Jul 17, 2008

Summertime Pics, vol.3 -- Berry Pickin'

We spent the morning picking blueberries with Sherry, Isaac, Asher & Jodie at Reed Valley Orchard. They have pick-your-own prices, as well as pre-picked berries and all manner of yummy jams & spreads inside. (I'm dying to try the pumpkin butter.) We spent about an hour amidst the bushes, enjoying the sunshine and the peacefulness of being outside.

As relaxing as it sounds (and it was), I have a new respect for folks who grow and pick produce for a living. This hearty berry crop didn't just spring up overnight, like green beans or squash. These bushes took several years to reach full bearing potential, and must be covered with fine mesh to keep snacking birds away. (This grove of bushes was grown inside a huge mesh tent.) And after the bushes fruit, someone has to pick the gorgeous berries, and this takes a little longer than picking a squash.

I don't say this to complain; it just bring the price of food a bit more into perspective. I realized that when I go to Krogers, or even to the farmers' market, I tend to get a little judgmental and dissatisfied with the prices. "Why does a pint of blueberries cost so much?" After sweating in the sun for an hour picking berries, I began to wonder why they don't cost more. And it became more apparent at the register -- you save $2 a quart picking your own. No question, it was worth it.

We ended up with almost a gallon of blueberries (picked by us), a quart of blackberries (pre-picked), and a jar of pear preserves that Sherry highly recommended. Plans for the fruit include a batch of jam and at least one pie. Sherry was telling me how to freeze them, but I didn't pay much attention -- I'm fairly sure none will make it that far.

Miranda assesses the crop. At first, she didn't distinguish between green and blue berries, but after a while she would come up to me with a handful of gorgeous ripe berries. (I don't want to know how many she ate on the sly.)
Sherry displays her harvest.

Isaac and Miranda take a well-deserved rest in the shade. Ah, the life of the preschooler.

Praying, I guess.


melinda said...

you'll have to tell me where reed valley orchard is. we've only been to boyd's to berry pick and i find it soooo relaxing and fun.

maria said...

I wonder if the boys (& their moms) would like to head out there one fine day in early August. Let's ask Joy...

Janet said...

Some of us mountaineers might like to join you . . .
we have our own blackberries, but not much more than can be eaten on a daily basis.