While Linda is the tomato gal, I’m the berry guy. Our berry harvest actually begins in July with blueberries and deerberries. We learned about these while hiking locally on our honeymoon 18 years ago. Now these are not the marble sized blueberries, wonderful as those are, from the store or farmer’s market. This are the size of pearls and just a precious. Eat a handful of these each week in July and you will have enough anti-oxidants to purge all the free-radicals you could accumulate on a cross country flights in a year. We knew that we had these bushes in our forest, but we found few berries on our property for years. When we began clearing more of the area around our cabin for gardens, livestock fields, etc. the sun brought out the fruit. With each summer with these berry bushes fill out and our harvest if fuller. These bushes are less than knee-high, so you get a good stretch bending and kneeling down to find the tiny berries.
About the same time in July, the black and gold raspberries ripen under our apple and peach trees. To fill out the flavor, the wineberries add red dots to the roadside. We would call these wild raspberries, but the local folks collect them to make home-made wine. We do not wait long enough for them to ferment, but add them to July smoothies, our mid-morning boost between breakfast and lunch. Next in line are the blackberries. Each of these berry seasons give us enough for daily consumption and a few trays of frozen berries for the winter months.
Then comes August. The gentle pace of picking berries with a small woven basket is over. Bring out the buckets. Our raspberry patch will produce until frost, whether that occurs in September, October, or November. We acquired our first roots while visiting friends, Donna and Jack, in Virginia Beach. Their berry patch had outgrown its location in their extensive garden. That should have given us some warning. We planted these roots to the east side of our garden. A dozen years later, we have two sections. The original area covers about 30′ by 6′, and the newer area about 10′ by 6′. Maybe if we did not add so much manure from the barn each winter… One weekend, we had two sets of neighbors come by and pick as many raspberries as they could take. A couple hours after they left, we went out and picked seven quarts of berries from the area they said they had “picked clean”.
Some years, Linda cans raspberries with the minimum amount of sugar. But, I can only eat so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a year. More recently, we have been freezing berries, which taste great in February in yogurt, and April in smoothies, along with all those peaches. Yummm.
Once I have the berries picked, it is time to check the corn.