Monday, July 7, 2008

Berry Picking

In the summers of my childhood, my whole family would all get together and go berry picking, usually for raspberries and blackberries. We’d usually go up on North Mountain to pick raspberries or back in “Brown Bear Lodge” to pick blackberries. We’d usually pick gallons at a time and we would can most of them but we’d also save enough fresh berries to make pies and cobblers. I also recall that fresh raspberries and milk with sugar was a favorite.

To pick the blackberries we’d go back in Brown Bear Lodge where the blackberry briers would grow up over the road, and we’d just stay in the truck bed and pick berries which was a lot easier to do that go traipsing through the underbrush. We didn’t pick as many blackberries as we did raspberries because we didn’t like them as well…we thought they tasted like ink. We’d usually make pies and jelly out of the blackberries. Very few of them were eaten fresh.

One time when we was up on the mountain picking raspberries and mountain berries, we were picking on one side of a huge berry patch and heard something on the other side of the berry patch making noise and thrashing the brush. We wondered what it was but didn’t think too much of it until we heard the snorts and grunts getting closer and then we saw a pretty good sized black bear eating the berries as well. After that it didn’t take us too long to get out of there.

In late July we’d also go up on Spruce Knob or out in Dolly Sods and pick huckleberries, we’d use a picker for those and it wasn’t such a big deal to us as picking our favorite, wild black raspberries.

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