Strawberries, Red Barns and Courthouse

June 27, 2016 

Another fun day with my sister Janice as we drove over into Wood County and then on several county roads, each one seemingly more narrow and further out in the sticks until we reached our destination of King’s Berries. This out of the way location is a U-Pick strawberry patch - with a twist.

Instead of how we picked strawberries in our family garden, hunched over, bent over, hunkered down, squatting to get at the ripe red morsels (my back aches thinking of that), this operation is designed to save a person’s back and legs with an ingenious way of growing the berries. As can be seen in the photos, all the plants are in potted styrofoam pots that are then stacked atop each other so that they grow off the ground and the berries are then much more easily accessible to the pickers. The poles are equipped with a drip watering system that flows down over all the pots giving each adequate moisture. At the base of the poles is another container in which they have planted lettuce, thus conserving and using all the water that drips down past the berry plants. Also, instead of “picking” the strawberries, we were given small snip scissors and cut the berries at the stem. This also saves on the plants being pulled and inadvertently pulling off new buds and unripened berries. 

We were the only two picking at the time we were there, plus the lady who oversaw the operation and who weighed our picks to arrive at the price for our little bit of effort. They also sell some craft items, homemake jams and jellies, and other little gifts.

They are open Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays and have a Facebook page for those who might like more information.

While it was a great way to pick strawberries and I enjoyed this new way of doing so, it was getting warmer and warmer with rising humidity. For the half hour or so that we were there, I was getting a bit moist.

Back into Janice’s nice air conditioned van and off to parts unknown. Other than the berry picking we had no specific plans and just kept driving west, past Bowling Green and on to Grand Rapids, Ohio. This small uniquely Midwestern village is well preserved with its' 19th century downtown buildings and the restored and maintained mule towpath for pulling canal barges down the Miami & Erie Canal along the Maumee River. While it would have been fun to pretend I was back in the 1800’s with a ride in a canal boat, the operation is closed on Mondays. 

As we found, most of the restaurants in the quaint little town are closed on Mondays. Not yet noon we opted to just meander through the countryside, mostly on county and secondary roads into yet another county and chose to visit Napoleon, Ohio for a lunch spot. Although I grew up here in Northwest Ohio, I can’t remember ever visiting the town, but upon entering the downtown, one can’t but be impressed with the stately 1800’s courthouse for Huron County. It is well maintained and preserved as is the rest of the downtown.








   

On our return eastward back to the Kline farm we followed a fair distance along the rain swollen Maumee River, then along the Portage River through Pemberville and then Woodville, Ohio before arriving back to the farm, whereupon I set about trimming the ends off my container of strawberries. 

Not having time to make shortbread, a pie or other dessert, my sister Nancy and I drove into Gibsonburg, just for me to buy some vanilla ice cream. Back at the house I enjoyed my fresh picked strawberries atop a bowl of the ice cream. 

It was delicious…

A unique red barn in Huron County, Ohio

Readers may note I’ve not mentioned the progress with the overdrive installation on my 1934 Pontiac, Phiona. I have received several updates over the past 11 days and am happy to report that the overdrive device has been installed on the driveshaft and that, with the rear end, should be completed tomorrow, Tuesday. I am figuring that if all goes well, we will drive down to Canal Winchester on Wednesday or Thursday to retrieve her and drive the car back here to the farm. And, thankfully, the next several days weather forecast is for cooler temperatures.