Spending the day as a country girl

pickin berries

My friends Norma (pictured), Ruthie and I spent the morning pickin’ blueberries.

When I was a mere teenager, I thought I would like to be the wife of a farmer, but back then all the guys were going into law, medicine or banking. All the farmers’ sons wanted to escape the back breaking work of cultivating the good earth.

Now, so many years later, it seems the world is shifting. I’m thinking, we’d better find ways to become self sufficient again and stop depending on foreign oil to keep our lives greased and running smoothly.

Suddenly, I can think of nothing better than awaking to the crowing of a rooster, pulling on my coveralls and picking produce fresh from the vine, still kissed by the morning dew. Today I had an opportunity to do it – well all except for the rooster part. He had already greeted the dawn when I arrived at the country home of friends who can darn well thumb their noses at the grocery store.

In addition to cattle, they raise an enormous garden with three or four other couples I’m guessing it was several acres devoted to rows and rows of tomatoes, peas, beans, beets, onions, squash, lettuce, cucumbers and something new to me – rutabagas.

produce We began our morning of “Picking Produce 101” in a lovely raised bed of blueberries. Our hostess presented us bags and welcomed us to pick to our hearts content. She explained that they must be picked every day in order to keep producing, and she was getting pretty tired of it.

Three of us picked and picked, gossiping shamelessly as we made our way through the orchard. Then we headed to the fields and picked some more until we were so hot and dusty we could hardly pick any more. I had a new appreciation for what it took to plant and tend that garden.

Home again, I began to plan how to preserve the bounty. I’m thinking pickles. Anyone know how to make pickles? My new friend, the generous gardener, keeps a huge crock in her kitchen so her children and guests can help themselves to the hot sweet treats anytime. But right now, I’m not feeling so good. I ate a quart of blueberries on the drive home. I’d heard they are good for improving your memory. (I probably didn’t eat that many, but my memory is pretty bad!)

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