There hasn’t been much fun cooking time yet, though there sure has been a lot of utility cooking… 😉 But in the midst of all this moving and unpacking I was slightly guilted into going strawberry picking, tis the season after all. And after a little drive… okay a bit of a long drive… we found some berries. They were beautiful! Though my experience was infuriating!
We started our trek to a place just north of Gimli, Manitoba called Interlake Meadows Farm but as Dacia mentioned when I spoke to her on the phone their berries had ‘monkey face’ which essentially meant that they were incredibly small and misshapen, though the misshapen part didn’t bother us, the size and the monumental amount of work it would be to get them hulled did so we quit on their berries. We did take several of their ‘happy’ free range, non-hormone injected chickens and several dozen fresh farm eggs instead.
They told us that the Andersen’s just up the road had lots of berries and were open for picking. Though it was a dreary day and had sprinkled rain on and off, it was warm and we were already an hour from home, we decided to go there anyway. They are: Andersen Berries – strawberries, raspberries 16 miles north of Gimli on hwy #8 Finns road or 126N then 1/4m west. And though they had tons of berries and it was pretty easy picking, I have to say that I was more irritated than I’d ever been on a day that should have been fun and relaxing as I picked some of nature’s candy.
I don’t like to use this forum as a place to vent but I just can’t help myself. Never have I gone somewhere to buy something from someone and felt as though simply being there was an incredible inconvenience and as though they were doing me a gigantic favor by allowing us to pick. And their berries, even u-pick ones, were far from cheap at $10.00 a pail given they are in the middle of nowhere for people that don’t live in Gimli.
When we got there the woman came out of the house and seemed incredibly irritated that we were there. It was a dreary day after all, they were closed, supposedly, and it had rained a bit but then, speaking to who I guess was her son on a quad, told him to take us out to the patch and, “watch so they don’t do anything they’re not supposed to”. SERIOUSLY???
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always felt a sense of camaraderie when doing things like camping, and vegetable or berry picking. The people are generally really nice and I have to say she threw me for a loop when she said this. Yes, I was insulted and pretty much pissed off. But… we had just driven almost an hour and a half out of the city. I had taken the day off work. I wanted some berries, and I had told a co-worker that I would get her some as well. Seemed a little dramatic to leave at this point.
Imagine my surprise when we were led out to the patch and found another couple of older women eagerly picking! Not sure what her issue was with us… we’re certainly older women as well… no strangeness about us as far as I know….
We picked two pails each, didn’t want to go home empty handed after all of that… and picked two pails for my co-worker…. and we left. The owner drove by on her quad as we were picking… and I have to say… felt a little like we were on a chain gang or something… had I been familiar with a tune I’m sure I would have burst into song… but alas I didn’t.
She then had the nerve to tell us to remind her to give us a pamphlet when we paid…for next year…. SERIOUSLY??? NOT LIKELY … and I told her we wouldn’t be back next year…. and just between you and me… I won’t ever go back there. Even if I go back to get eggs, chickens, and beef from Dacia and Adam no matter how much I want berries.
Interlake Meadows Farm… probably you shouldn’t refer people out to the Andersen’s… they are not nice… they are rude and obnoxious and are not a good reflection on you… but even having said that… I must say the both of you are lovely people and I will definitely be buying more stuff from you.
So if you’re in need of good chickens, eggs, or berries (they apparently have another batch coming and next year will be better I’m sure) make sure you check out Interlake Meadows Farm…. lovely people, great philosophy and just a general pleasure to deal with….. and even it you’re out further north… I wouldn’t recommend the Andersen’s!