Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Oregon Berry Picking

I love Oregon berries.

Berry season begins with strawberries.  I grow my own, but I also buy them off a local farmer.  He bought the property off someone I knew, someone I'd helped out with cats.  The old woman died finally and her son couldn't keep the property, although he wanted to, so the strawberry farmer bought it and sells them at a farm stand on the property.  I froze some of the berries I bought at the farm stand but I ate most of what I bought there.

Strawberries are my favorite berry of all.

Oregon is famous for its blueberries.  Lots of local places sell them.  Most sell them cheaper U-pick.  So I pick!  Ha ha.  I picked 13 pounds a couple weeks ago in about half hour.  I'm fast!  It was hot so that propelled me.  That was over at Andersons Blues near the arboretum.  The blueberries came out early this year due to the excessive heat. I froze over half of them and ate the rest.

I picked apples off a tree in a Lebanon yard.  The home owner didn't care.  Her two trees produce enough to feed half the county, I swear.  I made apple butter of most, froze some of it.  I also made apple sauce.

The apples are out early too.  Same reason.

Today I went up to my Lebanon friends place to help her with her kitchen project.  I painted all day long.  Then we picked some blackberries out back.  There are lots out there.  Her dogs pick them off the berry vines and eat them.  It was so funny!  I also picked a pail of plums out there, growing wild and will make smoothies out of those I think.  And maybe some jam.

Picking black berries with the dogs in Lebanon.

Plum tree growing wild.

Out back of my friends place.

Truck in the brush.

Oregon's berries are legendary.  Not just strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.  I grew up picking huckleberries, salmon berries and thimble berries too.  And we can't forget all the cranberries grown in bogs down in southern Oregon on the coast.  Sure some people come visit Oregon for the wines made here or the micro brews or the scenery.  We have everything here, in my opinion.  We have dairies that sell their own brands of ice cream and cheese, like Tillamook and Umpqua, although Tillamook has taken most of its work force out of state now, which makes me kind of mad.  But little small farmers make and sell cheese now.  And honey too.  I think Oregon for all its faults is getting back to more local products, food and otherwise.  I like that.  I like to buy things from people who made it or grew it themselves.

But if you don't live here and need a reason to visit, come during berry season.  You'll be back if you do.  And you can make your own wine out of Oregon berries too, once you're back home.

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