Finger Lakes Favorites

I love the rolling farms, beauty, and quietness of the Finger Lakes.

The Finger Lakes

It’s easy to spend an entire weekend and never leave the house – between kayaking, hammock-reading, waterskiing, third-cup-of-coffeeing, s’moreing and floating – it’s an active weekend if we manage to bring out the croquet set or Settlers of Catan. Heck, going for a morning run (past horse and buggies no less) is a victory in my book!

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Meet George Jetson…’s Strawberry Patch

While I was visiting my family in the Finger Lake last week I went hydroponic strawberry picking… Hydroponiwhat?

Hydroponic. As in hydra (water) and ponein (labor).

Still not making sense? Wikipedia defines hydroponics as “a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.”

Still not making sense?

THIS is their strawberry patch looks like.

No muddy sneakers. No squished strawberry stain on your bum. No bugs. No kneeling/squatting and moving over with your little red flag every 18 inches.

My hands didn’t even get dirty! They make you cut the strawberries with a pair of scissors. And you have to use anti-bacterial soap before you can go in.

You are supposed to cut as long a stem as possible, because the longer the stem is the more energy the fruit has. Thus, lasting longer.

Why hydroponic farming? Well, we spoke to the owner for a little while. Basically, the method he uses requires a LOT less water and he can better protect the fruit from diseases and pesticides.

Oddly enough, I thought we were at the tail-end of their season’s pickings. But then the owners told us they just opened last week. While most strawberry patches are in-season in June, the hydroponic farm is in season from June through Halloween!!

They are smaller than normal strawberries, but delicious! A pop of sweet, fresh flavor.

(P.S. Jellies (as in shoes, not strawberry jam) are coming back. My friend Abs saw them and got them for me. Woot! Thanks Abs!)

My official review: It was lovely. While the slaving under the sun in the dust and accidentally sitting on old strawberries is nostalgic (and still a good time), this was quick, clean and easy! If old-school berry pickin’ is the Goodwill clearance rack, hydroponic berry picking is Macy’s.

Have you heard of hydroponic farming before? Have you ever picked hydroponic strawberries?

A Taste of Summer

I love the 4th of July.

I know it’s over and this is a little anti-climatic. But you’ll overlook that fact, won’t you?

The 4th of July is the real kick-off of summer. School and spring cleaning often drip into June. And June is already overrun with graduations and parties and bridal showers that summer celebration gets lost in the mix. But no longer.

It’s JULY friends. It is summertime.

Random note – We spent the weekend at my family lakehouse in the Finger Lakes. I must have had patriotic clothing on my mind for the holiday, because I packed red and white striped clothing for every day. Hah-hah!

These are my Mom’s blingy table decorations for the 4th. She’s got pizazz

OurĀ  neighbors have a large farm area. They have a vineyard (Pinot Grigio to be exact, or so I learned) and also have lots of fruits and vegetables growing. We happened to be there at the peak of cherry picking season and they invited us up to pick a H-U-G-E bag of delicious cherries.

I had the best of intentions. Why, with these amazing cherries, surely I should make a cherry pie or tart or jam or something, right? But I can’t help just eating them all plain. They are so fresh and sweet they are like candy!

Random – our neighbors plant rosebushes at the end of each grapevine. Do you know why? Apparently the mildew properties are the same. So, if you see mildew on the roses you know how to take care of the vine. I wonder who figured that out and how.

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

– John Lubbock

And nothing can beat a summer night. I insist on campfires and s’mores everytime we are at the lake. It’s the best way to end any day spent in the sun.

And of course we watched the fireworks.

We watched from the very spot we got married (collective “aw”), although it was more due to last minute boat engine funkiness than planning. But it was beautiful. And all the boats on the water was an unexpected beautiful sight.

I think that is why I enjoy the 4th of July so much. It’s a quintessential summer weekend of celebrating with friends and family. Eating good food, enjoying the world we live in and some old fashion fun.


What did you do for the 4th of July? Do you like cherries as much as I do right now?