Field labor at 9 months

My friend Kori and I had a really fun Sunday this last weekend at Larriland Farm’s pick-your-own blueberry patch and tart cherry orchard. I was afraid we’d be caught by afternoon thunderstorms, but the weather was absolutely perfect: overcast, with a slight breeze, and the temperature probably hovered in the low 80’s. No sunstroke this year!

And picking was fabulous. They must have just opened up that section of the blueberry patch that day, because we were finding huge berries as big as the end of our thumbs! In only a couple hours we had picked ten pounds each – ok, Kori beat me with 10.5. (What a change from last year where we barely managed to pick a couple pounds of sad, small berries each, too few to do anything with but eat fresh).

We then stopped by the beet patch and in no time had 10 pounds of those too (I plan to make borscht, I’m a BIG beet fan) and moved on to the tart cherries just before driving home. If you’ve never tasted a tart cherry, well, these are definitely not cherries for fresh eating. Blech! But they’re the only way to make a really good cherry pie, which Josh had requested.

I had never tasted nor seen a tart cherry, but they may just be the prettiest fruit out there. They are such a bright, well, “cherry” red that they look fake, hanging in such profuse clusters that the look like little jewels against their light green leaves. I couldn’t stop exclaiming over how I wished I’d brought my own camera.

And the profusion of them! All we had to do was stand there and it was like our bags just filled themselves. This picture below might give you some idea:

Photo Sun News Publishing

In no time at all I had about 15 pounds of them (if I’d realized it would take me about four hours to pit them all, perhaps I would have picked less!) That’s much, much more than necessary for a single pie.

In fact, not only did I manage to freeze enough blueberries and cherries for one pie each, I had a good time bringing out all my canning equipment for the first time this year:

That’s 10 jars of blueberry jam, 5 jars of blueberry sauce (for ice cream, cakes, and pancakes), 7 or 8 jars of sour cherry preserves, and 4 jars of sour cherry syrup.

The syrup was made just with the juice that happened to run out during pitting – I was going to throw it away originally. I’m so glad I used it after all – it has so much bright cherry flavor to it that it’s like sucking on a Jolly Rancher! The consistency looks pretty thin (the recipe didn’t call for any thickener, which I thought was strange, so we’ll see) but it will be really great not only on pancakes, but for flavoring sparkling water, lemonade, alcoholic drinks, poured over ice cream…

And of course the best thing about all these preserves is what great gifts they make.

If Taco continues to take her sweet time about joining the world, I may go back in a couple weeks to pick some peaches and blackberries!

2 Responses to “Field labor at 9 months”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    wow! where do you find the energy?
    At least Josh will have sweets when Taco comes..

  2. B'Jewell-d Says:

    actually if we could harness her energy for good instead of evil, we wouldn’t have an energy crisis.

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