That lovely picture is of this morning’s harvest or if you will the product of my foraging, as I got them from a location I didn't plant intentionally. That is about 3/4's of a gallon of blackberries in one morning! They are being frozen until the season is over and I have some rose hips, then I am making some jam and maybe some syrup.
It made me think though, as I had help after I had gotten 2 pints already on my own by at first my youngest... then my oldest and then finally the middle child. I -LOVE- fresh blackberries, not as much as fresh strawberries; but hey nothing adds up to them.
To me there is nothing better than putting into my mouth a blackberry just off the bramble that has exploded into my hand from being sooo ripe. Sweet with a lite bitterness that comes from natural sugars. I did pause this morning when I tasted a particularly sweet one, with a moan escaping my lips. As oddly, considering modern life I prefer my sweets in the form of berries now. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate... but it's just not the same.
I think many kids and adults miss something good when they don't eat something freshly picked, like fruit. It has it's own flavor and it's very unique. To me most of the processed sweets have all the same flavor, and it's missing something.
The other part that I was thinking on is how my kids pick berries. Had I handed them my berrying bucket and sent them out I'd have been lucky to get maybe a pint. ..and the thing is it would not be because they were eating while picking. Part of it is they don't seen them all on the brush. They also want to find the “perfect” berry. It really made me think when I realized that, as I just finished a book about primitive man(novel) and how they lived and that included gathering food.
If my kids had to rely on what we had found to eat.. they would wind up picking more of them. My youngest admitted that, so I told her then just think that way and we'll have tons of berries to make things with. One or two blemishes mean nothing, and partly dried out? Come on, people pay tons of money to buy dried fruits; pick them yourself. It'll do you some good to be out in the sun enjoying the fresh air... and grins getting covered in berry juice! It's an old family pastime, that I think needs to be revitalized.
People use to spend whole days going out “berrying”, and they'd bring a picnic lunch and the dessert would be the fresh berries with sometimes some home made cake. To me that sounds much better than going to the store and “foraging” for a nice looking package of berries. As that is what you are doing when you are in the store turning the berry packs all around to check every angle until you find just the right one that looks to be “perfect”. WOW.. I just realized where my kids' idea of perfection on berries comes from. As if you don't do “perfect” on ones in the store you are likely to have rotten berries.
I don't know if any of you remember seeing an older orange commercial a number of years ago from the orange growers. It had a woman explaining a ripe orange isn't always fully orange, which tech if it's green it's not ripe... but the point is most people have no clue what “ripe” is... I certainly don't know what a ripe wild blueberry looks like. So I am learning that, maybe true ripeness should be taught to all people; most of all children.
I hope everyone out there gets to experience the freshest of the season!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...