Marie’s Garden : Self-Picking

One of my fondest childhood memories is of blueberry-picking with my grandmother and my brother. We’d drive out to a farm outside of Atlanta and return with our buckets and bellies full of berries.

Therefore I was thrilled to discover that a self-picking farm had sprouted up near Brussels. Without further delay — well, I heard about it in spring and waited until September — Mum and I headed out there last weekend.

A glowing pumpkin field.

A glowing pumpkin field.

Though only fifteen minutes out of the European capital, Marie’s Garden lies nestled in the countryside. The rural air makes people cheerful; they debate about how many onions to buy, and show their children how to pick leeks.

In addition to leeks, the Garden grows all manner of things : kale, yellow squash, Brussels sprouts, green beans, pumpkins, raspberries, mint, and even teetering sunflowers. Mum and I picked green beans for dinner, along with squash, a few kale leaves, and the odd raspberry.

Posing with the season's last raspberry — and some grass, after I spilled all our raspberries on the ground.

Posing with the season’s last raspberries — and some grass, after I spilled all our raspberries on the ground and had to pick them up.

It felt great to be crouched under the sun, plucking our dinner from the warm dirt. I’ve often found nature has this restorative power. I guess something deep down inside of us needs that connection to the earth, to greenness and growing.

I would highly recommend visiting Marie’s Garden. Though Brussels has its fair share of local markets where you can purchase great produce, there’s something so unique about harvesting it yourself. And they sell ice cream. I need say no more.

Marie’s Garden
Valkenweg 116
3090 Overijse
Tue-Fri : 13:30-17:00 (cashier closes at 16:50)
Sat : 10:30-17:00
Sun : 10:30-16:00

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