Friday, July 31, 2009

Rush River Produce

Does an annual trip constitute a Third Place? Today was the picture perfect summer day, 75 degrees and big billowy white clouds floating along a blue, blue sky, beckoning us away from the city. Each year the kids and I, usually with another family, head to the river bluffs above Lake Pepin Wisconsin to pick blueberries. It's about an hour's drive from St.Paul and we get a dose of country for the morning. We drive over hill and dale past fields of corn and farms with sheep, horses, cows and even llama!

The drive along the St.Croix river is beautiful and relaxing because we have the road to ourselves. It brings me back to similar meandering drives from my childhood along the Hudson River or along the coast from Monterey to Big Sur. We city dwellers enjoy the freedom and escape of the open road away from the traffic and stoplights, especially in summer. It's a wonderful sense of arrival to go from the 4 lane highway to a two way road and then a dirt paved windy climb alongside prancing deer to the door of Rush River Produce, a farmstead surrounded by gardens and fields of blueberries!

We spend the first half an hour wandering and taste testing. Elena is determined to find the biggest blueberries and Ian gets to work filling his box, forever the competitor to see who can pick the most. I usually plop myself on a bucket and start eating. They weigh the boxes of blueberries to determine your price as you exit, but they don't weigh us, so I treat it as an all you can eat buffet. The scenery is gorgeous, the farm is situated at the high point above Lake Pepin surrounded by rolling hills into the distance. The picking is easy and after about an hour or so we pay up, usually buying some honey and maple syrup for a total of $30. This is a much better deal than going to the amusement park, we head home full and refreshed and we have tapped into an experience which reinforces and celebrates the sensory pleasures of summer.

1 comment:

  1. I remember doing something similar when I was a kid. Thank you for the memories!