Monday, July 16, 2012

Harvest Monday -- here and elsewhere

This week was the annual trip down the coast to pick ollalieberries.

It's a beautiful place.

And the harvest is just lovely -- they tasted like jam on the vine.

While I'm the avid, driving force,

I did have help.

And my help isn't like a toddler's "help," unlike Denise's

The big guys helped, even though they're not thrilled about the berries themselves. My two younger girls refused to come, opting to clean the house instead. Go figure!

I don't think we'll be going back though. I do love the trip, love the memories, but the prices have gone up so far that with the long drive added on, my jars of jam are almost retail priced! Since we have many blackberry patches around town, I figure I can get my jam berries that way. Plus, if I plant ollalieberries in the difficult-to-keep-watered back bed (possibly after cutting down the branch overhead first) I'll probably get enough berries to keep us in pies. And then if we want to drive, we'll just go to the favorite beach nearby instead. And eat homegrown ollalieberry jam and peanut butter sandwiches!

In closer harvests, today, I did a quick run through the garden. Apples, strawberries, hot peppers, Padron peppers, lots and lots of kinds of cucumbers, a whack of kale, summer squash, and beans. So far today I've got two bowls of cucumbers and cucumber slices brining, while two jars of pepper rings are pickled and sealed. We ate the kale for dinner, and had strawberries with shortcake for dessert. That only leaves the zucchini and beans to process, the apples and eating cukes to consume. Look away for two days, I tell you. . .

It's churlish to complain, though. And there are lovely neighbors who will eat extra, the food bank is always happy to get whatever we can give, and it's local and fresh. We are blessed.


Stoney Acres said...

Great looking harvest this week. We are still waiting for our summer glut of veggies to start. Just a few more weeks!!

Annie*s Granny said...

Lovely berry picking trip, and beautiful harvest! But you just reminded me I have 3 pounds of green beans in the refrigerator, waiting to be snapped, blanched and frozen...yawn, no rest for the wicked! Hey, it just started raining! That's twice this week we've had real thunder boomer rain storms. At least the air is lovely and cool.

Michelle said...

A whack of kale, I love that, gotta remember that - "honey. we're having a whack of kale tonight"!

Ollallieberry picking is fun but haven't done it in years. We don't eat much jam or pies anymore and I prefer other berries for fresh eating anyway. But a slice of Duarte's ollallieberry pie is good now and again, with whipped cream, or yeah, or maybe some ice cream...

Lovely harvests!

kitsapFG said...

We periodically go to Graysmarsh farm to pick blueberries and raspberries, but don't do it every year now because there is just the two of us and we honestly just don't need that much anymore. I love the outing though and a day picking in the field (next to the sea which adds to the scenic beauty). Your day reminds me so much of our many days picking as a family - good memories.

You are doing an admirable job keeping up with the abundant summertime harvests. It get's hard in late July and August to stay on top of it - but worth it!

Daphne Gould said...

Beautiful harvests. I love berry jam. I don't eat a lot since it has so much sugar in it but I do love it. Today I was out picking my gooseberries for the first time ever. I can't wait to make gooseberry pie.

Stefaneener said...

Stony Acres, thanks! I know what it's like when it starts to trickle in, then the flood starts to increase!

AG, you on the other hand, will keep up with your beans. I am not sure they won't end up staying on the counter for days. . .

Michelle, there are many units of measurement that we use here. "A whack" is unusually helpful, though. We don't go to Duarte's but I've heard great things about it. And to tell the truth, I eat much less jam than I used to!

kitsapFG, isn't it a great day? Sometimes I think I'd pick berries just for the fun of picking. I need to give them away, I guess, or freeze for smoothies. I'm a little worried about August, to tell you the truth! Maybe that's why planting fall crops feels difficult.

Daphne, we do try to use the low-sugar Pomona's recipes sometimes but blackberries are pretty tart sometimes. Limited jam for me!

Mary Hysong said...

what a lovely harvest! Love those berries!

Anonymous said...

Churlish perhaps, but I do agree that it gets a bit overwhelming... I'm not sure what to eat first these days!

You eat the zucchini and the beans pile up! LOL

What variety of apples do you have that are ripe already? My Braeburns are a good four months off.

~ Birgitt

Susan said...