Sunday, May 10, 2009

Strawberry Picking at Three Sisters Farms

For years Veronica and I have taken our kids to the Three Sisters Strawberry Farm in Suffolk, VA, to pick organic strawberries. The reason we drive a long way to get strawberries that are organic is that this person...

and this person...

as well as Veronica's little people... do not hesitate to eat as many berries as they can, during the process. So, when you're at an organic farm, you feel like maybe your child isn't gulping down handfuls of mustard gas and won't be growing another kidney out the side of its head as a result. Or whatever.

So we get to Three Sisters Farm, and we start picking:

And the berries are HUGE. Massive, perfectly heartshaped berries, elegantly ripe, hanging in perfect, convenient clusters from every bush. And where are the weeds? There are no weeds. I don't know if you've ever been to an organic farm, but it is sort of weedy. In fact, some of the weeds are there on purpose because they help the pH balance or discourage invasive pests or recite pop poetry which the plants find nothing wrong with because, hey, it's entertaining, but the elitist slugs scorn, or whatever. So where, we wondered, were the weeds?

Veronica and I joked around that the Three Sisters people were sneaking in pesticides and just not telling anyone. Har har har. It is to laugh, right? Except OOPS, when Veronica actually investigated, she discovered that *BOO* they actually ARE using pesticides! It's not organic anymore! In fact, Three Sisters aren't even doing the farming -- they leased it out to something called Faith Farms which is slinging pesticides in great, heaping bucketfuls.

Which is why the berries were so nice and huge and perfect and the rows were so even and unweedy and easy to pick from. Which we found out after the children had eaten about a quart each of unwashed, mustard-gas-laden strawberries.

And so had I! I'm expecting a third kidney at any moment.

Fortunately, we still have our friends! And we will all be creepy third-kidney-havers together:

Another plus: the Three Sisters Farm still operates the store and animal farm connected with the property, and they had lots of completely organic baby ducks, turkeys, chickens, a fully organic cow, a couple of organic peacocks and these astonishingly cute organic kittens:

All in all, it was a super fun day with ice cream, candy, kittens, and massive awesome ripe delicious strawberries. I still highly recommend Three Sisters Farms. The berries might not be organic anymore, but you can always eat the kittens without washing them!


  1. Oh, what a bummer that they're not organic anymore! It is hard to turn a profit being organic. We have found out through having a small farm that buying all organic things is sometimes twice as expensive. We made some compromises. We got organic seed for things we eat, but non-organic for flowers. We make our own compost and most of our own soil, and we don't give the animals contributing their waste to the compost any antibiotics. But hands-down, no matter what, no matter what, we don't spray pesticides on things! It seems like that's just asking for it! But you're right, the kittens sure do look de-lish!!!! And your kids' berry-smeared faces look delightful, too!

  2. Go to Cullipher or Cullifer or...(?) in Pungo. They have organic berries. I steer clear of non-organic strawberries but am happy you guys had a great time. The kittens are precious. One more reason to steer clear! LOL.

  3. We went there Friday and picked 3 bins and found them to be barely sweet and overly soft due to the intense rains. I was questioning (silently) whether or not they were still organic as the entire strawberry farm area looked totally different. Rows were faced in the other direction even! It's a shame that they're no longer organic. We won't be buying from them any more... at $9.00 a basket to boot!

    Thanks for the heads up Tina on a new location. I think I heard that the Pungo Strawberry Festival is Memorial Day weekend as well.