i had the opportunity to do something i really enjoy doing yesterday……. picking blueberries. They’re a bit early in “coming on” this year due to our early summer and record temps so as something i generally do in August, I headed out to do mid-July.
Before i got to the blueberry patch,though, i spied the raspberry field. Funny how these seemingly innocent red berries called my name and i headed over to pick some of those, first. Picking raspberries is a tedious chore – but one that is enjoyable once i make my Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins – the bushes are about shoulder height and loaded with bees and pickers. i’m sure it’s the bird’s way of saying, “Stay away from these delicious morsels; they’re ours!” But i persisted in bending under the bushes to grab the berries that were tucked underneath and bending over the bushes to grab the ones that were protected against the picky branches. I kept thinking to my self, “Why am I doing this?” because it was hot and sweat started to run down my back. Those muffins, though, kept calling my name and the other thing that kept me going was hearing my son, the chef, say, “Let’s make some raspberry coulis.” Pick, I did. Scratch, I did. When that part was done, I had spent 45 minutes picking 2 quarts……
After finishing that sidelined trek, I headed towards the blueberry patch. This farm is quite modern as the whole patch is engulfed in white netting to keep the birds out. i can’t imagine the agony the farmer has each spring fixing the holes that Old Man Winter has managed to create with his coarse winds. After i arrived at the patch,there was a sweet girl that walked me into the vestibule of the netted haven and proceeded to show me where i could pick. “See where that stool is?” she asked me? i confirmed that i did and she continued, “Pick until you get to the next stool. If you meet up with that stool, tell me and i’ll move you to another location.” The sweet child obviously didn’t know the extent of how hot and tired i was from picking raspberries or she would have never suggested i would have the energy to pick THAT MUCH and have to be moved on.
The blueberries were a bit easier to pick, though, because there are no pickers and you get a stool to sit on. By this time, however, it was getting hotter and the sweat was running down my back and off my nose. i can’t recall when i’ve started to sweat so much! I picked 1/2 a bucket and decided to call it “a day.”
I’m used to picking fruit with my adult children which makes the task go much faster and is much more interesting. i did have some entertainment, though. i watched 2 goldfinches play tag, heard a grandma trying to convince her 2 year old grandson to call her “grandmother”, listened as 2 couples discussed the extent that retired teachers gouge the system by supplying too much and overheard a mother encouraging her kids to “eat all you want.” (i’m still surprised that they don’t weigh you before and after you pick.)
As i stood there picking, scratching, eavesdropping and sweating, i kept thinking how grateful i am that i live in an area of the world where if only for a short time each year, i can head out and pick the fruits of the season. As i was driving home, i spied a place where i could buy fresh picked peaches and cream corn. Life doesn’t get much better than this!