If you are a nature enthusiast, can brave the sun and love spending outdoors or are just content to be the in the midst of wild flowers,butterflies, some bugs (you just can’t escape these)fresh fruits and vegetables you will definitely enjoy a visit to Marburger orchards. Located in Fredericksburg village, which is an hours worth of drive or 2 from most places in San Antonio, Marburger orchards boasts of ripe strawberries, peaches and blackberries depending on the season.
We were fortunate to visit this place when it was bursting with strawberries and our enthusiasm to pluck fresh strawberries beat the burning sun and itchy bugs!
We started the session by collecting a box to store the berries. The lovely lady at the reception gave us a quick lesson on what type of berries we would need to pluck in order to ensure that we’d end up with juicy berries and in the process also did not kill any budding berries! The berries had to be fully red with no traces of green of yellow. And then we were off into the fields with the little one in his stroller, a camera in hand and plenty of water. We were directed to the row of plants that were ready for harvesting and started off with great gusto!
It took us a little bit of time to locate the right type of berries but once we got the hang of it hubby and I had a whale of a time filling our little berry box! The little once insisted he join in the fun, but since we couldn’t let him stomp through the bushes, we had to pacify him with a fresh ripe fruit here and there 🙂
This is what we started with….
And me being me, I couldn’t help inspecting the red beauties up close every now and then…
Did you know that strawberries are one of those rare variety of fruits that have their seeds on the exterior of the fruit? Well, I didn’t and learnt from a forward through Whatsapp and I thought it would be a perfect piece of information to share in this post 🙂
And did I mention that I also got distracted by the peach trees which were just beginning to bloom?
While the hubby was still busy with the berries and the little one peeved cos we would’t let him out of his stroller I managed to get side tracked by the wild flowers….
More berries….miles and miles of them!!
Finally I gave hubby a break and got back to the task on hand and this is this is how we ended 🙂
At the end of 2 hours, we made our way back to the reception to pay for our loot…the path was not as easy as one might think! Especially if you love flowers! If you do be prepared to be lost in midst of a sea of wild flowers and poppies imagining myself seated in the fields in front of an easel with some paints and brushes for company 🙂 The hubby gave up on me and proceeded with the little one while I stood amongst these beauties and appreciated Gods creation…..(actually dreaming about my artist dream)
Finally I managed to wrench myself away from the flowers and made it to the reception only to be distracted by more stuff and this time it was gourmet style! I am talking delicacies like honey cream (I was hearing about this for the first time and my guess is that it can be used on toasts and for baking), gourmet salsas, salad dressings and plain old honey (which they claim is as pure as can be)…and this time I was dreaming of whipping up these awesome dishes on my own cooking show! 😀
Well, what can I say? I am a dreamer, but then whats life without any dreams? 🙂
This is what they have to say about their honey..
At last we left Marbugers but not before asking the team about freezing the zillions of berries that we had picked and this is how its done! The method is tried and tested and worked for me……
- Wash the strawberries in running water and pluck out the green stems
- Let them dry completely
- Place them in a single row in freezer friendly boxes and place them in the freezer for about 2 hours
- Remove the berries from the freezer boxes, place them in zip lock bags and put them back into the freezer
Apparently they last for more than a year! Or so claimed the guy at the reception. I separated my box into 2 batches and they lasted for a few months. One batch of berries got made into smoothies and strawberry cake while the other batch is still going strong in the freezer 🙂
We left glad to be out of the sun and made promises to go back again (if only we have that rare commodity called time…. Of course!! )