Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday and blackberries from the Berry Farm

What can be better on a warm summer afternoon than to get out in the country and pick berries?

The Goddess of Fire and I hopped in the old Mini Cooper and took ourselves to The Berry Farm in Chatham, eager to see this year's crop.

Picking berries, while it has it's delights, can be some serious business. In the middle of an organic berry patch there are lots of flying creatures, most of whom are as interested in the  berries as you are.  They're not very polite either.  The Goddess got out the bug repellent, and I got out my head net.   Blackberry plants have long canes, which the farmers try their best to corral with wire, and each cane has a very very generous helping of thorns as well as berries.  Big thorns, little thorns and medium size thorns, all with extremely sharp points, wave about in the breeze.  It's a sort of strategic challenge to not only see the berries, which frequently hang hidden under leaves, but to grasp, pluck, and successfully get berries into one's basket without seriously ripped clothing and flesh.   One reaches into the bush cautiously, knowing that one little twitch of either the cane or the human can result in pain and lots of uttered profanities.

We won!!!

One of the advantages of living in our agricultural area is that these babies are just a short drive away, waiting on the bush.  For a few scratches, bug bites and an hour or so of picking, we gathered six quarts between the two of us.  These are the Goddess's.

She's freezing hers on this tray so that they don't become a huge block of blackberry, and jam is on her mind. That'll all get cooked up when she is ready.  Mine are going to be eaten fresh this week, and some will be made into a nice syrup, to be used in cooking and making salad dressings, etc.  I washed and rinsed them in a mild vinegar wash in order to keep the mold down.

To reward ourselves we enjoyed a refreshing dessert composed of blackberries, a nectarine, fresh mint leaves and Lillet.  It was a wonderful end to a lovely adventure.

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