After almost 20 years of marriage, Glen and I have established many traditions in our family. Some, like our Christmas traditions, are pretty run-of-the-mill. On Christmas Eve, for example, we have our Christmas devotional, then we open our pajamas, put out cookies for Santa, and send the kids to bed.
Other traditions, like Glen making a special crepe breakfast for everyone's birthdays and the kids making a candy bar note for Glen on Father's Day, are a little more uniquely ours.
I don't even remember how they started, but I'm assuming it happened once and when the next birthday or Father's Day rolled around, someone said, "That was fun! Let's do it again!"
After reflecting back, I think that's exactly how our Labor Day tradition of going raspberry picking started. We did it one year and in future years realized that Labor Day always seems to be right in the heart of raspberry season and that it was fun not to have to wonder what fun thing we should do with Daddy at home for the day!
This year, as always, we went with grand intentions of picking enough berries to make several batches of raspberry jam afterward. We had invited friends to join us and were immediately disappointed (and a little embarrassed) when we arrived and realized that the picking was not going to be good.
The raspberries were very picked over...
and what few we got tended to be a little mushy and bug-filled. After picking in the hot sun for about 45 minutes, we barely had half a bucketful.
After resigning myself to the fact that I wouldn't be able to make jam this year, someone had the idea of trying out the blackberry field to see if it was any better picking.
On the way to the blackberries, we noticed the farm workers changing where the raspberry sign pointed to. They were opening a new field!
We rushed and were some of the first to arrive to fields bursting with perfectly ripe and beautiful raspberries!
Within half an hour, we had about 10x more berries than we'd collected in the other field...
and as was immediately noticed by the kids, they were also much sweeter and juicier berries!
We were happy that it ended well and were glad to have shared the day with friends
and critters alike. :)
Now we are enjoying the fruits of our labors with lots of jam on homemade bread!
This isn't a tradition for us (yet), but this year we also went peach picking on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. We went to Charlottesville early before the BYU game and the tailgating party just so we could go to the beautiful Carter Mountain Orchards.
When my sister, H, was a law student at UVA, she introduced to this gorgeous farm situated on top of a mountain overlooking Charlottesville. We like going there as much for the views as for the plenteous fruits! Our peaches did not look very pretty after sitting in the hot car for an entire day, but we still managed to eat a bunch and make a batch of half-peach/half-raspberry jam!
All in all, other than BYU's disappointing loss, it was a sweet Labor Day weekend spent making memories and enjoying time with family and friends!