Taras had been dropping hints for weeks that he wanted to go berry picking, his final (not-so-subtle) hint being when he came home last Friday night with a print-out of the berry picking schedule from Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA.
Cider Hill has been our go-to spot for picking adventures - berries, peaches, and apples - ever since I moved to the Boston area. The farm is beautiful, there's a well-stocked farm store, the staff is so friendly, and they have chickens, goats, and sheep you can pet through the fence that has big enough squares for even adult hands to fit through. We also like the location of the farm, convenient from both Boston and Portsmouth, and it doesn't hurt that my parents moved to that very town a couple years ago.
On Saturday morning we picked up my mom on our way over, and the three of us went on a morning picking adventure (well, really, it was more of an eating adventure for Taras). We were in and out by 10:30, which was great for avoiding both the heat and crowds - I highly recommend this approach!