This morning started with a visit to the pea patch. The current rows are nearly finished. I sold most of what was picked today already
and will hopefully have some for Sunday.
I have two more rows that are just starting to flower and if everything
works out, I will have peas for another three weeks.
Afterwards I decided to go on the hunt for
some new mulberry hot spots. I need a
lot of mulberries for tomorrow and it was unlikely my normal route would yield
enough. One of the very best parts of
picking wild fruit are the unexpected surprises you will find. It is still way too early for most of my
finds, but this year’s weather is anything but normal. I first found choke cherries. I spent most of my life believing they were poisonous. They are just really sour. I use them to make pancake syrup and
YUM! The next find was a new mile long
stretch of mulberries mixed in with a black berry bramble and an assortment of
red and black raspberries. SCORE!! It gets better. Since I moved to Kansas I have been in search
of gooseberries. I have seen evidence of
their existence but could never find their window of ripeness. Today, I hit the window perfectly. For three years I have promised my grandpa I
would make him a batch of mulberry/ gooseberry jam. This year is the year. He turned 90 in May so hopefully this will be
the perfect late birthday gift. I hope
everyone understands why those berries are not for sale.
While out I found one more treasure, wild cherries. I also
found a few wild black berries. Tom may
be able to cut wheat tomorrow after all.
I noticed the sand plums are out in full force and I found evidence
of what may be wild grapes for later this summer. Wild grapes are almost unheard of anymore so
I am particularly interested in seeing if I have truly found Big Foot. The past few years we have had late May
freezes and a lot of the fruit has not materialized. There is a lot of wild fruit this year. My jelly making and pie baking customers will
be so happy.
Picking wild fruit is not for
sissies. It can be grueling, even
dangerous at times, but I love it. I
wear my wounds with pride. Things like
wild cherries, mulberries and chokecherries offer hazards such as unhappy blue
jays and bees protecting what they believe to be theirs. Bees are a double-edged sword. I need bees to pollenate my
produce, but I am slightly allergic. With
bees the best defense is to walk away for a bit and then come back. I also avoid wearing colors that are common
to flowers and I do not wear perfumes or scented deodorant. I always ask myself three questions when
dealing with bees: 1.) how badly do I want the fruit; 2.) how persistent is the
bee; and 3.) do I actually have my cell phone with me. My dtermination is determined by the answers
to those questions.
Blackberries are thorny and
usually in the wild will be along a steep embankments. I fell today coming down one bank. I was alone on a road nobody goes down. Don’t worry I did not land on the fruit. Gooseberries are more than thorny. If you were to rake your arm across a gooseberry
thorn you would likely walk away with a serious injury. Black raspberries are a whole other matter…snakes. I hate snakes but I have found the high
pitched scream as you run in the opposite direction technique to work about as
well as anything.
The final hazards lie within the
actual roads. The best fruit can always
be found on the worst roads and I am the insane woman traveling down these
roads, usually in our sedan. We are way
over due for rain and I was on a SAND road.
Tom has received that call many times over the years. He is to the point he just expects it. At one point today my tire sank so deeply
into the sand I was about to call. God
found favor on me and I decided after that to find a new road.
The final rule to always remember
... even the most remote roads will turn into well travel highways at the
worst possible moments. Parking cars on
the wrong side of a blind hill is danger waiting to happen. I have also noticed when Mother Nature calls
and I decide I can no longer wait, somebody will come by…Every time.
This afternoon was spent picking
a few tomatoes and what are likely the last of my sour cherries. I also watered a few things. While I fixed supper the girls discovered
that my blueberry bushes are fruiting.
They looked like gerbils. These
bushes were planted last fall and I will not have any fruit to sell until next
summer, but the blue berries are coming.
When I am alone I pursue some of the more difficult areas
and save the easy picks for when my girls are with me. Tonight Autie went with me while Livie hung
out with Tom. I learn a lot about my
girls in moments like these. We brought
our Minnie Mouse scooter with us and yes got it out every time we stopped. There is a bird that when it sings it sounds
remarkably like a kitten crying. We have
had very bad luck with our kittens this year and the yellow kitten
has vanished. We have prayed for yellow
kitty's safe return the past few nights. Autie swore that bird was yellow
kitty and she was going to walk through neck high weeds to save it. I am torn in moments like these. Tom and I both know that kitten will never
come home because it died. The girls
cried so hard when the first two past we could not bring ourselves admit
it. I still don’t know how I manage to coax
Autie out of the weeds, but finally we moved on to a new set of trees.
Autie is so looking forward to mulberry cereal in the
morning. She worked hard and has earned
a few berries. The most boring of
cheerios magically take on a new life with a few mulberries. I love that kid. We pulled into the driveway at bedtime and
Livie was climbing out of the combine.
Everyone will be crabby in the morning.
Most of the fruit picked today will delivered to my drop
customers and to People’s in Manhattan, KS tomorrow. I will hang around tomorrow night to sell a
little more, plus some romaine lettuce, collard greens, fresh herbs, hanging
baskets and bedding plants. I hope you
will stop by. If you live in Nebraska, it
is not too late to add yourself to my delivery list. My prices are very reasonable and my quality
is outstanding. If you are thinking
about it, go ahead and give us a try.
Posted by Twilya
@ 11:45 PM CDT