Berry picking has got to be one of the greatest pastimes ever. Besides being great entertainment, the reward for your work is so great. If you love berries like I do, then you should definitely make plans to visit the Pacific Northwest the last week in July or the first week of August one year.
Before I had ever been out this way, I can remember picking puny little Arkansas blackberries with my grandparents and my grandfather boasting that where he came from, the blackberries were bigger than his thumb. He would hold up his GI-normous thumb for effect as he said it.
Even as a little girl, I thought he was exaggerating. But he was right. The berries are bigger and sweeter and more bountiful out here than in any other place in the world. I relished the berry season every summer when we lived out here, making more jars of jam than we could possibly eat in a year. I gave it to every one I knew.
Over the past couple of weeks, when it has not been raining, we have been picking berries. We have now picked strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and marionberries. A couple of weeks ago I went to a farmers’ market with my friend in Oregon and we bought a mixed flat of berries, which our two families promptly devoured. Then she let me trash her kitchen making blackberry pies with blackberries that the kids picked on the side of the country road on which she and her family live. You can’t imagine how good that pie tasted to me. Blackberry pie is my favorite dessert on earth, and I haven’t made a pie all summer, so it was with great delight that I rolled crust and zested lemons along with the army of little helpers I had all around me.
Last week while we were camping in Birch Bay, we limited ourselves to picking only 10 pounds of berries at a time. We learned our lesson with the strawberries back in June.
It takes us about 2 days to devour 10 pounds, and then we go back for more.
If we aren’t picking berries, we are buying berry desserts from local bakeries: blackberry buckle bread, blueberry crumb bars, raspberry oatmeal bars, to name a few. Or we are driving by fields and fields full of berries. It just makes me so happy to see the abundance of berries.
A favorite children’s book of mine is about picking berries. If you love to pick berries, you will love Jamberry. We’ve read this book countless times!
Come to think of it, at about this time last year I was stopping to pick wild raspberries in Colorado while Taido was driving our family up a mountain. I just can’t stop myself.