Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Blackberries at Great Country Farms

About 45 minutes west in the beautiful farm hills of Virginia, there is Great Country Farms. And blackberries, ripe for the picking.

While Mike was away in Singapore, I was happy to fill our days with anything and everything and picking blackberries sounded like a perfect day! My girlfriends, Jackie and Bridgett, and I took all of our boys on a drive through the gorgeous country up to the farm.

There is a wonderful deal for an all day pass to Great Country Farms for only $5 on certifikid HERE. It lasts through August, so go, people! Go!!! Read on to see all the reasons to make the trek yourselves!

The blackberry field was a tractor-trailer ride away. Boys love trailer rides. Moms love the cuteness overload.
It was an overcast day which was such a blessing in the middle of July. It could've been so hot. But it was nice and mild.

We had NO CLUE what to do. Clearly. My girlfriends and I were all wearing flip flops and I put my kids in JCrew outfits, and Charlie's was WHITE. Dumb. Luckily, we ran into some other ladies who seemed a bit more experienced than we with their boots and buckets. They pointed us to the best vines and told us how to pick the berries. "Pick the ones that have turned black and are so fat that they come off easily - those are the ones you want". Thanks so much, Moms-Who-Have-Done-This-Before. We appreciated it.
I really didn't expect my kids to like this. I just figured they would be terrified of the ticks that might get on them like I was and refuse to get deep into the fields. {Seriously, I pretty much just stood in one spot  cursing myself for wearing shorts and flips and wiped down my legs on repeat. I might have asked my girlfriends just a few times if they were certain the farm was fenced so the deer, and their ticks, stayed away from the fruit}

But the kids loved it. Charlie filled three pints! And they were soooo good. So much more flavor right off the vine than any you can buy at the grocery store. And so sweet!
After picking the berries, we had a picnic lunch under the shade of a big tree behind the farm store.

At that point, we were sold on the fact that GCF was amazing. Little did we know, there was SO. MUCH. MORE.

Behind the farm store, there are playgrounds, farm animals, mini golf, slides - AND A GIANT JUMPING PILLOW!!! Yup. A giant. jumping. pillow. Kid heaven.
I couldn't resist. I had to try it out too! 
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After the jumping pillow, we decided to see some of the animals and feed them. A cup of feed comes with every $5 pass. Henry loves animals. For a kid who used to hate everything, we kind of eat it up when he finds something he loves. And he sure loooooves farm animals. When he sees them, he says "Hey {insert farm animal here}, you come home with me and I will pet you." He loves to have the goats eat out of his hand. Charlie does NOT. Charlie will look but will NOT touch. We all did fall in love with sweet Daisy the mini cow though. She was soooo cute.
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With toddlers in tow, we finished the day at nap time - long before we got to see everything there was to do at Great Country Farms. Luckily, there is always a new crop to pick and a reason to go back. Next up - PEACHES! Can't wait.

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