Summer Strawberries.

I think it's safe to say that we all love summer, right? Really, what's not to love? The sunshine, the long days, the warm breeze, the bountiful gardens, the birds and the bees (literally). All of those things are what I love about summer.

I love that I am up to my eyeballs in kale, rainbow chard, and greens. I love walking out to my backyard each morning to collect eggs from the ladies, give them scraps from the scratch-made dinner the night before, and admire the green tomatoes that grow bigger with each passing day.

Not everything we enjoy can be grown on our little homestead in the city. Strawberries are a summer treat that we live for each summer.

I took a 45-minute drive out of town to Bagge Strawberries a couple weeks ago with my heart set on a couple flats of their juicy, ripe berries. It was really neat to see the Amish women (who live only a few miles away in Hazleton, Iowa) out in the field picking strawberries. They looked like colorful flowers in their dresses, standing among the green rows of strawberries.

I realize how hard it is to pick berries for hours - the bending, the stooping, the bugs, the heat and humidity make it hard work. I didn't bat an eye when I paid almost $60 for 2 flats for this reason.

Plus, all these berries made nearly 15 pints of jam for my mother-in-law and I, as well as 6 quarts of whole berries for the deep freezer.

The ladies also enjoyed the strawberry tops. Have I told you that they come running to John and I when they see us with the kitchen compost bucket? It's adorably funny.

They loved picking through the strawberry tops. And I love summer.

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