NS and I went strawberry picking with my friend P and her 6-month-old girl. She told me about this place about half-an-hour's drive down the highway where the berries sell for $1 per pound. On arrival at W's fruit farm, we situated the girlies in their backpack and stroller with sunscreen and sunbonnets, then picked up a metal bucket apiece from the lean-to along one side of the barn. A spring scale hung next to a price list and instructions. ("Get bucket. Pick berries. Weigh buckets on scale. If nobody is here, put money in blue box by the phone.")
We picked through the field in no particular order, sometimes among patches of shoulder-high weeds. The berries were plentiful, although most were just barely ripe. A couple of hours and several baby-feeding breaks later, we weighed our pails (mine totaled 19 lbs., $19), transferred them to bowls in the car trunk, and stuffed checks in the fishing tackle box, which contained other customers' cash. At an ample, white ceramic sink I washed my hands in cool water and dried them on a towel hung over a crude wooden bar. It was a refreshing consumer experience.