Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wineberry Picking

A gardener can't wait.  If he does, it's too late.  Here am I, in the midst of a writing project, and the wineberries are ripe, a once a year thing.  I refuse to let the birds and bears, or sun-drying, beat me to them, so I picked about 5 gallons yesterday morning.  I also won't put them in the refrigerator and wait, as I did with our plums a couple weeks ago.  Fortunately, I stuck some of those directly into the freezer.  Most of the rest of them grew furry coats.  (I guess even plums know enough to add layers when it gets cold.)

If you live in the city, let me suggest that picking wineberries is like a trip to the gym.  You must walk, in my case about a mile up Thunder Ridge Mountain, to patches thick with berries.

You stretch, grab and drop...
until you have all you can carry.
Hauling this weight down the mountain is a treat, provided you stop to nibble now and then.
"Watch out for the bugs!" yells Virginia.

See the green one, near the top? (Click on the picture for a better view.) I happen to know it adds a strong cinnamony flavor to the berries.  And to the wine?

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