Sunday, July 3, 2011

Adventures In Berry Picking

If you have ever wondered why my blog is called Cackles and Berries, it has to do with the abundance of berries found in the pasture on our farm.  The Pasture, I believe was once used to graze cattle but since has been turned into a haven for wild life. It is however loaded with wild black raspberries, blackberries, and mulberries as well as wildflowers.
The "cackle" has to do with my love of chickens.
Every year my mother and I go berry picking. Prior to moving here we used to hunt for berries along the canal and other public wooded areas. Now we are blessed with being able to step out our door and into a secluded private haven, of berries!

Mom and I both attended mass on Saturday evening so we could get up early and pick berries this morning.
She was at my door slightly before 7. We dressed in our "gear" and sprayed ourselves liberally with OFF before heading out. She wasn't to keen on getting her picture taken but it didn't take much to talk her into it. She just wasn't going to pose.

We picked up the face nets last year and they have been wonderful at keeping the mosquitos away from our faces. I try not to think about all the little critters but they are everywhere.  Spiders especially seem to love berry plants.

Ewwww... and I move on.

In all fairness..this is me!
It can get pretty hot. Especially when you have to dress in long sleeves and pants.  So early morning or evening hours are really the best time to pick.

Mom has always out picked me. I've always carried my bucket but this year I agreed to use one of her ropes and tie the bucket around my waist. I thought perhaps this was her secret to picking more berries but I still came up short.

If this is the biggest critter I stumble upon I'll be happy! Once I walked up on a coyote. He ran the other direction, thank goodness.

hmmm..Mom left her bucket of berries on the seat of the mule.

She's in the thick of it and would never know if I snuck a few of her berries into my bucket.

But, I would know- She still out picked me!!

We picked for about 3 hours and I think we ended up with about 3 1/2  ice cream pails of berries.
Time to make a fresh batch of jam.

This wonderful juicer was handed down to me by my mother with the stipulation that she could borrow it when ever she wanted.

What a deal huh? Its great for juicing anything- no cheese cloth required. Drop the berries in the top, water in the bottom and the juice drips in the middle and comes out the spigot.

My pail and 1/2 yielded this much seedless jam- plus plenty to eat.

Even with all the mosquitoes buzzing in my ears, the sweat running down my back and fearful dread of getting poison ivy- I wouldn't change a minute for anything. I love the berries but even more I love the time spent in quiet with my mom in the heart of nature.

God is good!!

Thanks mom for being a good sport and letting me take your picture.

1 comment:

  1. Love that name and, yup, I had wondered -smile-.
    Happy July 4th to you and yours!