Wild harvests…

Valchloesmall Anne here, ruminating on the gathering of food from nature…more or less. This train of thought was started when I visited a friend's blog and read this verse of poetry:

Nutting, by William Wordsworth

β€”It seems a day,
One of those heavenly days which cannot die,
When forth I sallied from our cottage-door,
And with a wallet o'er my shoulder slung,
A nutting crook in hand, I turn'd my steps
Towards the distant woods, a Figure quaint,
Trick'd out in proud disguise of Beggar's weeds
Put on for the occasion, by advice
And exhortation of my frugal Dame.


And it sparked such memories. When I was a kid we used to spend time with friends who'd built a beautiful Austrian-style log cabin in the foothills of the mountains, near Bright in Victoria — Otto, my dad's friend, was originally from Austria and this cabin was a labor of love carried out over many years. Walnut Grove

Nearby was a farm that contained an old walnut orchard, and we kids used to sneak in and pick walnuts off the ground. The farmer was elderly and very grumpy and at the first shout of "Oy, I've told you kidsβ€”" we'd run like crazy, giggling our heads off, our hands and pockets full of booty. He'd threatened to give us a hiding if he caught us and it didn't take any convincing for us to believe it.

It was one of those games you play in childhood, flirting with danger, wresting food from nature (or the farmer) at great risk. In retrospect I suspect it was much the same for him, because the cabin was only five minutes walk away and he could easily have walked up the track and complained to our parents, and as far as I know, he never did.

Once gained, our precious booty was devoured. We cracked the nuts between river stones — the bigger kids, especially the boys, used to crack them in their hands, nut against nut. We'd eat the meat, but even then we weren't finished with them. The aim of cracking the shells was not simply to get at the meat, but to try to crack the nuts without breaking the shell, to split them into perfect halves. We'd use the halves for all sorts of games β€” we'd make walnut shell boats and race them, and being a small girl, with another small girl for company, we also made them into cradles for bush babies, and on several memorable occasions made tiny gardens in them with mud and moss and tiny ferns from the creek that burbled down from the mountains, cold and crystal clear.

Chestnut

Further down the road there were huge chestnut trees that grew along the side of the road and as far as we knew they were public property, and not nearly as exciting. But the nuts were easy to collect and delicious to eat, and we'd bring them back in triumph. We'd put a small cut in the skins, then lay them around the edge of the fireplace, close to the hot coals and waited until they split with a hiss or a sizzle, then, juggling the hot nuts in our hands, we'd peel the skin off and eat the hot roasted flesh sprinkled with salt. 

Mushies

We also used to go out mushroom picking. In the cool weather, a few days after rain, we'd get up early in the morning and head out to the best mushroom places. The adults knew which were safe and which weren't and we soon learned. We kids would compete in spotting the smooth domes of creamy mushroom rising from the grass. We'd fill my mother's wicker basket with mushrooms and then go home where she'd cook us all a mushroom breakfast. Even now, one of my favorite breakfasts is mushrooms, cooked with bacon, garlic and thyme, on thick hand-cut toast.

In late summer, we used to pick all sorts of fruit; figs, fresh off the tree, warm from the sun, with a golden drop of nectar showing that fruit is ripe, apricots, apples, plums, quinces, feijoas, all of which was eaten and preserved  as jams or jellies. 

Blackberrying

My favorite thing was going blackberrying. Blackberries are regarded as a weed in Australia and they spray them early now, and kill them before they have a chance to fruit, but when I was a child they were everywhere in great abundance, huge tangled mounds of prickles, covered with sweet, ripe berries. We'd spend hours picking them, eating as many delicious berries as we picked, coming home with mouth, fingers and clothes stained purple. We'd make blackberry jam  and have blackberries and ice cream for dinner or blackberry and apple tart.

Rose-hips-sept

When we went to live in Scotland for a year, I discovered that schoolchildren were encouraged to collect rose hips — for hospitals I seem to recall, though I could be wrong. They were paid some small sum per pound, and the rose hips, which are very high in vitamin C, were turned into rose hip syrup and rose hip jelly. I'd never tasted either, but that year I picked hundred of rose hips.

One year when I was about 10 we moved into an old house with a line of trees with dark reddish foliage along the back fence. My mother was delighted. Crab apples. One long weekend, just when the crab apples were ripe, my eldest sister came on a visit from the city, bringing with her a Very Special Boyfriend. He spent the entire visit up the trees, picking crab apples, while my sister was in the kitchen, slicing and boiling and straining crab apples. To this day my brother-in-law shudders at the mention of crab apple jelly. I've no idea why. πŸ˜‰

Crabapplejelly

There is a special pleasure, I think, in finding food from nature. It probably satisfies our ancient inner hunter/collector instincts. My parents certainly loved it and passed on the knowledge and pleasure to us. The list of things we collected or picked or caught was endless ; my first oyster was eaten straight from the sea, prised off the rocks with my father's penknife; my brother used to hunt rabbits and bring them home for the pot; we kept bees; my brother and his friend used to catch yabbies (like freshwater prawns) with his friends and they'd cook up a feast of them then and there with a fire and an old tin can. I was never allowed to go (too small) and have never caught a yabbie, so even though I've eaten them in restaurants, the idea of catching and cooking my own still carries a special allure for me.

Food gathering and collecting β€” and I'm not just talking about harvestingβ€” has been part of the country dweller's seasonal routines forever. It's probably only in recent years, when food of all sorts, from all climates is widely available in supermarkets, regardless of season. But the pleasure is still there when we get it for ourselves — those pick-your-own fruit farms know it; it's not only about saving on labour costs. 

Nutting02

Country activities such as these are rarely mentioned in historical novels, possibly because such activities aren't in the experience of city bred modern authors. I'm not talking about huntin' fishin' and shootin' which, of course is in many historicals. But gathering food that's growing wild is rarely mentioned, even though it was common at the time. Such things could, of course, be left for the servants to do, but really it's a lot of fun, especially if done in a group, and the gentry would do it, too, I'm sure.

Georgette Heyer knew it, even though she lived in the heart of London.  In her book, Venetia, the heroine, Venetia changes into her oldest gown to go blackberrying and heads for the best spot for blackberries –  the property of her absentee neighbor, the notorious rake, Lord Damerel. Of course, the Wicked Baron, home on an unexpected visit, comes upon our heroine and before she knows it, she's being kissed; forfeit for the berries she's taken. It's a wonderful introductory scene. (If you haven't read it, get a copy. You won't regret it.) 

Can you think of other scenes in books where characters collected food from the wild?

And did you ever go out collecting food from the wild when you were a child? Did you enjoy it, or was it a chore?  What did you gather, collect or hunt? Do you still do it now? Tell us about it 

Or has your collecting instinct concentrated itself in that other ancient pleasure, shopping? And if so, what's your weakness?

125 thoughts on “Wild harvests…”

  1. Lovely post, Anne!
    As a child, my brothers and I liked to pick wild blueberries, and though they were smaller and souere than the store bought variety, somehow they always tasted wonderful!
    These days I have wild raspberries and blackberries growing in the field behind my house. The raspberries will be ripe in another week or two. I have a ritual of picking them and then concocting a homemade “framboise” which a chef friend of mine showed me how to make. Vodka, sugar and raspberries . . . let it sit for six months and it turns a delicious ruby red color. I serve it after dessert at dinner parties and it’s always a big hit.
    (But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shopping! )

    Reply
  2. Lovely post, Anne!
    As a child, my brothers and I liked to pick wild blueberries, and though they were smaller and souere than the store bought variety, somehow they always tasted wonderful!
    These days I have wild raspberries and blackberries growing in the field behind my house. The raspberries will be ripe in another week or two. I have a ritual of picking them and then concocting a homemade “framboise” which a chef friend of mine showed me how to make. Vodka, sugar and raspberries . . . let it sit for six months and it turns a delicious ruby red color. I serve it after dessert at dinner parties and it’s always a big hit.
    (But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shopping! )

    Reply
  3. Lovely post, Anne!
    As a child, my brothers and I liked to pick wild blueberries, and though they were smaller and souere than the store bought variety, somehow they always tasted wonderful!
    These days I have wild raspberries and blackberries growing in the field behind my house. The raspberries will be ripe in another week or two. I have a ritual of picking them and then concocting a homemade “framboise” which a chef friend of mine showed me how to make. Vodka, sugar and raspberries . . . let it sit for six months and it turns a delicious ruby red color. I serve it after dessert at dinner parties and it’s always a big hit.
    (But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shopping! )

    Reply
  4. Lovely post, Anne!
    As a child, my brothers and I liked to pick wild blueberries, and though they were smaller and souere than the store bought variety, somehow they always tasted wonderful!
    These days I have wild raspberries and blackberries growing in the field behind my house. The raspberries will be ripe in another week or two. I have a ritual of picking them and then concocting a homemade “framboise” which a chef friend of mine showed me how to make. Vodka, sugar and raspberries . . . let it sit for six months and it turns a delicious ruby red color. I serve it after dessert at dinner parties and it’s always a big hit.
    (But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shopping! )

    Reply
  5. Lovely post, Anne!
    As a child, my brothers and I liked to pick wild blueberries, and though they were smaller and souere than the store bought variety, somehow they always tasted wonderful!
    These days I have wild raspberries and blackberries growing in the field behind my house. The raspberries will be ripe in another week or two. I have a ritual of picking them and then concocting a homemade “framboise” which a chef friend of mine showed me how to make. Vodka, sugar and raspberries . . . let it sit for six months and it turns a delicious ruby red color. I serve it after dessert at dinner parties and it’s always a big hit.
    (But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy shopping! )

    Reply
  6. Oh, this takes me back, Anne! I also grew up in the country, and while I can’t say we harvested as much from the wild (and I wouldn’t have eaten a bunny!), there are fond memories of picking berries and cherries and peaches and apples on the farm where I grew up.
    We didn’t have English walnut trees around–too far north, maybe–but black walnuts grew in Upstate New York, and on occasion the sibs and I would go out with a grain sack and collect them. Black walnuts are nowhere near as neat as the English kind–they’re the kernel of a sort of mush green shell that has to be peeled away. THe kernels were very dense, too–I literally put walnuts on a stone in the ancient cellar and hit it with a hammer to open, then picked away the small amount of meet.
    But, oh, the flavor! Black walnuts have a distinctive flavor all their own. WHen I discovered that the local gourmet grocer makes a black walnut pound cake between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I went crazy. I buy several, cut into very narrow slices (it slices beautifully), then freeze the loaf so I can enjoy all year.
    My brother and sister, equally Upstate New Yorkers, also go nuts when they taste the black walnut cake. Childhood memories….

    Reply
  7. Oh, this takes me back, Anne! I also grew up in the country, and while I can’t say we harvested as much from the wild (and I wouldn’t have eaten a bunny!), there are fond memories of picking berries and cherries and peaches and apples on the farm where I grew up.
    We didn’t have English walnut trees around–too far north, maybe–but black walnuts grew in Upstate New York, and on occasion the sibs and I would go out with a grain sack and collect them. Black walnuts are nowhere near as neat as the English kind–they’re the kernel of a sort of mush green shell that has to be peeled away. THe kernels were very dense, too–I literally put walnuts on a stone in the ancient cellar and hit it with a hammer to open, then picked away the small amount of meet.
    But, oh, the flavor! Black walnuts have a distinctive flavor all their own. WHen I discovered that the local gourmet grocer makes a black walnut pound cake between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I went crazy. I buy several, cut into very narrow slices (it slices beautifully), then freeze the loaf so I can enjoy all year.
    My brother and sister, equally Upstate New Yorkers, also go nuts when they taste the black walnut cake. Childhood memories….

    Reply
  8. Oh, this takes me back, Anne! I also grew up in the country, and while I can’t say we harvested as much from the wild (and I wouldn’t have eaten a bunny!), there are fond memories of picking berries and cherries and peaches and apples on the farm where I grew up.
    We didn’t have English walnut trees around–too far north, maybe–but black walnuts grew in Upstate New York, and on occasion the sibs and I would go out with a grain sack and collect them. Black walnuts are nowhere near as neat as the English kind–they’re the kernel of a sort of mush green shell that has to be peeled away. THe kernels were very dense, too–I literally put walnuts on a stone in the ancient cellar and hit it with a hammer to open, then picked away the small amount of meet.
    But, oh, the flavor! Black walnuts have a distinctive flavor all their own. WHen I discovered that the local gourmet grocer makes a black walnut pound cake between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I went crazy. I buy several, cut into very narrow slices (it slices beautifully), then freeze the loaf so I can enjoy all year.
    My brother and sister, equally Upstate New Yorkers, also go nuts when they taste the black walnut cake. Childhood memories….

    Reply
  9. Oh, this takes me back, Anne! I also grew up in the country, and while I can’t say we harvested as much from the wild (and I wouldn’t have eaten a bunny!), there are fond memories of picking berries and cherries and peaches and apples on the farm where I grew up.
    We didn’t have English walnut trees around–too far north, maybe–but black walnuts grew in Upstate New York, and on occasion the sibs and I would go out with a grain sack and collect them. Black walnuts are nowhere near as neat as the English kind–they’re the kernel of a sort of mush green shell that has to be peeled away. THe kernels were very dense, too–I literally put walnuts on a stone in the ancient cellar and hit it with a hammer to open, then picked away the small amount of meet.
    But, oh, the flavor! Black walnuts have a distinctive flavor all their own. WHen I discovered that the local gourmet grocer makes a black walnut pound cake between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I went crazy. I buy several, cut into very narrow slices (it slices beautifully), then freeze the loaf so I can enjoy all year.
    My brother and sister, equally Upstate New Yorkers, also go nuts when they taste the black walnut cake. Childhood memories….

    Reply
  10. Oh, this takes me back, Anne! I also grew up in the country, and while I can’t say we harvested as much from the wild (and I wouldn’t have eaten a bunny!), there are fond memories of picking berries and cherries and peaches and apples on the farm where I grew up.
    We didn’t have English walnut trees around–too far north, maybe–but black walnuts grew in Upstate New York, and on occasion the sibs and I would go out with a grain sack and collect them. Black walnuts are nowhere near as neat as the English kind–they’re the kernel of a sort of mush green shell that has to be peeled away. THe kernels were very dense, too–I literally put walnuts on a stone in the ancient cellar and hit it with a hammer to open, then picked away the small amount of meet.
    But, oh, the flavor! Black walnuts have a distinctive flavor all their own. WHen I discovered that the local gourmet grocer makes a black walnut pound cake between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I went crazy. I buy several, cut into very narrow slices (it slices beautifully), then freeze the loaf so I can enjoy all year.
    My brother and sister, equally Upstate New Yorkers, also go nuts when they taste the black walnut cake. Childhood memories….

    Reply
  11. Ah, Anne, you brought back memories. And Mary Jo, I’m also a fan of black walnuts. In my youth went out in the woods and collected a sack full…and get very stained hands. The taste can’t be beat.
    Louis

    Reply
  12. Ah, Anne, you brought back memories. And Mary Jo, I’m also a fan of black walnuts. In my youth went out in the woods and collected a sack full…and get very stained hands. The taste can’t be beat.
    Louis

    Reply
  13. Ah, Anne, you brought back memories. And Mary Jo, I’m also a fan of black walnuts. In my youth went out in the woods and collected a sack full…and get very stained hands. The taste can’t be beat.
    Louis

    Reply
  14. Ah, Anne, you brought back memories. And Mary Jo, I’m also a fan of black walnuts. In my youth went out in the woods and collected a sack full…and get very stained hands. The taste can’t be beat.
    Louis

    Reply
  15. Ah, Anne, you brought back memories. And Mary Jo, I’m also a fan of black walnuts. In my youth went out in the woods and collected a sack full…and get very stained hands. The taste can’t be beat.
    Louis

    Reply
  16. Wow, Anne! What a beautiful post. My memories of childhood berry picking singularly revolve around finding two ticks in my unmentionables as I tried my hand at using the privy. Never went back. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  17. Wow, Anne! What a beautiful post. My memories of childhood berry picking singularly revolve around finding two ticks in my unmentionables as I tried my hand at using the privy. Never went back. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  18. Wow, Anne! What a beautiful post. My memories of childhood berry picking singularly revolve around finding two ticks in my unmentionables as I tried my hand at using the privy. Never went back. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  19. Wow, Anne! What a beautiful post. My memories of childhood berry picking singularly revolve around finding two ticks in my unmentionables as I tried my hand at using the privy. Never went back. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  20. Wow, Anne! What a beautiful post. My memories of childhood berry picking singularly revolve around finding two ticks in my unmentionables as I tried my hand at using the privy. Never went back. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  21. From Sherrie:
    Himalayan and evergreen blackberries are not native here, and they are highly invasive, but they do make the most excellent blackberry cobbler.
    I remember the time I showed my old Doberman how to remove ripe berries from the vines without getting pricked. He learned very well, and would peel back his lips and delicately pull the blackberries with his front teeth.
    I had filled one bucket with berries and set it on the ground behind me. When I turned around moments later, I found him buried up to the eyeballs in my first bucket, sucking up berries! So much easier than picking your own!
    In late summer/early fall, you often see berry pickers alongside the country roads and rural highways. Hint: if you ever get caught by blackberry brambles, don’t try to pull away. The thorns are curved, so pulling back just embeds them deeper. Instead, take a step forward to disengage.
    When my sister and I were both teens we went blackberrying. There was this 15′ deep grotto with an embankment on both sides. I got the brilliant idea of reaching out from the top of the embankment and plucking the very best berries that others hadn’t been able to reach. Unfortunately I leaned too far, and fell face down and spread-eagled on top of the blackberries. The thicket was so criscrossed with brambles that it held me suspended, 15′ above the grotto, with no possible way of escaping without serious pain.
    My sister started laughing, and then I started laughing. And each time I laughed, my body sank deeper into the thorny platform. Finally, my sister found an old wooden plank and slid it out across the brambles so that I could inch myself onto to it, then slide backwards (still on my face) until I reached solid ground. I was a sorry sight: hundreds of bleeding pricks all over my face and body.
    When my mom saw me, she let out a shriek. Poor Mom. My sister and I used to pull the thorns off blackberry bushes and stick them to our faces. The base of the thorns are slightly convcave, and if you lick them, the combination of saliva and concavity acts like a suction cup. One time, my sister and I stuck thorns all over our faces and then went and told Mom that we didn’t feel well and had broken out in a weird rash. *g*

    Reply
  22. From Sherrie:
    Himalayan and evergreen blackberries are not native here, and they are highly invasive, but they do make the most excellent blackberry cobbler.
    I remember the time I showed my old Doberman how to remove ripe berries from the vines without getting pricked. He learned very well, and would peel back his lips and delicately pull the blackberries with his front teeth.
    I had filled one bucket with berries and set it on the ground behind me. When I turned around moments later, I found him buried up to the eyeballs in my first bucket, sucking up berries! So much easier than picking your own!
    In late summer/early fall, you often see berry pickers alongside the country roads and rural highways. Hint: if you ever get caught by blackberry brambles, don’t try to pull away. The thorns are curved, so pulling back just embeds them deeper. Instead, take a step forward to disengage.
    When my sister and I were both teens we went blackberrying. There was this 15′ deep grotto with an embankment on both sides. I got the brilliant idea of reaching out from the top of the embankment and plucking the very best berries that others hadn’t been able to reach. Unfortunately I leaned too far, and fell face down and spread-eagled on top of the blackberries. The thicket was so criscrossed with brambles that it held me suspended, 15′ above the grotto, with no possible way of escaping without serious pain.
    My sister started laughing, and then I started laughing. And each time I laughed, my body sank deeper into the thorny platform. Finally, my sister found an old wooden plank and slid it out across the brambles so that I could inch myself onto to it, then slide backwards (still on my face) until I reached solid ground. I was a sorry sight: hundreds of bleeding pricks all over my face and body.
    When my mom saw me, she let out a shriek. Poor Mom. My sister and I used to pull the thorns off blackberry bushes and stick them to our faces. The base of the thorns are slightly convcave, and if you lick them, the combination of saliva and concavity acts like a suction cup. One time, my sister and I stuck thorns all over our faces and then went and told Mom that we didn’t feel well and had broken out in a weird rash. *g*

    Reply
  23. From Sherrie:
    Himalayan and evergreen blackberries are not native here, and they are highly invasive, but they do make the most excellent blackberry cobbler.
    I remember the time I showed my old Doberman how to remove ripe berries from the vines without getting pricked. He learned very well, and would peel back his lips and delicately pull the blackberries with his front teeth.
    I had filled one bucket with berries and set it on the ground behind me. When I turned around moments later, I found him buried up to the eyeballs in my first bucket, sucking up berries! So much easier than picking your own!
    In late summer/early fall, you often see berry pickers alongside the country roads and rural highways. Hint: if you ever get caught by blackberry brambles, don’t try to pull away. The thorns are curved, so pulling back just embeds them deeper. Instead, take a step forward to disengage.
    When my sister and I were both teens we went blackberrying. There was this 15′ deep grotto with an embankment on both sides. I got the brilliant idea of reaching out from the top of the embankment and plucking the very best berries that others hadn’t been able to reach. Unfortunately I leaned too far, and fell face down and spread-eagled on top of the blackberries. The thicket was so criscrossed with brambles that it held me suspended, 15′ above the grotto, with no possible way of escaping without serious pain.
    My sister started laughing, and then I started laughing. And each time I laughed, my body sank deeper into the thorny platform. Finally, my sister found an old wooden plank and slid it out across the brambles so that I could inch myself onto to it, then slide backwards (still on my face) until I reached solid ground. I was a sorry sight: hundreds of bleeding pricks all over my face and body.
    When my mom saw me, she let out a shriek. Poor Mom. My sister and I used to pull the thorns off blackberry bushes and stick them to our faces. The base of the thorns are slightly convcave, and if you lick them, the combination of saliva and concavity acts like a suction cup. One time, my sister and I stuck thorns all over our faces and then went and told Mom that we didn’t feel well and had broken out in a weird rash. *g*

    Reply
  24. From Sherrie:
    Himalayan and evergreen blackberries are not native here, and they are highly invasive, but they do make the most excellent blackberry cobbler.
    I remember the time I showed my old Doberman how to remove ripe berries from the vines without getting pricked. He learned very well, and would peel back his lips and delicately pull the blackberries with his front teeth.
    I had filled one bucket with berries and set it on the ground behind me. When I turned around moments later, I found him buried up to the eyeballs in my first bucket, sucking up berries! So much easier than picking your own!
    In late summer/early fall, you often see berry pickers alongside the country roads and rural highways. Hint: if you ever get caught by blackberry brambles, don’t try to pull away. The thorns are curved, so pulling back just embeds them deeper. Instead, take a step forward to disengage.
    When my sister and I were both teens we went blackberrying. There was this 15′ deep grotto with an embankment on both sides. I got the brilliant idea of reaching out from the top of the embankment and plucking the very best berries that others hadn’t been able to reach. Unfortunately I leaned too far, and fell face down and spread-eagled on top of the blackberries. The thicket was so criscrossed with brambles that it held me suspended, 15′ above the grotto, with no possible way of escaping without serious pain.
    My sister started laughing, and then I started laughing. And each time I laughed, my body sank deeper into the thorny platform. Finally, my sister found an old wooden plank and slid it out across the brambles so that I could inch myself onto to it, then slide backwards (still on my face) until I reached solid ground. I was a sorry sight: hundreds of bleeding pricks all over my face and body.
    When my mom saw me, she let out a shriek. Poor Mom. My sister and I used to pull the thorns off blackberry bushes and stick them to our faces. The base of the thorns are slightly convcave, and if you lick them, the combination of saliva and concavity acts like a suction cup. One time, my sister and I stuck thorns all over our faces and then went and told Mom that we didn’t feel well and had broken out in a weird rash. *g*

    Reply
  25. From Sherrie:
    Himalayan and evergreen blackberries are not native here, and they are highly invasive, but they do make the most excellent blackberry cobbler.
    I remember the time I showed my old Doberman how to remove ripe berries from the vines without getting pricked. He learned very well, and would peel back his lips and delicately pull the blackberries with his front teeth.
    I had filled one bucket with berries and set it on the ground behind me. When I turned around moments later, I found him buried up to the eyeballs in my first bucket, sucking up berries! So much easier than picking your own!
    In late summer/early fall, you often see berry pickers alongside the country roads and rural highways. Hint: if you ever get caught by blackberry brambles, don’t try to pull away. The thorns are curved, so pulling back just embeds them deeper. Instead, take a step forward to disengage.
    When my sister and I were both teens we went blackberrying. There was this 15′ deep grotto with an embankment on both sides. I got the brilliant idea of reaching out from the top of the embankment and plucking the very best berries that others hadn’t been able to reach. Unfortunately I leaned too far, and fell face down and spread-eagled on top of the blackberries. The thicket was so criscrossed with brambles that it held me suspended, 15′ above the grotto, with no possible way of escaping without serious pain.
    My sister started laughing, and then I started laughing. And each time I laughed, my body sank deeper into the thorny platform. Finally, my sister found an old wooden plank and slid it out across the brambles so that I could inch myself onto to it, then slide backwards (still on my face) until I reached solid ground. I was a sorry sight: hundreds of bleeding pricks all over my face and body.
    When my mom saw me, she let out a shriek. Poor Mom. My sister and I used to pull the thorns off blackberry bushes and stick them to our faces. The base of the thorns are slightly convcave, and if you lick them, the combination of saliva and concavity acts like a suction cup. One time, my sister and I stuck thorns all over our faces and then went and told Mom that we didn’t feel well and had broken out in a weird rash. *g*

    Reply
  26. Andrea, I must try that frambois recipe — it sounds delicious. I love making stuff like that. I make limoncello on a regular basis. It’s an Italian drink made of lemon peel steeped in grappa or vodka and sugar and it makes for a wonderful liqueur. You store it in your freezer and pour out tiny glasses on hot summer nights. Divine.
    May Jo, I refused to eat bunnies, too when I was little, especially as I often raised a baby bunny my brother brought home for me. But these days, I confess, I do eat ’em.
    And those black walnuts sound delicious.
    Louis I think part of the fun of it for kids was in the stained fingers — sort of like a badge of achievement or something. Like having purple lips and tongue and fingers from blackberrying. Mind, you, my mother didn’t agree. LOL I suspect that was why we made straight for the nearest creek afterward.

    Reply
  27. Andrea, I must try that frambois recipe — it sounds delicious. I love making stuff like that. I make limoncello on a regular basis. It’s an Italian drink made of lemon peel steeped in grappa or vodka and sugar and it makes for a wonderful liqueur. You store it in your freezer and pour out tiny glasses on hot summer nights. Divine.
    May Jo, I refused to eat bunnies, too when I was little, especially as I often raised a baby bunny my brother brought home for me. But these days, I confess, I do eat ’em.
    And those black walnuts sound delicious.
    Louis I think part of the fun of it for kids was in the stained fingers — sort of like a badge of achievement or something. Like having purple lips and tongue and fingers from blackberrying. Mind, you, my mother didn’t agree. LOL I suspect that was why we made straight for the nearest creek afterward.

    Reply
  28. Andrea, I must try that frambois recipe — it sounds delicious. I love making stuff like that. I make limoncello on a regular basis. It’s an Italian drink made of lemon peel steeped in grappa or vodka and sugar and it makes for a wonderful liqueur. You store it in your freezer and pour out tiny glasses on hot summer nights. Divine.
    May Jo, I refused to eat bunnies, too when I was little, especially as I often raised a baby bunny my brother brought home for me. But these days, I confess, I do eat ’em.
    And those black walnuts sound delicious.
    Louis I think part of the fun of it for kids was in the stained fingers — sort of like a badge of achievement or something. Like having purple lips and tongue and fingers from blackberrying. Mind, you, my mother didn’t agree. LOL I suspect that was why we made straight for the nearest creek afterward.

    Reply
  29. Andrea, I must try that frambois recipe — it sounds delicious. I love making stuff like that. I make limoncello on a regular basis. It’s an Italian drink made of lemon peel steeped in grappa or vodka and sugar and it makes for a wonderful liqueur. You store it in your freezer and pour out tiny glasses on hot summer nights. Divine.
    May Jo, I refused to eat bunnies, too when I was little, especially as I often raised a baby bunny my brother brought home for me. But these days, I confess, I do eat ’em.
    And those black walnuts sound delicious.
    Louis I think part of the fun of it for kids was in the stained fingers — sort of like a badge of achievement or something. Like having purple lips and tongue and fingers from blackberrying. Mind, you, my mother didn’t agree. LOL I suspect that was why we made straight for the nearest creek afterward.

    Reply
  30. Andrea, I must try that frambois recipe — it sounds delicious. I love making stuff like that. I make limoncello on a regular basis. It’s an Italian drink made of lemon peel steeped in grappa or vodka and sugar and it makes for a wonderful liqueur. You store it in your freezer and pour out tiny glasses on hot summer nights. Divine.
    May Jo, I refused to eat bunnies, too when I was little, especially as I often raised a baby bunny my brother brought home for me. But these days, I confess, I do eat ’em.
    And those black walnuts sound delicious.
    Louis I think part of the fun of it for kids was in the stained fingers — sort of like a badge of achievement or something. Like having purple lips and tongue and fingers from blackberrying. Mind, you, my mother didn’t agree. LOL I suspect that was why we made straight for the nearest creek afterward.

    Reply
  31. Nina P, what a horrid thing to happen to you. I can understand your reluctance after that.
    Sherrie, ouch, ouch, ouch! I well remember the catching power of blackberries, and that line of thorn marks left in your skin if you did get caught. Though the berries were worth it.
    It was because Venetia was caught by a thorny bramble that she was unable to escape Damerel. I expect she thought that was worth it in the end, too, πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  32. Nina P, what a horrid thing to happen to you. I can understand your reluctance after that.
    Sherrie, ouch, ouch, ouch! I well remember the catching power of blackberries, and that line of thorn marks left in your skin if you did get caught. Though the berries were worth it.
    It was because Venetia was caught by a thorny bramble that she was unable to escape Damerel. I expect she thought that was worth it in the end, too, πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  33. Nina P, what a horrid thing to happen to you. I can understand your reluctance after that.
    Sherrie, ouch, ouch, ouch! I well remember the catching power of blackberries, and that line of thorn marks left in your skin if you did get caught. Though the berries were worth it.
    It was because Venetia was caught by a thorny bramble that she was unable to escape Damerel. I expect she thought that was worth it in the end, too, πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  34. Nina P, what a horrid thing to happen to you. I can understand your reluctance after that.
    Sherrie, ouch, ouch, ouch! I well remember the catching power of blackberries, and that line of thorn marks left in your skin if you did get caught. Though the berries were worth it.
    It was because Venetia was caught by a thorny bramble that she was unable to escape Damerel. I expect she thought that was worth it in the end, too, πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  35. Nina P, what a horrid thing to happen to you. I can understand your reluctance after that.
    Sherrie, ouch, ouch, ouch! I well remember the catching power of blackberries, and that line of thorn marks left in your skin if you did get caught. Though the berries were worth it.
    It was because Venetia was caught by a thorny bramble that she was unable to escape Damerel. I expect she thought that was worth it in the end, too, πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  36. As a child of suburbia, I can’t say this sparks great personal memories for me. Raiding the local farmers’ market has to suffice, instead. But I do remember several books–in various genres–where characters went tramping in the woods or fields in search of something delicious that they couldn’t grow in their gardens.
    A lot of readers probably remember the classic children’s book “Blueberries for Sal” in which Sal and her mother get separated while berrying and end up being followed, respectively, by a mama bear and her cub. (This being a kids’ book, things ended without bloodshed!) And there’s the chapter in “Little Men,” where Naughty Nan and Rob Bhaer get lost while picking blackberries. And, in one of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, Demelza takes her children Jeremy and Clowance out to pick “brambles”–Jeremy fills his basket while Clowance eats more than she picks. Made me a little hungry reading about it!

    Reply
  37. As a child of suburbia, I can’t say this sparks great personal memories for me. Raiding the local farmers’ market has to suffice, instead. But I do remember several books–in various genres–where characters went tramping in the woods or fields in search of something delicious that they couldn’t grow in their gardens.
    A lot of readers probably remember the classic children’s book “Blueberries for Sal” in which Sal and her mother get separated while berrying and end up being followed, respectively, by a mama bear and her cub. (This being a kids’ book, things ended without bloodshed!) And there’s the chapter in “Little Men,” where Naughty Nan and Rob Bhaer get lost while picking blackberries. And, in one of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, Demelza takes her children Jeremy and Clowance out to pick “brambles”–Jeremy fills his basket while Clowance eats more than she picks. Made me a little hungry reading about it!

    Reply
  38. As a child of suburbia, I can’t say this sparks great personal memories for me. Raiding the local farmers’ market has to suffice, instead. But I do remember several books–in various genres–where characters went tramping in the woods or fields in search of something delicious that they couldn’t grow in their gardens.
    A lot of readers probably remember the classic children’s book “Blueberries for Sal” in which Sal and her mother get separated while berrying and end up being followed, respectively, by a mama bear and her cub. (This being a kids’ book, things ended without bloodshed!) And there’s the chapter in “Little Men,” where Naughty Nan and Rob Bhaer get lost while picking blackberries. And, in one of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, Demelza takes her children Jeremy and Clowance out to pick “brambles”–Jeremy fills his basket while Clowance eats more than she picks. Made me a little hungry reading about it!

    Reply
  39. As a child of suburbia, I can’t say this sparks great personal memories for me. Raiding the local farmers’ market has to suffice, instead. But I do remember several books–in various genres–where characters went tramping in the woods or fields in search of something delicious that they couldn’t grow in their gardens.
    A lot of readers probably remember the classic children’s book “Blueberries for Sal” in which Sal and her mother get separated while berrying and end up being followed, respectively, by a mama bear and her cub. (This being a kids’ book, things ended without bloodshed!) And there’s the chapter in “Little Men,” where Naughty Nan and Rob Bhaer get lost while picking blackberries. And, in one of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, Demelza takes her children Jeremy and Clowance out to pick “brambles”–Jeremy fills his basket while Clowance eats more than she picks. Made me a little hungry reading about it!

    Reply
  40. As a child of suburbia, I can’t say this sparks great personal memories for me. Raiding the local farmers’ market has to suffice, instead. But I do remember several books–in various genres–where characters went tramping in the woods or fields in search of something delicious that they couldn’t grow in their gardens.
    A lot of readers probably remember the classic children’s book “Blueberries for Sal” in which Sal and her mother get separated while berrying and end up being followed, respectively, by a mama bear and her cub. (This being a kids’ book, things ended without bloodshed!) And there’s the chapter in “Little Men,” where Naughty Nan and Rob Bhaer get lost while picking blackberries. And, in one of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels, Demelza takes her children Jeremy and Clowance out to pick “brambles”–Jeremy fills his basket while Clowance eats more than she picks. Made me a little hungry reading about it!

    Reply
  41. Anne-
    You asked, “Can you think of other scenes in books where characters collected food from the wild?”
    Sanditon is one of Jane Austen’s unfinished fragments, and there are at least two versions which complete the story. In a version of Sanditon (by Jane Austen and “another lady”) the heroine is maneuvered into picking blackberries right before the “Assembly” so that when the hero appears she is in an old dress and has stains on her hands. I’m sure there are many more examples, but that one came quickly to mind.
    Merry

    Reply
  42. Anne-
    You asked, “Can you think of other scenes in books where characters collected food from the wild?”
    Sanditon is one of Jane Austen’s unfinished fragments, and there are at least two versions which complete the story. In a version of Sanditon (by Jane Austen and “another lady”) the heroine is maneuvered into picking blackberries right before the “Assembly” so that when the hero appears she is in an old dress and has stains on her hands. I’m sure there are many more examples, but that one came quickly to mind.
    Merry

    Reply
  43. Anne-
    You asked, “Can you think of other scenes in books where characters collected food from the wild?”
    Sanditon is one of Jane Austen’s unfinished fragments, and there are at least two versions which complete the story. In a version of Sanditon (by Jane Austen and “another lady”) the heroine is maneuvered into picking blackberries right before the “Assembly” so that when the hero appears she is in an old dress and has stains on her hands. I’m sure there are many more examples, but that one came quickly to mind.
    Merry

    Reply
  44. Anne-
    You asked, “Can you think of other scenes in books where characters collected food from the wild?”
    Sanditon is one of Jane Austen’s unfinished fragments, and there are at least two versions which complete the story. In a version of Sanditon (by Jane Austen and “another lady”) the heroine is maneuvered into picking blackberries right before the “Assembly” so that when the hero appears she is in an old dress and has stains on her hands. I’m sure there are many more examples, but that one came quickly to mind.
    Merry

    Reply
  45. Anne-
    You asked, “Can you think of other scenes in books where characters collected food from the wild?”
    Sanditon is one of Jane Austen’s unfinished fragments, and there are at least two versions which complete the story. In a version of Sanditon (by Jane Austen and “another lady”) the heroine is maneuvered into picking blackberries right before the “Assembly” so that when the hero appears she is in an old dress and has stains on her hands. I’m sure there are many more examples, but that one came quickly to mind.
    Merry

    Reply
  46. When I was a kid, we used to go to the local park in August to pick blueberries. The park was large and had a lot of wooded areas with no paths, so there were blueberries to be found.
    Back then, I wanted the blueberries you could buy in stores because they were so big. Now, wild blueberries, the ones I picked, are a delicacy and a lot more expensive than those large, farm-grown ones.

    Reply
  47. When I was a kid, we used to go to the local park in August to pick blueberries. The park was large and had a lot of wooded areas with no paths, so there were blueberries to be found.
    Back then, I wanted the blueberries you could buy in stores because they were so big. Now, wild blueberries, the ones I picked, are a delicacy and a lot more expensive than those large, farm-grown ones.

    Reply
  48. When I was a kid, we used to go to the local park in August to pick blueberries. The park was large and had a lot of wooded areas with no paths, so there were blueberries to be found.
    Back then, I wanted the blueberries you could buy in stores because they were so big. Now, wild blueberries, the ones I picked, are a delicacy and a lot more expensive than those large, farm-grown ones.

    Reply
  49. When I was a kid, we used to go to the local park in August to pick blueberries. The park was large and had a lot of wooded areas with no paths, so there were blueberries to be found.
    Back then, I wanted the blueberries you could buy in stores because they were so big. Now, wild blueberries, the ones I picked, are a delicacy and a lot more expensive than those large, farm-grown ones.

    Reply
  50. When I was a kid, we used to go to the local park in August to pick blueberries. The park was large and had a lot of wooded areas with no paths, so there were blueberries to be found.
    Back then, I wanted the blueberries you could buy in stores because they were so big. Now, wild blueberries, the ones I picked, are a delicacy and a lot more expensive than those large, farm-grown ones.

    Reply
  51. Lovely post, Anne. When I was a kid in Kansas City, we had a row of crab-apple trees by our driveway. I remember Mom making crab-apple jelly a couple of times, but mostly we kids used them as ammunition in our “wars.” πŸ™‚ On one side of the house, we also had a mulberry tree. I remember finishing a long summer day with the bottoms of my feet stained purple from the fallen mulberries. We had black walnut trees, too, but our parents never thought they were worth the effort. Now I know what I missed! πŸ™‚
    Your mention of limoncello reminds me of the Spanish nuns living in Rome with whom my brother stayed on his visit. The limoncello is a specialty of the nuns and they take great pride in serving it and great joy in drinking it themselves!
    I am by no means a country girl, but your post brought back good memories. Thank you.

    Reply
  52. Lovely post, Anne. When I was a kid in Kansas City, we had a row of crab-apple trees by our driveway. I remember Mom making crab-apple jelly a couple of times, but mostly we kids used them as ammunition in our “wars.” πŸ™‚ On one side of the house, we also had a mulberry tree. I remember finishing a long summer day with the bottoms of my feet stained purple from the fallen mulberries. We had black walnut trees, too, but our parents never thought they were worth the effort. Now I know what I missed! πŸ™‚
    Your mention of limoncello reminds me of the Spanish nuns living in Rome with whom my brother stayed on his visit. The limoncello is a specialty of the nuns and they take great pride in serving it and great joy in drinking it themselves!
    I am by no means a country girl, but your post brought back good memories. Thank you.

    Reply
  53. Lovely post, Anne. When I was a kid in Kansas City, we had a row of crab-apple trees by our driveway. I remember Mom making crab-apple jelly a couple of times, but mostly we kids used them as ammunition in our “wars.” πŸ™‚ On one side of the house, we also had a mulberry tree. I remember finishing a long summer day with the bottoms of my feet stained purple from the fallen mulberries. We had black walnut trees, too, but our parents never thought they were worth the effort. Now I know what I missed! πŸ™‚
    Your mention of limoncello reminds me of the Spanish nuns living in Rome with whom my brother stayed on his visit. The limoncello is a specialty of the nuns and they take great pride in serving it and great joy in drinking it themselves!
    I am by no means a country girl, but your post brought back good memories. Thank you.

    Reply
  54. Lovely post, Anne. When I was a kid in Kansas City, we had a row of crab-apple trees by our driveway. I remember Mom making crab-apple jelly a couple of times, but mostly we kids used them as ammunition in our “wars.” πŸ™‚ On one side of the house, we also had a mulberry tree. I remember finishing a long summer day with the bottoms of my feet stained purple from the fallen mulberries. We had black walnut trees, too, but our parents never thought they were worth the effort. Now I know what I missed! πŸ™‚
    Your mention of limoncello reminds me of the Spanish nuns living in Rome with whom my brother stayed on his visit. The limoncello is a specialty of the nuns and they take great pride in serving it and great joy in drinking it themselves!
    I am by no means a country girl, but your post brought back good memories. Thank you.

    Reply
  55. Lovely post, Anne. When I was a kid in Kansas City, we had a row of crab-apple trees by our driveway. I remember Mom making crab-apple jelly a couple of times, but mostly we kids used them as ammunition in our “wars.” πŸ™‚ On one side of the house, we also had a mulberry tree. I remember finishing a long summer day with the bottoms of my feet stained purple from the fallen mulberries. We had black walnut trees, too, but our parents never thought they were worth the effort. Now I know what I missed! πŸ™‚
    Your mention of limoncello reminds me of the Spanish nuns living in Rome with whom my brother stayed on his visit. The limoncello is a specialty of the nuns and they take great pride in serving it and great joy in drinking it themselves!
    I am by no means a country girl, but your post brought back good memories. Thank you.

    Reply
  56. Spent many hours as a child collecting foods and we still do it today. Of course we gathered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in season. Those wild berries in the woods were SO good. They have so much more flavor than the ones you buy in stores. We were lucky enough to find wild grapes a few times. We lived across the street from an apple orchard and the owners allowed us to pick what drops we wanted. There were several noncommercial varieties they let us pick from the tree. I’d pick a greening (nice large sweet variety) and slice off chunks while doing my homework. We had a mulberry tree in our yard and there were current bushes in the field near us. Every spring we couldn’t wait for the asparagus to be ready. We each had our special wild patches we would go to each year. I have done mushrooms a couple of times, but that is an iffy thing to do. I brought the ones in our yard to my college professor and he assured me they were safe. Since I have no one to double check for me now, I don’t collect them. There are wild onions that can be gathered if you know where to look. We collected butternuts when we lived up north. Very hard shells and not much meat. Since we moved to the south, we collect pecans and black walnuts. Have been fishing -yellow perch, trout and pike. We caught bull frogs for frog legs and crayfish (probably like your yabbies). My husband hunts a little so we have had rabbit, venison, duck, grouse, quail, and goose. He shoots it, I cook it. We have had a garden as long as I can remember so we can pretty much supply our needs in the summer/fall. I used to do a lot of canning and freezing, but have been too busy lately. Our raspberries were so plentiful, I did can lots of raspberry preserve. Made home made wine one year and even did sauerkraut one year (won’t do that again). Have raised chickens which all ended up in the freezer. My daughter has chickens for eggs now and has a calf and pig ready to take to the slaughter house. If we had to we could survive, but it is so much easier to go to the grocery store.

    Reply
  57. Spent many hours as a child collecting foods and we still do it today. Of course we gathered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in season. Those wild berries in the woods were SO good. They have so much more flavor than the ones you buy in stores. We were lucky enough to find wild grapes a few times. We lived across the street from an apple orchard and the owners allowed us to pick what drops we wanted. There were several noncommercial varieties they let us pick from the tree. I’d pick a greening (nice large sweet variety) and slice off chunks while doing my homework. We had a mulberry tree in our yard and there were current bushes in the field near us. Every spring we couldn’t wait for the asparagus to be ready. We each had our special wild patches we would go to each year. I have done mushrooms a couple of times, but that is an iffy thing to do. I brought the ones in our yard to my college professor and he assured me they were safe. Since I have no one to double check for me now, I don’t collect them. There are wild onions that can be gathered if you know where to look. We collected butternuts when we lived up north. Very hard shells and not much meat. Since we moved to the south, we collect pecans and black walnuts. Have been fishing -yellow perch, trout and pike. We caught bull frogs for frog legs and crayfish (probably like your yabbies). My husband hunts a little so we have had rabbit, venison, duck, grouse, quail, and goose. He shoots it, I cook it. We have had a garden as long as I can remember so we can pretty much supply our needs in the summer/fall. I used to do a lot of canning and freezing, but have been too busy lately. Our raspberries were so plentiful, I did can lots of raspberry preserve. Made home made wine one year and even did sauerkraut one year (won’t do that again). Have raised chickens which all ended up in the freezer. My daughter has chickens for eggs now and has a calf and pig ready to take to the slaughter house. If we had to we could survive, but it is so much easier to go to the grocery store.

    Reply
  58. Spent many hours as a child collecting foods and we still do it today. Of course we gathered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in season. Those wild berries in the woods were SO good. They have so much more flavor than the ones you buy in stores. We were lucky enough to find wild grapes a few times. We lived across the street from an apple orchard and the owners allowed us to pick what drops we wanted. There were several noncommercial varieties they let us pick from the tree. I’d pick a greening (nice large sweet variety) and slice off chunks while doing my homework. We had a mulberry tree in our yard and there were current bushes in the field near us. Every spring we couldn’t wait for the asparagus to be ready. We each had our special wild patches we would go to each year. I have done mushrooms a couple of times, but that is an iffy thing to do. I brought the ones in our yard to my college professor and he assured me they were safe. Since I have no one to double check for me now, I don’t collect them. There are wild onions that can be gathered if you know where to look. We collected butternuts when we lived up north. Very hard shells and not much meat. Since we moved to the south, we collect pecans and black walnuts. Have been fishing -yellow perch, trout and pike. We caught bull frogs for frog legs and crayfish (probably like your yabbies). My husband hunts a little so we have had rabbit, venison, duck, grouse, quail, and goose. He shoots it, I cook it. We have had a garden as long as I can remember so we can pretty much supply our needs in the summer/fall. I used to do a lot of canning and freezing, but have been too busy lately. Our raspberries were so plentiful, I did can lots of raspberry preserve. Made home made wine one year and even did sauerkraut one year (won’t do that again). Have raised chickens which all ended up in the freezer. My daughter has chickens for eggs now and has a calf and pig ready to take to the slaughter house. If we had to we could survive, but it is so much easier to go to the grocery store.

    Reply
  59. Spent many hours as a child collecting foods and we still do it today. Of course we gathered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in season. Those wild berries in the woods were SO good. They have so much more flavor than the ones you buy in stores. We were lucky enough to find wild grapes a few times. We lived across the street from an apple orchard and the owners allowed us to pick what drops we wanted. There were several noncommercial varieties they let us pick from the tree. I’d pick a greening (nice large sweet variety) and slice off chunks while doing my homework. We had a mulberry tree in our yard and there were current bushes in the field near us. Every spring we couldn’t wait for the asparagus to be ready. We each had our special wild patches we would go to each year. I have done mushrooms a couple of times, but that is an iffy thing to do. I brought the ones in our yard to my college professor and he assured me they were safe. Since I have no one to double check for me now, I don’t collect them. There are wild onions that can be gathered if you know where to look. We collected butternuts when we lived up north. Very hard shells and not much meat. Since we moved to the south, we collect pecans and black walnuts. Have been fishing -yellow perch, trout and pike. We caught bull frogs for frog legs and crayfish (probably like your yabbies). My husband hunts a little so we have had rabbit, venison, duck, grouse, quail, and goose. He shoots it, I cook it. We have had a garden as long as I can remember so we can pretty much supply our needs in the summer/fall. I used to do a lot of canning and freezing, but have been too busy lately. Our raspberries were so plentiful, I did can lots of raspberry preserve. Made home made wine one year and even did sauerkraut one year (won’t do that again). Have raised chickens which all ended up in the freezer. My daughter has chickens for eggs now and has a calf and pig ready to take to the slaughter house. If we had to we could survive, but it is so much easier to go to the grocery store.

    Reply
  60. Spent many hours as a child collecting foods and we still do it today. Of course we gathered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in season. Those wild berries in the woods were SO good. They have so much more flavor than the ones you buy in stores. We were lucky enough to find wild grapes a few times. We lived across the street from an apple orchard and the owners allowed us to pick what drops we wanted. There were several noncommercial varieties they let us pick from the tree. I’d pick a greening (nice large sweet variety) and slice off chunks while doing my homework. We had a mulberry tree in our yard and there were current bushes in the field near us. Every spring we couldn’t wait for the asparagus to be ready. We each had our special wild patches we would go to each year. I have done mushrooms a couple of times, but that is an iffy thing to do. I brought the ones in our yard to my college professor and he assured me they were safe. Since I have no one to double check for me now, I don’t collect them. There are wild onions that can be gathered if you know where to look. We collected butternuts when we lived up north. Very hard shells and not much meat. Since we moved to the south, we collect pecans and black walnuts. Have been fishing -yellow perch, trout and pike. We caught bull frogs for frog legs and crayfish (probably like your yabbies). My husband hunts a little so we have had rabbit, venison, duck, grouse, quail, and goose. He shoots it, I cook it. We have had a garden as long as I can remember so we can pretty much supply our needs in the summer/fall. I used to do a lot of canning and freezing, but have been too busy lately. Our raspberries were so plentiful, I did can lots of raspberry preserve. Made home made wine one year and even did sauerkraut one year (won’t do that again). Have raised chickens which all ended up in the freezer. My daughter has chickens for eggs now and has a calf and pig ready to take to the slaughter house. If we had to we could survive, but it is so much easier to go to the grocery store.

    Reply
  61. I used to love berry picking.
    I am planting olive trees and am hoping one day to grow my own and
    preserve them.
    carol m

    Reply
  62. I used to love berry picking.
    I am planting olive trees and am hoping one day to grow my own and
    preserve them.
    carol m

    Reply
  63. I used to love berry picking.
    I am planting olive trees and am hoping one day to grow my own and
    preserve them.
    carol m

    Reply
  64. I used to love berry picking.
    I am planting olive trees and am hoping one day to grow my own and
    preserve them.
    carol m

    Reply
  65. I used to love berry picking.
    I am planting olive trees and am hoping one day to grow my own and
    preserve them.
    carol m

    Reply
  66. Anne, thank you, thank you, for this post and the memories evoked. I’d not thought about this for yonks; for me it was mushrooms and mulberries and–I wish for another m for the alliteration, but alas–almonds. And now I have a yen for almonds; I still love the raw kernels, not blanched, not roasted, just as nature meant.
    Bron

    Reply
  67. Anne, thank you, thank you, for this post and the memories evoked. I’d not thought about this for yonks; for me it was mushrooms and mulberries and–I wish for another m for the alliteration, but alas–almonds. And now I have a yen for almonds; I still love the raw kernels, not blanched, not roasted, just as nature meant.
    Bron

    Reply
  68. Anne, thank you, thank you, for this post and the memories evoked. I’d not thought about this for yonks; for me it was mushrooms and mulberries and–I wish for another m for the alliteration, but alas–almonds. And now I have a yen for almonds; I still love the raw kernels, not blanched, not roasted, just as nature meant.
    Bron

    Reply
  69. Anne, thank you, thank you, for this post and the memories evoked. I’d not thought about this for yonks; for me it was mushrooms and mulberries and–I wish for another m for the alliteration, but alas–almonds. And now I have a yen for almonds; I still love the raw kernels, not blanched, not roasted, just as nature meant.
    Bron

    Reply
  70. Anne, thank you, thank you, for this post and the memories evoked. I’d not thought about this for yonks; for me it was mushrooms and mulberries and–I wish for another m for the alliteration, but alas–almonds. And now I have a yen for almonds; I still love the raw kernels, not blanched, not roasted, just as nature meant.
    Bron

    Reply
  71. Stephanie, thanks for those reminders of wild harvesting in books. Berries seem to be the star, there, aren’t they?
    And Merry thanks for that Jane Austen snippet. I didn’t remember that one at all.
    Linda B it’s true isn’t it, how your tastes change and what’s readily available isn’t as valued as the rarity. I envy you — we don’t have wild blueberries here.

    Reply
  72. Stephanie, thanks for those reminders of wild harvesting in books. Berries seem to be the star, there, aren’t they?
    And Merry thanks for that Jane Austen snippet. I didn’t remember that one at all.
    Linda B it’s true isn’t it, how your tastes change and what’s readily available isn’t as valued as the rarity. I envy you — we don’t have wild blueberries here.

    Reply
  73. Stephanie, thanks for those reminders of wild harvesting in books. Berries seem to be the star, there, aren’t they?
    And Merry thanks for that Jane Austen snippet. I didn’t remember that one at all.
    Linda B it’s true isn’t it, how your tastes change and what’s readily available isn’t as valued as the rarity. I envy you — we don’t have wild blueberries here.

    Reply
  74. Stephanie, thanks for those reminders of wild harvesting in books. Berries seem to be the star, there, aren’t they?
    And Merry thanks for that Jane Austen snippet. I didn’t remember that one at all.
    Linda B it’s true isn’t it, how your tastes change and what’s readily available isn’t as valued as the rarity. I envy you — we don’t have wild blueberries here.

    Reply
  75. Stephanie, thanks for those reminders of wild harvesting in books. Berries seem to be the star, there, aren’t they?
    And Merry thanks for that Jane Austen snippet. I didn’t remember that one at all.
    Linda B it’s true isn’t it, how your tastes change and what’s readily available isn’t as valued as the rarity. I envy you — we don’t have wild blueberries here.

    Reply
  76. Anne, I grinned at your “crab-apple wars” comment. I also remember green fig wars, green plum wars and all sorts. Kids will be kids, eh?
    And I always wanted a mulberry tree, not just for the berries, but because I wanted to keep silk worms and never could. As an adult I used to make an annual trip to a friend’s place in the country where a huge mulberry tree grew. We made jam, froze them, ate them — and if the friend still lived there I’d be planning on making a version of Andrea’s framboise.
    Wow, Patricia, I’m impressed. It’s very satisfying to gather and preserve and use wild produce and to “make your own.” I’m hugely impressed with the sauerkraut in particular. I tried pickling olives a few times with uneven success — it’s one of those things you need to do with an experienced person the first time, I think. I love making my own — I’ve done very little preserving in the last couple of years and I really miss having my own home made sauces, chutneys and jams.
    Carol, I came home from my time in Greece planning to plant olives, and many different nut trees, as well as all kinds of fruit trees, but I had nowhere to plant them. I wish local councils would plan more fruit and nut trees in suburban streets instead of exotic, purely ornamental trees.
    Bron I love raw, fresh almonds, too. I also like them roasted, salted, or dipped in chocolate, and the Greeks have a way of preserving very green almonds in syrup that’s delicious. Can’t really go wrong with almonds.
    My parents had a pair of almond trees (there have to be two for pollination) and one tree was outside my bedroom window and you knew when the almonds were almost ripe because the possums would descend. I’d hear crack crunch munch in the night as the possums feasted. And what they didn’t get, the cockatoos would eat in the daytime.

    Reply
  77. Anne, I grinned at your “crab-apple wars” comment. I also remember green fig wars, green plum wars and all sorts. Kids will be kids, eh?
    And I always wanted a mulberry tree, not just for the berries, but because I wanted to keep silk worms and never could. As an adult I used to make an annual trip to a friend’s place in the country where a huge mulberry tree grew. We made jam, froze them, ate them — and if the friend still lived there I’d be planning on making a version of Andrea’s framboise.
    Wow, Patricia, I’m impressed. It’s very satisfying to gather and preserve and use wild produce and to “make your own.” I’m hugely impressed with the sauerkraut in particular. I tried pickling olives a few times with uneven success — it’s one of those things you need to do with an experienced person the first time, I think. I love making my own — I’ve done very little preserving in the last couple of years and I really miss having my own home made sauces, chutneys and jams.
    Carol, I came home from my time in Greece planning to plant olives, and many different nut trees, as well as all kinds of fruit trees, but I had nowhere to plant them. I wish local councils would plan more fruit and nut trees in suburban streets instead of exotic, purely ornamental trees.
    Bron I love raw, fresh almonds, too. I also like them roasted, salted, or dipped in chocolate, and the Greeks have a way of preserving very green almonds in syrup that’s delicious. Can’t really go wrong with almonds.
    My parents had a pair of almond trees (there have to be two for pollination) and one tree was outside my bedroom window and you knew when the almonds were almost ripe because the possums would descend. I’d hear crack crunch munch in the night as the possums feasted. And what they didn’t get, the cockatoos would eat in the daytime.

    Reply
  78. Anne, I grinned at your “crab-apple wars” comment. I also remember green fig wars, green plum wars and all sorts. Kids will be kids, eh?
    And I always wanted a mulberry tree, not just for the berries, but because I wanted to keep silk worms and never could. As an adult I used to make an annual trip to a friend’s place in the country where a huge mulberry tree grew. We made jam, froze them, ate them — and if the friend still lived there I’d be planning on making a version of Andrea’s framboise.
    Wow, Patricia, I’m impressed. It’s very satisfying to gather and preserve and use wild produce and to “make your own.” I’m hugely impressed with the sauerkraut in particular. I tried pickling olives a few times with uneven success — it’s one of those things you need to do with an experienced person the first time, I think. I love making my own — I’ve done very little preserving in the last couple of years and I really miss having my own home made sauces, chutneys and jams.
    Carol, I came home from my time in Greece planning to plant olives, and many different nut trees, as well as all kinds of fruit trees, but I had nowhere to plant them. I wish local councils would plan more fruit and nut trees in suburban streets instead of exotic, purely ornamental trees.
    Bron I love raw, fresh almonds, too. I also like them roasted, salted, or dipped in chocolate, and the Greeks have a way of preserving very green almonds in syrup that’s delicious. Can’t really go wrong with almonds.
    My parents had a pair of almond trees (there have to be two for pollination) and one tree was outside my bedroom window and you knew when the almonds were almost ripe because the possums would descend. I’d hear crack crunch munch in the night as the possums feasted. And what they didn’t get, the cockatoos would eat in the daytime.

    Reply
  79. Anne, I grinned at your “crab-apple wars” comment. I also remember green fig wars, green plum wars and all sorts. Kids will be kids, eh?
    And I always wanted a mulberry tree, not just for the berries, but because I wanted to keep silk worms and never could. As an adult I used to make an annual trip to a friend’s place in the country where a huge mulberry tree grew. We made jam, froze them, ate them — and if the friend still lived there I’d be planning on making a version of Andrea’s framboise.
    Wow, Patricia, I’m impressed. It’s very satisfying to gather and preserve and use wild produce and to “make your own.” I’m hugely impressed with the sauerkraut in particular. I tried pickling olives a few times with uneven success — it’s one of those things you need to do with an experienced person the first time, I think. I love making my own — I’ve done very little preserving in the last couple of years and I really miss having my own home made sauces, chutneys and jams.
    Carol, I came home from my time in Greece planning to plant olives, and many different nut trees, as well as all kinds of fruit trees, but I had nowhere to plant them. I wish local councils would plan more fruit and nut trees in suburban streets instead of exotic, purely ornamental trees.
    Bron I love raw, fresh almonds, too. I also like them roasted, salted, or dipped in chocolate, and the Greeks have a way of preserving very green almonds in syrup that’s delicious. Can’t really go wrong with almonds.
    My parents had a pair of almond trees (there have to be two for pollination) and one tree was outside my bedroom window and you knew when the almonds were almost ripe because the possums would descend. I’d hear crack crunch munch in the night as the possums feasted. And what they didn’t get, the cockatoos would eat in the daytime.

    Reply
  80. Anne, I grinned at your “crab-apple wars” comment. I also remember green fig wars, green plum wars and all sorts. Kids will be kids, eh?
    And I always wanted a mulberry tree, not just for the berries, but because I wanted to keep silk worms and never could. As an adult I used to make an annual trip to a friend’s place in the country where a huge mulberry tree grew. We made jam, froze them, ate them — and if the friend still lived there I’d be planning on making a version of Andrea’s framboise.
    Wow, Patricia, I’m impressed. It’s very satisfying to gather and preserve and use wild produce and to “make your own.” I’m hugely impressed with the sauerkraut in particular. I tried pickling olives a few times with uneven success — it’s one of those things you need to do with an experienced person the first time, I think. I love making my own — I’ve done very little preserving in the last couple of years and I really miss having my own home made sauces, chutneys and jams.
    Carol, I came home from my time in Greece planning to plant olives, and many different nut trees, as well as all kinds of fruit trees, but I had nowhere to plant them. I wish local councils would plan more fruit and nut trees in suburban streets instead of exotic, purely ornamental trees.
    Bron I love raw, fresh almonds, too. I also like them roasted, salted, or dipped in chocolate, and the Greeks have a way of preserving very green almonds in syrup that’s delicious. Can’t really go wrong with almonds.
    My parents had a pair of almond trees (there have to be two for pollination) and one tree was outside my bedroom window and you knew when the almonds were almost ripe because the possums would descend. I’d hear crack crunch munch in the night as the possums feasted. And what they didn’t get, the cockatoos would eat in the daytime.

    Reply
  81. Anne, what a lovely evocative post! I think people here in the UK are turning back to foraging again. It’s become fashionable in the current economic climate and there are lots of recipes in the magazines and newspapers each week. I did go on a course a few years ago to teach me which mushrooms were safe to pick and cook but I don’t have the confidence that I would get them correct. A lot of the poisonous ones look dangerously like the tasty ones!
    Last weekend we made elderflower ice cream with elderflowers from the bushes in the fields behind the house. We also tried deep fried elderflowers in batter! As a child I used to go up on the Yorkshire moors with my grandmother and pick bilberries. I’m feeling very nostalgic now!

    Reply
  82. Anne, what a lovely evocative post! I think people here in the UK are turning back to foraging again. It’s become fashionable in the current economic climate and there are lots of recipes in the magazines and newspapers each week. I did go on a course a few years ago to teach me which mushrooms were safe to pick and cook but I don’t have the confidence that I would get them correct. A lot of the poisonous ones look dangerously like the tasty ones!
    Last weekend we made elderflower ice cream with elderflowers from the bushes in the fields behind the house. We also tried deep fried elderflowers in batter! As a child I used to go up on the Yorkshire moors with my grandmother and pick bilberries. I’m feeling very nostalgic now!

    Reply
  83. Anne, what a lovely evocative post! I think people here in the UK are turning back to foraging again. It’s become fashionable in the current economic climate and there are lots of recipes in the magazines and newspapers each week. I did go on a course a few years ago to teach me which mushrooms were safe to pick and cook but I don’t have the confidence that I would get them correct. A lot of the poisonous ones look dangerously like the tasty ones!
    Last weekend we made elderflower ice cream with elderflowers from the bushes in the fields behind the house. We also tried deep fried elderflowers in batter! As a child I used to go up on the Yorkshire moors with my grandmother and pick bilberries. I’m feeling very nostalgic now!

    Reply
  84. Anne, what a lovely evocative post! I think people here in the UK are turning back to foraging again. It’s become fashionable in the current economic climate and there are lots of recipes in the magazines and newspapers each week. I did go on a course a few years ago to teach me which mushrooms were safe to pick and cook but I don’t have the confidence that I would get them correct. A lot of the poisonous ones look dangerously like the tasty ones!
    Last weekend we made elderflower ice cream with elderflowers from the bushes in the fields behind the house. We also tried deep fried elderflowers in batter! As a child I used to go up on the Yorkshire moors with my grandmother and pick bilberries. I’m feeling very nostalgic now!

    Reply
  85. Anne, what a lovely evocative post! I think people here in the UK are turning back to foraging again. It’s become fashionable in the current economic climate and there are lots of recipes in the magazines and newspapers each week. I did go on a course a few years ago to teach me which mushrooms were safe to pick and cook but I don’t have the confidence that I would get them correct. A lot of the poisonous ones look dangerously like the tasty ones!
    Last weekend we made elderflower ice cream with elderflowers from the bushes in the fields behind the house. We also tried deep fried elderflowers in batter! As a child I used to go up on the Yorkshire moors with my grandmother and pick bilberries. I’m feeling very nostalgic now!

    Reply
  86. Anne,
    Lovely post. My own foraging as a child was really restricted to lovely plump field mushrooms – delicious. Although I do love a bargain at the markets and a bit of lane-foraging in our local area which is pretty good. Lots of ripe figs, lemons and other fruit hanging over back fences. Mind you, have to beat the birds and the other lane-foragers.
    Bookwise, you really can’t beat Jean M. Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series for fabulous descriptions of foraging for food and squirreling it away for winter. It’s central to Ayla’s survival after she’s cast out of her adopted clan, but for us in the 21C it is a fascinating insight to the precarious balance between life and death and just how far we’ve been removed from that process.
    Louise

    Reply
  87. Anne,
    Lovely post. My own foraging as a child was really restricted to lovely plump field mushrooms – delicious. Although I do love a bargain at the markets and a bit of lane-foraging in our local area which is pretty good. Lots of ripe figs, lemons and other fruit hanging over back fences. Mind you, have to beat the birds and the other lane-foragers.
    Bookwise, you really can’t beat Jean M. Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series for fabulous descriptions of foraging for food and squirreling it away for winter. It’s central to Ayla’s survival after she’s cast out of her adopted clan, but for us in the 21C it is a fascinating insight to the precarious balance between life and death and just how far we’ve been removed from that process.
    Louise

    Reply
  88. Anne,
    Lovely post. My own foraging as a child was really restricted to lovely plump field mushrooms – delicious. Although I do love a bargain at the markets and a bit of lane-foraging in our local area which is pretty good. Lots of ripe figs, lemons and other fruit hanging over back fences. Mind you, have to beat the birds and the other lane-foragers.
    Bookwise, you really can’t beat Jean M. Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series for fabulous descriptions of foraging for food and squirreling it away for winter. It’s central to Ayla’s survival after she’s cast out of her adopted clan, but for us in the 21C it is a fascinating insight to the precarious balance between life and death and just how far we’ve been removed from that process.
    Louise

    Reply
  89. Anne,
    Lovely post. My own foraging as a child was really restricted to lovely plump field mushrooms – delicious. Although I do love a bargain at the markets and a bit of lane-foraging in our local area which is pretty good. Lots of ripe figs, lemons and other fruit hanging over back fences. Mind you, have to beat the birds and the other lane-foragers.
    Bookwise, you really can’t beat Jean M. Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series for fabulous descriptions of foraging for food and squirreling it away for winter. It’s central to Ayla’s survival after she’s cast out of her adopted clan, but for us in the 21C it is a fascinating insight to the precarious balance between life and death and just how far we’ve been removed from that process.
    Louise

    Reply
  90. Anne,
    Lovely post. My own foraging as a child was really restricted to lovely plump field mushrooms – delicious. Although I do love a bargain at the markets and a bit of lane-foraging in our local area which is pretty good. Lots of ripe figs, lemons and other fruit hanging over back fences. Mind you, have to beat the birds and the other lane-foragers.
    Bookwise, you really can’t beat Jean M. Auel’s “Clan of the Cave Bear” series for fabulous descriptions of foraging for food and squirreling it away for winter. It’s central to Ayla’s survival after she’s cast out of her adopted clan, but for us in the 21C it is a fascinating insight to the precarious balance between life and death and just how far we’ve been removed from that process.
    Louise

    Reply
  91. Mary Jo, your black walnut memories reminded me of hickory nuts! How could I have forgotten. We used to pick them up along the roadside )trying to beat the squirrels._ They had thick green husks to peel off, then, like you, e had to use a hammer to crack the nut, and the flesh needed to picked out in tiny pieces. But they have a very special taste!

    Reply
  92. Mary Jo, your black walnut memories reminded me of hickory nuts! How could I have forgotten. We used to pick them up along the roadside )trying to beat the squirrels._ They had thick green husks to peel off, then, like you, e had to use a hammer to crack the nut, and the flesh needed to picked out in tiny pieces. But they have a very special taste!

    Reply
  93. Mary Jo, your black walnut memories reminded me of hickory nuts! How could I have forgotten. We used to pick them up along the roadside )trying to beat the squirrels._ They had thick green husks to peel off, then, like you, e had to use a hammer to crack the nut, and the flesh needed to picked out in tiny pieces. But they have a very special taste!

    Reply
  94. Mary Jo, your black walnut memories reminded me of hickory nuts! How could I have forgotten. We used to pick them up along the roadside )trying to beat the squirrels._ They had thick green husks to peel off, then, like you, e had to use a hammer to crack the nut, and the flesh needed to picked out in tiny pieces. But they have a very special taste!

    Reply
  95. Mary Jo, your black walnut memories reminded me of hickory nuts! How could I have forgotten. We used to pick them up along the roadside )trying to beat the squirrels._ They had thick green husks to peel off, then, like you, e had to use a hammer to crack the nut, and the flesh needed to picked out in tiny pieces. But they have a very special taste!

    Reply
  96. Growing up in the prairies, it seems like there were not a lot of variety of berries for picking. I do remember a trip to pick Saskatoons, as well my dad would send me out before dinner to pick the Nanking cherries so that mom could make jelly.
    Dad always planted fruit trees, but they never seemed to produce enough to worry about – although now there are apples aplenty in both his yard and mine, so that we can make pies, etc.

    Reply
  97. Growing up in the prairies, it seems like there were not a lot of variety of berries for picking. I do remember a trip to pick Saskatoons, as well my dad would send me out before dinner to pick the Nanking cherries so that mom could make jelly.
    Dad always planted fruit trees, but they never seemed to produce enough to worry about – although now there are apples aplenty in both his yard and mine, so that we can make pies, etc.

    Reply
  98. Growing up in the prairies, it seems like there were not a lot of variety of berries for picking. I do remember a trip to pick Saskatoons, as well my dad would send me out before dinner to pick the Nanking cherries so that mom could make jelly.
    Dad always planted fruit trees, but they never seemed to produce enough to worry about – although now there are apples aplenty in both his yard and mine, so that we can make pies, etc.

    Reply
  99. Growing up in the prairies, it seems like there were not a lot of variety of berries for picking. I do remember a trip to pick Saskatoons, as well my dad would send me out before dinner to pick the Nanking cherries so that mom could make jelly.
    Dad always planted fruit trees, but they never seemed to produce enough to worry about – although now there are apples aplenty in both his yard and mine, so that we can make pies, etc.

    Reply
  100. Growing up in the prairies, it seems like there were not a lot of variety of berries for picking. I do remember a trip to pick Saskatoons, as well my dad would send me out before dinner to pick the Nanking cherries so that mom could make jelly.
    Dad always planted fruit trees, but they never seemed to produce enough to worry about – although now there are apples aplenty in both his yard and mine, so that we can make pies, etc.

    Reply
  101. I remember collecting Saskatoon berries with my mom as we walked down a dirt road from my aunt’s house. I’m not sure where else saskatoons grow, but they are very common in western Canada. Mom would make saskatoon pies, (similar in taste to blueberry) but nothing tasted better than eating them straight off the bush! We would also drive up into the hills and pick blueberries. Really, I don’t think I so much picked them as ate them… We moved into a city when I was 9 and I haven’t had the opportunity to pick my own berries since, but I still think that nothing tastes better than a berry picked straight from a bush!

    Reply
  102. I remember collecting Saskatoon berries with my mom as we walked down a dirt road from my aunt’s house. I’m not sure where else saskatoons grow, but they are very common in western Canada. Mom would make saskatoon pies, (similar in taste to blueberry) but nothing tasted better than eating them straight off the bush! We would also drive up into the hills and pick blueberries. Really, I don’t think I so much picked them as ate them… We moved into a city when I was 9 and I haven’t had the opportunity to pick my own berries since, but I still think that nothing tastes better than a berry picked straight from a bush!

    Reply
  103. I remember collecting Saskatoon berries with my mom as we walked down a dirt road from my aunt’s house. I’m not sure where else saskatoons grow, but they are very common in western Canada. Mom would make saskatoon pies, (similar in taste to blueberry) but nothing tasted better than eating them straight off the bush! We would also drive up into the hills and pick blueberries. Really, I don’t think I so much picked them as ate them… We moved into a city when I was 9 and I haven’t had the opportunity to pick my own berries since, but I still think that nothing tastes better than a berry picked straight from a bush!

    Reply
  104. I remember collecting Saskatoon berries with my mom as we walked down a dirt road from my aunt’s house. I’m not sure where else saskatoons grow, but they are very common in western Canada. Mom would make saskatoon pies, (similar in taste to blueberry) but nothing tasted better than eating them straight off the bush! We would also drive up into the hills and pick blueberries. Really, I don’t think I so much picked them as ate them… We moved into a city when I was 9 and I haven’t had the opportunity to pick my own berries since, but I still think that nothing tastes better than a berry picked straight from a bush!

    Reply
  105. I remember collecting Saskatoon berries with my mom as we walked down a dirt road from my aunt’s house. I’m not sure where else saskatoons grow, but they are very common in western Canada. Mom would make saskatoon pies, (similar in taste to blueberry) but nothing tasted better than eating them straight off the bush! We would also drive up into the hills and pick blueberries. Really, I don’t think I so much picked them as ate them… We moved into a city when I was 9 and I haven’t had the opportunity to pick my own berries since, but I still think that nothing tastes better than a berry picked straight from a bush!

    Reply
  106. As soon as you mentioned the walnut grove farmer yelling at you, I immediately remembered in “The Fellowship of the Rings” the part about getting chased by Farmer Maggot and his dogs for stealing mushrooms, then your next paragraph — mushrooms. What a treat.
    Food is the most memory laden sense (sort of). It comes with taste and smell and loving memories. I wistfully think of my grandfather cracking blackwalnuts from the tree out front for me with his vice. There house is also remembered for the amazing pear tree that grew from a rotted pear he tossed in the mulch pile, chesnuts, and giant raspberries from the neighbor’s yard (we had permission until her son moved in and decided to sell them).
    Thank you for bringing back such fond memories of books and food.
    Lyn S

    Reply
  107. As soon as you mentioned the walnut grove farmer yelling at you, I immediately remembered in “The Fellowship of the Rings” the part about getting chased by Farmer Maggot and his dogs for stealing mushrooms, then your next paragraph — mushrooms. What a treat.
    Food is the most memory laden sense (sort of). It comes with taste and smell and loving memories. I wistfully think of my grandfather cracking blackwalnuts from the tree out front for me with his vice. There house is also remembered for the amazing pear tree that grew from a rotted pear he tossed in the mulch pile, chesnuts, and giant raspberries from the neighbor’s yard (we had permission until her son moved in and decided to sell them).
    Thank you for bringing back such fond memories of books and food.
    Lyn S

    Reply
  108. As soon as you mentioned the walnut grove farmer yelling at you, I immediately remembered in “The Fellowship of the Rings” the part about getting chased by Farmer Maggot and his dogs for stealing mushrooms, then your next paragraph — mushrooms. What a treat.
    Food is the most memory laden sense (sort of). It comes with taste and smell and loving memories. I wistfully think of my grandfather cracking blackwalnuts from the tree out front for me with his vice. There house is also remembered for the amazing pear tree that grew from a rotted pear he tossed in the mulch pile, chesnuts, and giant raspberries from the neighbor’s yard (we had permission until her son moved in and decided to sell them).
    Thank you for bringing back such fond memories of books and food.
    Lyn S

    Reply
  109. As soon as you mentioned the walnut grove farmer yelling at you, I immediately remembered in “The Fellowship of the Rings” the part about getting chased by Farmer Maggot and his dogs for stealing mushrooms, then your next paragraph — mushrooms. What a treat.
    Food is the most memory laden sense (sort of). It comes with taste and smell and loving memories. I wistfully think of my grandfather cracking blackwalnuts from the tree out front for me with his vice. There house is also remembered for the amazing pear tree that grew from a rotted pear he tossed in the mulch pile, chesnuts, and giant raspberries from the neighbor’s yard (we had permission until her son moved in and decided to sell them).
    Thank you for bringing back such fond memories of books and food.
    Lyn S

    Reply
  110. As soon as you mentioned the walnut grove farmer yelling at you, I immediately remembered in “The Fellowship of the Rings” the part about getting chased by Farmer Maggot and his dogs for stealing mushrooms, then your next paragraph — mushrooms. What a treat.
    Food is the most memory laden sense (sort of). It comes with taste and smell and loving memories. I wistfully think of my grandfather cracking blackwalnuts from the tree out front for me with his vice. There house is also remembered for the amazing pear tree that grew from a rotted pear he tossed in the mulch pile, chesnuts, and giant raspberries from the neighbor’s yard (we had permission until her son moved in and decided to sell them).
    Thank you for bringing back such fond memories of books and food.
    Lyn S

    Reply
  111. Louise, yes, lane foraging, and fruit hanging over back fences is certainly a city-dweller’s delight. I have a friend who’s a master at it — knows every tree in every back lane.
    Piper, I didn’t know Saskatoons were a fruit. I had a Canadian teacher in high school who was from Saskatoon.
    Jana, I think that’s it — there are a lot of memories buried in tastes and smells. Sometimes I’ve crushed some leaves as I walk past a bush and suddenly I’m a kid again and transported back to where I was living at the time. The scent of wormwood is inextricably linked in my mind to “Aunty Flo” my grast aunt who has it planted all around the sheds and chicken run on their farm. We kids used to play hide and seek all around it, and that’s where I go each time I smell it.
    And yes, you’re so right — food gathered yourself has a special quality and taste.

    Reply
  112. Louise, yes, lane foraging, and fruit hanging over back fences is certainly a city-dweller’s delight. I have a friend who’s a master at it — knows every tree in every back lane.
    Piper, I didn’t know Saskatoons were a fruit. I had a Canadian teacher in high school who was from Saskatoon.
    Jana, I think that’s it — there are a lot of memories buried in tastes and smells. Sometimes I’ve crushed some leaves as I walk past a bush and suddenly I’m a kid again and transported back to where I was living at the time. The scent of wormwood is inextricably linked in my mind to “Aunty Flo” my grast aunt who has it planted all around the sheds and chicken run on their farm. We kids used to play hide and seek all around it, and that’s where I go each time I smell it.
    And yes, you’re so right — food gathered yourself has a special quality and taste.

    Reply
  113. Louise, yes, lane foraging, and fruit hanging over back fences is certainly a city-dweller’s delight. I have a friend who’s a master at it — knows every tree in every back lane.
    Piper, I didn’t know Saskatoons were a fruit. I had a Canadian teacher in high school who was from Saskatoon.
    Jana, I think that’s it — there are a lot of memories buried in tastes and smells. Sometimes I’ve crushed some leaves as I walk past a bush and suddenly I’m a kid again and transported back to where I was living at the time. The scent of wormwood is inextricably linked in my mind to “Aunty Flo” my grast aunt who has it planted all around the sheds and chicken run on their farm. We kids used to play hide and seek all around it, and that’s where I go each time I smell it.
    And yes, you’re so right — food gathered yourself has a special quality and taste.

    Reply
  114. Louise, yes, lane foraging, and fruit hanging over back fences is certainly a city-dweller’s delight. I have a friend who’s a master at it — knows every tree in every back lane.
    Piper, I didn’t know Saskatoons were a fruit. I had a Canadian teacher in high school who was from Saskatoon.
    Jana, I think that’s it — there are a lot of memories buried in tastes and smells. Sometimes I’ve crushed some leaves as I walk past a bush and suddenly I’m a kid again and transported back to where I was living at the time. The scent of wormwood is inextricably linked in my mind to “Aunty Flo” my grast aunt who has it planted all around the sheds and chicken run on their farm. We kids used to play hide and seek all around it, and that’s where I go each time I smell it.
    And yes, you’re so right — food gathered yourself has a special quality and taste.

    Reply
  115. Louise, yes, lane foraging, and fruit hanging over back fences is certainly a city-dweller’s delight. I have a friend who’s a master at it — knows every tree in every back lane.
    Piper, I didn’t know Saskatoons were a fruit. I had a Canadian teacher in high school who was from Saskatoon.
    Jana, I think that’s it — there are a lot of memories buried in tastes and smells. Sometimes I’ve crushed some leaves as I walk past a bush and suddenly I’m a kid again and transported back to where I was living at the time. The scent of wormwood is inextricably linked in my mind to “Aunty Flo” my grast aunt who has it planted all around the sheds and chicken run on their farm. We kids used to play hide and seek all around it, and that’s where I go each time I smell it.
    And yes, you’re so right — food gathered yourself has a special quality and taste.

    Reply
  116. Lyn, I suspect getting chased by adults is a rite of passage for most country kids. And it has to be done in a group. I probably wouldn’t have dared run if I’d been by myself, but in a small gang we dared anything.;)
    I loved your memories of your grandfather and his garden. Do you still have plants from his place? I love my garden that contains plants frown from cuttings, slips, seeds or bulbs from various people in my life.

    Reply
  117. Lyn, I suspect getting chased by adults is a rite of passage for most country kids. And it has to be done in a group. I probably wouldn’t have dared run if I’d been by myself, but in a small gang we dared anything.;)
    I loved your memories of your grandfather and his garden. Do you still have plants from his place? I love my garden that contains plants frown from cuttings, slips, seeds or bulbs from various people in my life.

    Reply
  118. Lyn, I suspect getting chased by adults is a rite of passage for most country kids. And it has to be done in a group. I probably wouldn’t have dared run if I’d been by myself, but in a small gang we dared anything.;)
    I loved your memories of your grandfather and his garden. Do you still have plants from his place? I love my garden that contains plants frown from cuttings, slips, seeds or bulbs from various people in my life.

    Reply
  119. Lyn, I suspect getting chased by adults is a rite of passage for most country kids. And it has to be done in a group. I probably wouldn’t have dared run if I’d been by myself, but in a small gang we dared anything.;)
    I loved your memories of your grandfather and his garden. Do you still have plants from his place? I love my garden that contains plants frown from cuttings, slips, seeds or bulbs from various people in my life.

    Reply
  120. Lyn, I suspect getting chased by adults is a rite of passage for most country kids. And it has to be done in a group. I probably wouldn’t have dared run if I’d been by myself, but in a small gang we dared anything.;)
    I loved your memories of your grandfather and his garden. Do you still have plants from his place? I love my garden that contains plants frown from cuttings, slips, seeds or bulbs from various people in my life.

    Reply
  121. It’s a very satisfying feeling to harvest your own fruits and vegetables. I’ve been picking buckets of black raspberries that grow wild on our 34 acres. Jellies and jams and freezing them. Planning to make raspberry ice cream for a picnic this weekend.

    Reply
  122. It’s a very satisfying feeling to harvest your own fruits and vegetables. I’ve been picking buckets of black raspberries that grow wild on our 34 acres. Jellies and jams and freezing them. Planning to make raspberry ice cream for a picnic this weekend.

    Reply
  123. It’s a very satisfying feeling to harvest your own fruits and vegetables. I’ve been picking buckets of black raspberries that grow wild on our 34 acres. Jellies and jams and freezing them. Planning to make raspberry ice cream for a picnic this weekend.

    Reply
  124. It’s a very satisfying feeling to harvest your own fruits and vegetables. I’ve been picking buckets of black raspberries that grow wild on our 34 acres. Jellies and jams and freezing them. Planning to make raspberry ice cream for a picnic this weekend.

    Reply
  125. It’s a very satisfying feeling to harvest your own fruits and vegetables. I’ve been picking buckets of black raspberries that grow wild on our 34 acres. Jellies and jams and freezing them. Planning to make raspberry ice cream for a picnic this weekend.

    Reply

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