Published April 11, 2016
I've been binge-watching HBO's "Vinyl." During a scene at an L.A. beach party, the camera panned to a sideburned record executive, smoking a joint and talking about Elvis. Even 25 years since I saw him last, I knew immediately that was my friend from high school, Dave Shalansky. I'd recognize that guy anywhere.
Published April 4, 2016
I'm sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and it's quiet. Too quiet. I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are either rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or they're passed out).
Published April 2, 2016
It's been a long while since we interviewed FOX6 meteorologist Vince Condella for a personal profile, but with the long-time weather man's upcoming retirement, it was time to catch up.
Published March 15, 2016
I'm a big fan of Atlas Obscura, a website that calls itself "the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places." And it does a good job. Yesterday, it took a look at Milwaukee and its 12 quirky treasures.
Published March 3, 2016
Sometimes, the `90s in Milwaukee feel like a distant memory; other times I can't believe they're so long gone. But then I looked at some of the photos I took while building the shell of what would eventually become OnMilwaukee, and these scenes seem ancient, indeed.