Another Year with Eckert’s

2014 has been another good year for our family at Eckert’s. It all started in March, when we stopped by to see their STL250 cake. We went on to visit it many more times, and enjoyed seeing how it changed with the seasons, but there was something special about seeing it that first time with the snow around it.

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In May, we went strawberry picking for the second time…but it was the first time for Chickadee! She loved it because the strawberries were right at her level.

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June found us picking blueberries for the first time ever. I loved the way the nets covered the bushes to protect them from birds…it looked like a fog over the blueberry patch!

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We picked blackberries more times than I count from the end of June through July. Most of them were eaten plain, but I did make a few special desserts with some of them, including the conclusion to our Fourth of July feast!

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Sadly, due to weather-related reasons, there were no “pick your own” peaches this year. Eckert’s made up for that with “pick your own” vegetables, though, and we had a great time doing that in July. Picking corn was everybody’s favorite, although it was also fun to find ripe tomatoes, summer squash, and cucumbers!

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In September, we finally visited Eckert’s restaurant. It was the first time for the children, and the first time in over a decade for Ryan and me. The biscuits and apple butter were just as good as we remembered, and all of the food was delicious!

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Of course we had to go apple picking in September…another first for Chickadee!

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And October found us in the pumpkin patch, where we picked a family record of 70+ pounds of pumpkins!

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In November, we celebrated a family birthday at the restaurant for the first time…Moose has decided it’s one of his two favorite restaurants.

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And the end of November meant time for the Holiday Open House, where we got to try lots of samples, see all the pretty Christmas decorations, and do some crafts.

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Eckert’s has become such an important part of our family’s year that I can’t remember a time when we weren’t constantly visiting and doing something fun there. I still haven’t taken an Eckert’s class yet, but that’s about the only thing left on my list of things I haven’t done at Eckert’s yet, and I look forward to finding a fun learning opportunity to take part in sometime in 2015!

Blueberry Picking

I know that this is going to come as a shock, but there was one fruit at Eckert’s that we had never picked ourselves…until this morning, that is! IMG_7115 We were somewhat confused when we got there, because most of the blueberry bushes were covered with nets. One of the friendly Eckert’s employees quickly explained that they cover the rows that aren’t currently being picked because if they don’t, the birds will help themselves! Makes sense, and they looked kind of cool covered up, especially since it was such a cloudy morning. Almost like a mist covering them! IMG_7108 IMG_7080 Chickadee had a grand time, and she actually picked some herself. When we went strawberry picking, she was perfectly content to let the rest of us do the picking, as long as we kept handing her berries every now and then, but she really wanted to be involved this time.

I really love blueberry flowers. I’ve actually thought about planting some blueberry bushes in our yard, just so I can enjoy the flowers for the brief time they’re around. I also loved seeing the tiny little mint green berries on the bushes!

Other than the mud everywhere, it was a nice morning to be out…not hot, not sticky, not too bright. We had a great time, and left with about three pounds of blueberries!

IMG_7119 Of course, you can’t go blueberry picking without enjoying the fruits of your labor…blueberry muffins for everyone!

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This was definitely another fun Eckert’s activity, but blackberry picking is still my favorite…good thing blackberry season should be upon us in just a few more weeks!