Let’s travel back in time a couple of weeks to 23 Dec 17. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful mild day (especially after recently moving down from the tropical heat of Darwin). So we decided to treat the kids to a little adventure and take them berry picking at a place called Beechworth Berries (about 10km North of Beechworth).
We’ve been there before (about two years ago) and loved it, especially because of the simple beauty of it. You rock up and receive an empty bucket. You then meander around in the strawberry patch (Beechworth Berries is mostly strawberries but other nearby farms let you pick other types of berries) filling your bucket as much or as little as you like, taking as long as you need. At the end you simply head back to the kiosk where your bucket is weighed, your strawberries packaged and you pay for what you picked (about $13/kg). The one proviso is that you take heed of the notice board at the start which tells you which lanes are open for picking (the strawberry patch is divided into rows of raised planters which are numbered).
So armed with our buckets and sunny dispositions we embarked upon our walk among the berries seeking out the best, most succulent strawberries (to be used on top of Nanny’s Christmas pavlova of course). Admittedly at first the pickings were slim as we had slept in and got there around lunch time. It was at this point that the “Dad Effect” struck.
Seeing that the pickings were slim and the crowds plenty, I quickly realised that the far corner of the strawberry patch was devoid of people. I then applied that age old fishing wisdom “the fishing is best where the fewest go,” to deduce that this was where we needed to go. Naturally I made a point of emphasising this point to the children as it was a good opportunity for a life lesson. I then dragged us all over to the far corner of the strawberry patch to test my hypothesis. Sure enough, the pickings were bountiful and many ripe succulent strawberries were found. Nan’s pavlova was looking good and the kids loved it.
Soon, with our buckets full and our tummies rumbling we headed back to pay for our haul and to tuck into some delicious fresh berry ice cream. It was at this point, over ice cream, that I saw the notice board and realised that we had in fact plundered the forbidden fruit of the out bounds area of the strawberry patch. Not wanting my life lesson to be undone by allegations of cheating, we finished our ice cream and promptly left.
Overall a great success.