Arguably, two of the most quintessential summer foods in Alaska are salmon and berries. So what does an Alaskan do when you haven’t been here long enough to know where the good wild patches are located? (Good luck getting any of your neighbors to spill the beans on that topic!) You go pick your own raspberries at Seaside Farm, that’s what.
Grandpa and Grandma joined the kids and me at Mossy Kilcher’s Seaside Farm the other night to pick raspberries. Papa B and I had talked about coming out last summer to pick, but didn’t actually get around to it. When we saw her berries were ready to go this year, I didn’t waste any time. We arrived around 7pm, expecting that an hour of picking with the two kiddos would be great plenty. I knew many people had already been out there earlier in the day, so I had no idea what to expect as far as how many berries would be left.
Turns out, great plenty. Her raspberry patch is huge. I was impressed with how organized it was as well. Her plants were strung up in neat rows for easy picking. I started out with Little B in the pack, and Grandma wore Baby B. The patch really isn’t kid friendly, and I think she prefers that if kids come in, they be worn for both their safety (it would be easy for them to get lost amidst the tall rows), as well as the safety of her plants. I can’t blame her one bit; it’s obvious she’s invested a lot of time in creating such a nice patch.
Little B loves berries of any kind (is there a kid out there who doesn’t?), so she was immediately asking for them. A gal who was already in the patch picking with her child said they always taste as they go, but make sure to leave extra money for the ones they ate. That plan worked for us, and Little B happily gobbled them up as we picked, frequently saying, “Grandpa! I need another one, please!” Before long, though, Baby B was fussing, so I headed to the end of the row to nurse him. While we sat there, Little B munched away on my container of berries. Since Baby B was still a little fussy walking through the tight rows, I decided to leave the berry picking to Grandpa and Grandma, and the kids and I headed out to explore the farm a bit.
Seaside Farm also has a hostel, campground, and several rental cabins on the premise, and was bustling with visitors from all over the world. Mossy went to do chores after she showed us to the raspberry patch, and had just arrived at the chicken coop as we walked by. She let the chickens out to roam and both kids enjoyed watching them peck about the yard. Baby B got quite a kick out of them, and was later giggling at them as they crossed the road behind us. It was such a fun place, chock-full of Homer charm, with one heck of an amazing view.
We ended up picking about 9 pounds of raspberries in less than an hour. (We only took 8.5 of that home, because Little B had eaten the other half-pound in the patch.) And man, nothing beats the sweet taste of fresh picked berries. While I’ll obviously still keep my eyes peeled for wild berries, it’s safe to say we’ll be back for more of Mossy’s raspberries in the future.