Sunday, July 11, 2010

My berry, your berry

I mentioned those cherry plums I'd recently discovered. The kids and I were in the park with nothing to do, and they spotted some yellow fruits on the ground. "What are these?" My first thought was unripe crabapples. But then why were they all over the ground? Then Lucy handed me one she'd bitten (yup, she's teething), and I saw a pit inside. I smelled it--it smelled like a plum. But it was tiny! I'd never heard of such a thing. So I looked it up, and found out they're called "cherry plums." They're about the size of cherries; they can be red or yellow; and they're often used as landscaping plants. Oh, how I love the person who, choosing landscaping plants for a public park, decided upon edible fruit trees! Shouldn't all parks have food we can share? Look at the bounty on just this one tree:

We picked some Saturday--probably a bit early, but I wanted to be really sure we didn't miss them. (I'm hoping they'll finish ripening at home, and then we'll make some jam.)

Andi hung from a branch to pull it low, I picked all I could reach, and Lucy picked up any we dropped on the ground. It was quick work for us to pick 12 quarts of plums.

Sunday was for raspberries. Never mind the humidity and heat in the 90s; we had to pick. We hadn't found a good pick-your-own raspberry place until this year, and they were too expensive to buy in quantity at farmer's markets, so we haven't done raspberry jam in a few years. But it's my favorite! Plus, I want more variety in our stored fruits this year, so I wanted some to freeze.

You can tell Lucy's been raised eating locally. We told her we were going to pick raspberries. She's never done that before, but clearly, pick-your-own is familiar to her. When we got to the farm, I handed her a box and without any further instruction, she went straight to the canes, picked a ripe berry, and dropped it in her box!

Of course, some went into her mouth, too.

And a few into her hat.

(I love these little collections vignettes she leaves behind wherever she goes!)

We only managed 6 quarts before we were melting too much to continue, but that should be enough to keep us busy for a while!

Now my mind is humming the picking-fruit songs. Saturday was "picking up cherry plums and putting them in the basket..." (originally pawpaws--and, hey, looking it up for you, I just learned a ton of new lyrics to this song!). Today was "three berry, four berry, my berry, your berry." Is it just me, or do you have a kids' song for every occasion?


Dawn said...

Looks like lots of fun pickin' going on there!
Here in Halifax they are starting to plant more edible plants/trees in the parks and other public areas. I LOVE that idea! The city gardener who started it donates the produce to soup kitchens in town... awesome!

muffinmoon said...

Great pictures! Lucy gets cuter each week and I can't believe that's even possible. I had some over ripe blueberries the other day which I'd picked up cheaply at the market. The jam was amazing. I am definitely going to make more even though it felt crazy to be boiling anything in this summer heat! Loving the gentleness of your blog and the kindness with which you live, Lise.

Meryl said...

Mmmm raspberry season! Me thinks I need to get myself out to our own little pick-your-own farm!

denise said...

Oh, what a bounty with those plums! Yum!!!!