by Nicki Wood
Each spring, we load up cousins and buckets and spend an afternoon picking strawberries on one of Tennesse's u-pick farms. We choose a different farm in a different county each year. Last year we selected Vine Hill Farm in Williamson county.
The children are veteran pickers, selecting berries carefully. My style is more "bend over once and get as many berries as possible." I get more berries, they get better berries. Toward the end of our picking, a violent Tennessee thunderstorm forced the pickers into the barn for half an hour. We were two Anglo families, a black family, and a possibly Kurdish extended family, blanching at the powerful thunder, shuddering as the wind tore at the corners of the barn.
My wild kids amused themselves by puddle-jumping, daring each other, climbing farm equipment, and when my back was turned, shoving their cheeks full of gritty, insecticide-covered, unpaid-for strawberries.The Kurdish children waited patiently, stood quietly, keeping their clothes clean, and speaking when spoken to. I like to think my kids would behave as well if we moved to Kurdistan.
Vine Hill Farms' strawberry picking begins Saturday at 8 a.m. Make the pretty drive through rolling Tennessee countryside to Vine Hill or any of the area's pick-your-own farms. The farm is at 2088 Lewisburg Pike, Franklin. Email at pjgilliam1(at)bellsouth(dot)net. Call 790-1757 for picking information, or 973-8864, a cell phone at the patch, in case you get lost on the way.