I can credit an ex-boyfriend actually for my interest in the Beatles less-well-known stuff–as a child, I was familiar with all of their #1 hits, but I’d never ventured into their actual albums (just the compilations of their top songs or whatever the oldies station played). To me, the Beatles were synonymous with “Love, Love Me Do” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and their worth basically ended around there.
But, when the aforementioned ex gave me a few copies of their albums (which included the familiar songs as well as everything else released alongside them), I became hooked not to the hits, but to the slightly less well-known stuff (although I still think “Octopus’s Garden” is a little too bizarre for my taste).
That is why, as we drove to my old stomping ground (aka, where I was a teacher not too very long ago) to go to a u-pick berry farm, “Strawberry Fields Forever” was playing on a loop inside my head.
I’ve mentioned before that I started trying u-pick farms because “all the other bloggers were doing it,” but now, I continue to seek them out because I like knowing that my dollar is going right to the source of it all. Plus, it’s one of the few times I can actually say a personal thank you to people toiling away in sun and rain and endless fields of dust and dirt in order to provide me and mine with “real food.”
And the Michaelis family? (The family who ran the farm we went to?)
The very definition of hospitality and graciousness.
For, in addition to letting us try the berries off the vine and involve our very excitable almost-toddler in the process, they also enthusiastically answered all of our questions, offered a brief synopsis of their growing methods, let Raven “pet” the cat (really, they let Matt pet their cat while Raven cowered in terror), and, best of all, they asked if Raven wanted to come into the back and feed their goats. (Secret–Raven was undecided about the whole thing, but her daddy sure enjoyed himself!)
Truthfully, I harbor a secret dream of living on a small farm–not necessarily a farm where we would try and make a ton of money off of it or anything, but a farm where we could raise chickens and maybe have a milk cow and of course, fields and fields (okay, rows and rows) of berries and peas and potatoes and maybe one or two just for wildflowers.
But, as Matt and I remarked to the Michaelis family as we were chatting with them, the notion is probably more work in reality than it is romantic in theory.
Ah, but it’s such a beautiful theory!
Maybe to see if I can handle a farm, I should start actually getting up when my alarm goes off between 6:30 and 7 every day instead of shutting it off and sleeping in an extra 20-30 minutes. Maybe I should do an additional test where I say that if I can use Raven’s naptime totally productively every day, I could own a farm.
(But let’s be honest–such tests would mean I would probably never get my farm. I guess that’s kind of the point–I’m probably not ready for such responsibility!)
If you’re looking for a friendly, well-priced, high-quality organic berry farm, definitely check out the info below:
Michaelis Family Farm
Address: 13760 N 5400 W Garland, Utah
Products: corn, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, honey, fresh eggs
Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Good Things to Know: bring your own containers to hold what you pick, and make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen–it gets hot out in the open fields! Also, since it’s a family farm, it’s best to make an appointment beforehand (although you can just show up, too).
For more info, check out this page.
When all was said and done, we walked away with just over two pounds of strawberries, two pints of raspberries, and two dozen fresh eggs (some of which were duck and turkey eggs, which I’m excited to try out!) for $20. Plus, we had the the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the fruit was all organic and grown under the best farming practices and that the eggs came from creatures who were well-treated and taken care of.
Thanks, Michaelis Farms, for both a fabulous day and for the perpetuation of my future own-a-small-farm dream!