Are you a fan of PYO produce? If you already know that stands for “Pick Your Own,” you probably are. I’ve been out to two berry farms near me, the Berry Patch and Natura Farms this summer. I’ve picked strawberries, red and black currants, blueberries, and just this week, black and purple raspberries. If I’m living right, I’ll also get to pick blackberries before the end of the summer, too.
Do you have a favorite place to pick berries? Have you been out yet this summer? Strawberries are over, of course, but there are still some raspberries and blueberries to be had out there.
I take special delight in heading off down a row, bucket swinging off my arm. There must be some innate joy in foraging food, as I get practically giddy when I find big berries others have missed. Folks of all ilk show up beside you and you can eavesdrop on some seriously strange conversations (note to the woman picking blueberries last Sunday — your friend really did not want you to describe in exacting detail the pregnancy video you offered to loan her).
Are you a jam-maker (freezer or canned)? A jelly aficionado? We’ve made both at my house this summer (raspberry jam, blueberry jam, currant jelly). And frozen both juice and whole berries. This year, for the first time, I’m also trying to dehydrate some berries for use in breads later. Have you done that? Have any suggestions to share?