Here in the Pacific Northwest, the berries are on! It’s one of my favorite times of year! Don’t get me wrong, picking berries in the heat (that’s what refer to temperatures above 75 around here…) is not that much fun. But if you can get up early and get it done- ooooh BABY!
Here on the coast, our berries ripen a little later than those more inland. One of my favorite places to pick berries is Rowell Brothers Berry Farm in Hillsboro, Oregon. This place has EVERYthing! They have blueberries, raspberries, marionberries and boysenberries. Acres and acres of berries! A few weeks ago, I picked marionberries and boysenberries there. You take your bucket out to the fields and pick away- and the boysenberries were so big and ripe, that I only had to pick about 20 yards of bushes to fill my bucket! Crazy! Also, I like that they have a policy that includes all you can eat while you pick! What’s not to love about that?
I grew up picking berries- tons of them. My mother used to take us to a strawberry field in Canyonville to pick. She said they should have weighed me coming in and leaving- because I ate more than I put in the bucket! What can I say? I love berries! In any case, she taught me to make jelly. And it’s one of those things that I make every year. I can make jelly with store bought berries, but it’s so much better when I pick them myself!
Here locally, I love to go to Gibson Farms in Siletz, Oregon. They have blueberries. All kinds! There, they take you to a bush and tell which direction you can pick. The expectation is that you pick all the ripe berries on the first bush before moving on to the next bush. Easy enough. I love this place!
Today, Kanye and I picked the blackberries at our place. We have a fairly good size berry patch. What’s cool about that, is that I can spend 10 minutes picking berries, as they ripen. Blackberries are just beginning to to ripen here, so it doesn’t take long- for now! Kanye loves to pick berries- and I always worry that she’s going to get a thorn in her nose! But, she does it anyway- I figure if she gets a thorn, she’ll quit. Maybe. The berries are pretty good!
What do I do with all those berries, you ask? Well, I freeze them. And I make jelly out of them. And I make cobblers. And, well, we eat them right out of the bowl! There is just nothing better than homemade jelly made from fresh picked berries. There just isn’t.