Sunday, August 30, 2009

Project 365: Day 148

August 29, 2009
Buckets of Blackberries

One of the main reasons for going to Wisconsin this weekend was to harvest wild blackberries. According to my dad, who closely monitors these things, this is the best blackberry season in Wisconsin since 2003. Add to that, the fact that our family friend Al found a legendary patch of blackberry bushes on 120 acres of land for sale near his family's cabin and had gotten permission to pick it, I just had to be a part of it. We were in the blackberry patch by 9am and didn't come out until 1:30pm. It was cold and rained on us a little, but we stuck it out. In that time, my dad and I managed to pick 17 quarts of blackberries. We also managed to get scratches all over our bodies.

Those thorns are NASTY. Some of the bushes were so thick and tall, they were almost ripping my clothes off as I tried to make my way through them. Despite being fully covered in clothing, I still ended up with little scratches all over my hands and arms, some long scratches on my legs and puncture wounds on my thighs. It was so worth it, though, because I am now in the process of freezing nearly 2 gallons of blackberries for use this winter. I won't even remember the scratches when I am making blackberry pancakes in January.

After spending the first half of the day in the woods, we went back to my dad's house, washed our wounds, changed into dry socks and started harvesting produce from his garden. I picked all of these things:

Green, Red and Banana Peppers
Green Beans

And, after all of that, I allowed myself some time to read my book under the warmth of a quilt.
A hard day's work on the weekend, but fulfilling to spend that time and energy engaged in activities that directly connect me to the food I eat. I feel lucky to have a dad that has so much experience foraging and gardening and is willing to teach me all about it.

Since there were some blog readers that helped out with my earlier plea of tree identification, I am hoping there is someone out there who can either confirm or deny my guess that this is a chokecherry tree:

What do you think? Chokecherries or no?

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