Friday, July 16, 2010

Small is Beautiful

And oh so sweet. I am talking about wild blueberries. I will never forget the first time I tasted them. We were spending a weekend at a friend's beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. One morning, we happened to drive through a quaint neighborhood when we spotted a couple of young kids (about 6 or 7
years old) selling something on their driveway. The kids were so cute we couldn't resist stopping to see what they have to offer. We bought some wild blueberries and they were deliciously sweet. Since then, I am a fan of freshly picked fruits or vegetables, wild or farmed. Whenever I get a chance to pick fruits off a tree or bush at a farm or someone's backyard, I do so with a passion. No matter the temperature or bugs.

Case in point. Yesterday, I foraged for the wild blackberries that were growing along the road, just off the entrance to the marina. I've been warned about rattlesnakes lurking underneath those thorny bushes, but that wasn't gonna stop me from picking some wild berries. There were bugs - yellow jackets, among others - competing with me, but no snakes. By the time I was done, I was sweating like a pig in the heat and humidity. It was 100 degrees F in Chattanooga. And we thought Florida was hot. During the day, it was actually 5 to 10 degrees hotter here. Chattanooga's weather has been strange this year - a frigid winter, a rainy spring, now a hot summer (85 -100 degrees F the last few weeks). As a result, the wild blackberries are small. But boy, are they sweet. I gave some to my neighbors, and froze some for smoothies. Maybe I'll make blackberry jam with the rest.
Wild blackberries

Homemade blackberry jam and smoothie. Yum!

With blueberries and bing cherries selling for $1.99 a lb, and sweet corn returning to its normal price ($1 for 5 ears) at the local farmer's market and major grocery stores, I'd say this year's crops are off to an excellent start.

Is your area enjoying a good harvest so far?

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your visit. I can't believe what fun you must be having. Loved hearing about all the wonderful fruit. I will be back to hear your adventures. This sounds wonderful.