There’s an old Zen tale of a man who, while running from a tiger, grabbed onto a vine and went over a cliff. While hanging, he looked over and saw a strawberry hanging on the vine. He plucked and ate it. It was the sweetest strawberry he’d ever tasted.
Lucky for me, I’m able to get that same experience here in Colorado at Berry Patch Farms without the nuisance of that pesky tiger.
Located north of Denver in Brighton, Colorado, Berry Patch Farms is a 40-acre haven where the strawberries picked straight from the vine are some of the most succulent I have ever tasted. Their mantra is “Truly fresh, truly organic, truly local.”
Berry Patch is a working farm, and livestock roam the area. My son takes note of a huge hog wallowing near the entrance. He edges toward the animal to pet its head, and jumps back in gleeful giggles when the swine grunts and repositions.
Customers can hand pick Berry Patch Farms’ most popular crop, its strawberries, or they can purchase them in a small garden shop on the premises. We opt to pick our own and saunter over to the waiting area near the fields, dodging an array of brightly colored fowl along the way.
The wagon ride is short, letting us off amid hundreds of rows of interwoven green vines. With the lift of each leaf, a treasure of bright red strawberries shows itself.
My son diligently goes to work, imitating me as I lean down to pluck the ripened berries and place them into the small crates. It gives us the perfect opportunity to work on the difference between red and green as I notice each are given equal love, both being picked by my little guy. He fills his first basket and I smile and clap in approval. Loving the response, he dumps all the fruit onto the dusty ground, kneels before them and fills the basket once again.
A little girl runs down the row, stopping a few yards from us. She stoops down to uncover a vibrant red cache of berries. She pops one into her mouth and lets out a loud “mmmmm” before running on in search of her next find.
This is all the encouragement my toddler needs to pop a delectable piece of scarlet-colored goodness into his own mouth. From there, his mission completely changes. He now filters through the bin, squishing berries to judge their juiciness, devouring them almost as fast as I place them in.
On the wagon ride back, I look around at all the little faces guiltily displaying red stains on their smiling cherub cheeks. I glance at my own ruby-faced angel and take mental note to throw in a few extra dollars since I’m certain he ate his weight’s worth in the field. My guess is the checkout attendant won’t be surprised.
If You Go
Berry Patch Farms
13785 Potomac St.
Brighton, Colorado 80601
For additional family fun, Berry Patch Farms also provides a pumpkin patch in the fall.
Sheri L. Thompson of Denver is a freelance photojournalist who regularly contributes to gocolorado.com and goworldtravel.com.