Friday, July 5, 2013

Picking with my Berry Girl

Every other day (break in the rain or shine), Miriam (newly four years old) and I head outside to pick berries.  It takes almost an hour to circle around the property to check every bush and bramble this time of year.

 black raspberries brambles at the edge of the woods

The only berries we planted were Heritage Red Raspberries which we've continued to divide and transplant as they send out new shoots each spring.  Black raspberries, wine berries and mulberries were already here. We've encouraged the spreading of the black raspberries and wine berries by knocking down surrounding weeds to promote more light.  And spread, they have!  I'm also picking small handfuls of blueberries, which is like heaven to me.  

black raspberries

There are about a dozen distinct areas around the yard where berries are.  I don my berry container necklace (allowing me to pick with two hands and not spill my bucket).  Miriam takes no container because she picks for her tummy, not the bucket.  I love knowing that she gets these large doses of spray-free sun-ripened berries.

ripening mulberries

Between mouthfuls of berries, she talks.  Nonstop.  She reassures me when there are bugs or when I feel as if I may topple into the bushes as I reach for some berries hiding toward the back.  She'll say, "Don't worry, Mama, I'll scare that ant away," or "Just stand up, Mama, you'll be fine".  She tells me how she likes the black raspberries best because they're so easy to pick (why more so than the others, I have no idea).  She comments about the chickens, telling me who the biggest pullet is how she'll protect the others (her name is King of the Wind).  She pushes her way through prickly bushes where I'd rather not go and points out the ones we've missed.

mixed berries

The black raspberries are still going strong and the red raspberries and wine berries are just starting, so there will be many more hours of berry picking this summer.  I treasure these hours with her, at age four- full of ideas and chit chat.  She treasures them, too.  She gets her Mama all to herself with no competition to hold my ear.  Sam used to be my berry boy.  Then Sadie became my berry girl.  Now it's Miriam.  Whatever will I do when she grows out of this, too?

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  1. I do the same thing w/ my berry boy! He's a chatter box as well. Lot's of 'why's' and 'how come's'! Precious!!!

  2. These are the moments we live for. Even when she is grown, she will look back and cherish those moments.

  3. We also have the black raspberries growing wild on our property, and this year is a large crop. Even though they're growing in the midst of our forsythia hedge and look terrible, at this time of year we're glad!

  4. I love to pick berries, its joyful activity and a very good time pass. Your berries are looking lovely and delicious. You are doing great job with your berries.

  5. Made me think of when I used to help my grandma pick strawberries in her garden. She's 98 years old and starting to fail. Brought tears to my eyes thinking about how shed let us walk through the berry patch with our little buckets but most went in our mouths.

  6. I didn't grow up picking. A friend took me about ten years ago when we were both newly married. She did grow up picking and shared with me her quick picking tips. Now, my son is almost six and my daughter is almost three and they have come picking with me every year since before they were born. I love being able to hand down the love of living off the land God gave us to work. They love going with me every summer and I have tried to take pictures every year to give them when they grow up. I also love that have these berries lead to some fun (and interesting) adventures in the kitchen too! : )

  7. this is just so sweet. Love it. (A tad jealous of your berries, too!)


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