Friday, May 18, 2012

Lessons from the Strawberry Fields

While I’m not quite through playing wedding planner, I am back in town, and it’s time for a break with a little economic post. Yesterday I went with my daughter-in-law and granddaughter to a farm about an hour south where we could pick our own strawberries. We did this last year, and I was glad to get back in town before the season was completely over.

We may not have saved huge amounts of money, but we did get the experience, which adds to the flavor, I think.
When non-farmers, like me, take a day doing agriculture tasks, out in the sun, away from electronic media, it becomes evident why there are so many agricultural comparisons in scriptures and various life lessons. These little ideas were occurring to me as I picked 30 pounds of summer sweetness.
·         The low-hanging fruit lures you in to a picking area, but the better berries are up higher and hidden by foliage. (With strawberries, unlike tree fruits, all of it is within reach, but the fruit that comes in contact with the ground almost always has been nibbled on by some critter. So off the ground is better.)
·         Don’t necessarily go for the deepest red; anything looking ripe for more than a day has probably caught the attention of some critter. Find whatever just became newly ripe.
·         You can fill up your bucket just as easily with plenty of small to medium berries as with larger ones—and the smaller ones are less likely to have been picked over by the critters.
·         The further you go from the end of the row, the less picked over the plants.
·         Just keep picking, and success comes—usually faster than you had anticipated.
·         If you care about quality, don’t pick something not yet ripe; come back another day, or leave it for someone else to pick another day.
·         The growing season is limited; don’t miss the best fruit because you’re too busy right now.
·         Take care of the fruit right away. (I came home and spent more time washing, trimming, and getting them in the freezer than I had spent picking. And now we can enjoy them all summer.)
There’s probably more, but I was thinking how these things relate to opportunities, or maybe entrepreneurial ventures. Some of them probably work as analogies for other life lessons as well. I don’t think I’d want to work out in the hot Texas humidity day after day (there were workers there doing just that), but it was a valuable field trip for us girls.

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