Strawberry fields

Fresh strawberries grown at the UBC farm and picked in this morning’s driving rain

Today was the annual Day of Giving where Telus employees and family help out with community projects across the country. This year we decided to help out at the UBC farm, and were looking forward to a nice morning of light farm labour. The weather had other ideas, though, and we had the heaviest rain we’ve had in months descend on us this morning. We got soaked as we worked our way along the rows of strawberry plants, picking the ripe fruit for sale at their farmer’s market. After an hour or so of picking in the pouring rain, the organizers decided that we’d done enough and we needed to go and get warm and dry. No one complained about that! We did at least get to taste what we were picking – as expected, the berries were absolutely delicious! Definitely in a strawberry mood now 🙂

Wild!

Wild strawberries! I’ve seen the flowers so often but the berries only rarely so this little patch was a treat. It was tempting to try them but in the end I thought the squirrels needed them more than me.

Wild strawberries grow all over the place in southwest BC, from sea-level up to the sub-alpine. I see the leaves and the flowers but only very rarely have I seen the actual fruit. The first time was on a hike in Wells Gray provincial park, and then again near Lake O’Hara. Apart from that strawberry sightings have been pretty much non-existent.

This little patch was on one of the western paths in Stanley Park in the section that suffered so badly in the storm of 2006. About a dozen strawberry plants were in simultaneous flower and fruit, and it was so very tempting to pick them. Then I remembered two things: 1) the fruit was at ankle level, which means dog level and everything that implies; and 2) that I can buy strawberries at almost any time of year (especially right at this moment) and I really didn’t need anything to eat at that point, whereas the animals that call Stanley Park home only have this little window of opportunity to feast on strawberries. So I left them alone. It just felt like the right thing to do.