Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Berry season

Okay, I really should be filling the canner with water so I can sterilize some jars, but whoo boy , summer is here and everything is a little sticky.  But I have these ramblings running around my brain and I need to get them down.

At my home we have a gully with a small foot bridge over it. In that gully are thick brambles of raspberries.  This is ambrosia and manna; especially when one considers that raspberries sell for 5.00 a pint here. So every other day, I take my berry bucket; fashioned from an old yogurt container and a piece of string, and brave the muck of the gully and the hunger of the mosquitos to fill my quart up.

 At this time of year, this one small act becomes a time of meditation and inspiration for me. How can it not be?  The sun shines through leaves, the berries hang like jewels from ladies ears. Excitement builds when the simple act of picking one berry and putting  it in the bucket over and over fills the bucket. A simple pleasure.

 I freeze these berries. They are small and the effort to acquire what I hope will be 7-10 quarts of free food will take several weeks to collect. There will never be enough berries at one time to make a batch of jam or a jug of wine. But they will brighten up muffins and pancakes this coming winter.

The local family farm stand has U-pick raspberries.  They are selling them for 4.00 a quart. So today the boys and I went to pick 6 quarts of the BIGGEST raspberries I have ever seen.  The berries were in the field. Three long tall rows.

Teen was working his way down one side of a row while I worked myself down the other side. The wee one would run between Teen and me, gleaning a berry from our quarts at each pass. When he came to me, he would say, " Tristan gave me a berry."  I would say,"He is a generous brother." This went on  about 10 ten times when finally when it was my time to say "he is a generous brother" the wee one responded," Yes, he is a cantelope brother!"

I have made a batch of Raspberry wine. Soon it will be decanted into a glass gallon jug. Tomorrow  I will make a batch or Raspberry Jelly. I look forward to spreading on toast this winter with the memories of this day and my wee one's very " cantelope brother".


Meadowlark said...

You are so industrious. I picked a full PINT off my raspberry bush yesterday and made raspberry buttermilk coffeecake this morning. The rest of the berries I froze on a cookie sheet. Is that right? How do you freeze yours?

Fleecenik Farm said...

I lay the parchment paper ona cookie sheet and then then lay the berries out on it. next day I bag them up.

Pat aka Posh said...

You gals are making me hungry.. we don't have any of those around here at all.. except frozen in the store :)

Fleecenik Farm said...

Do you have peaches Pat? They are very hard to grow here/

Pat aka Posh said...

Yes and 'pick your own' farms near us but they are more money then what the store charges.

Lisa said...

How wonderful to be raspberry picking! Oooh, raspberry wine sounds delicious!

Lisa :)

Heather said...

Karin - Which farm stand has raspberries? They are one of my favorite summer fruits. I didn't realize people had U-pick options here in Milo!!! I walked the Pleasant River Walk in Brownville the other day and feasted on wild blueberries that have ripened nicely. Where was the blueberry stand again?

Fleecenik Farm said...

Heather, you can pick raspberries at Stutzman's in Dover. Last year there was upick blueerries for 1.00 a quart on 16 in Milo just as you are leaving town on the Dover road.

Brandi knows place to pick them for free and is planning a trip soon if you want in.