Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Strawberry Picking in the Summertime

Going out to the countryside to pick fruits and vegetables is something of a tradition in my family. It's a tradition that seems to divide itself by gender in terms of enjoyment level. While my mom, sister and I are always game to pick whatever is in season, my father and brother (and now my husband too) are usually far less enthusiastic about the adventure. But this past weekend my mom and I dragged my husband to Murphy Orchards in Newfane, NY to pick strawberries and rhubarb.

You may be thinking, "Nice, but what does this have to do with crafting?" Behold the canning handiwork (which I consider a craft):

In addition to pick-your-own vegetables and fruits, Murphy's Orchards also has homemade jams and jellies for sale in very cute little jars. And one of the neatest parts of this place is that the original owners of the farm, the McClews, were abolitionists and are believed to have been members of the Underground Railroad. In the barn you can see the trapdoor entrance to a concealed chamber where people escaping from slavery hid until they could travel on to safety in Canada.

There's also a tea room where you can sit and sample some of the aforementioned jams and jellies, along with whatever desserts have been made from the in-season fruits. And while you're there, you can check out a hard copy of the book Mothers and Daughters, which features Carol Murphy and her daughter Alixandra Matalavage.

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