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Excessive Heat, Child Labor, Red Bugs, Briars and a Full Freezer for Mama!

June 22, 2010

So, we live in the Wild, Wild Woods.  And there’s probably enough wild stuff that if we were foragers, we could live without a grocery store.  

Now, the four-legged creatures seem to think we’re better than a grocery store, cause they’re everywhere. Rabbits, deer, even coyote. 

But, for the most part, we I still shop for groceries, in an effort to not poison our family.  Cause, we like them and  figure groceries cost less than emergency room visits.

We can identify blackberries though.  And they are freaking everywhere.

We consider a small part of where we live in the Wild, Wild Woods our yard.  And if my husband doesn’t spend sometime around the house soon, the Wild Wild Woods are going to reclaim it!  If we wander just a few steps out of our yard, it’s a regular old Wild, Wild blackberry orchard.  

I have the urge to say, “Clickety clackberry, trainberry trackberry pick me a blackberry. Rumble and ramble in blackberry bramble. Billions of berries for blackberry jamble.”  Okay, I said it.

I feel that I can now go on.

I’m a nerd. And one of the things that makes this nerd excessively happy is having a full freezer.  Full of fresh stuff.  I like knowing that I can have peaches in January or Strawberries in November, or blackberries in February. “Putting up” makes me feel like I’m getting one over on “the man.”  Not sure who the man is in this case, but eating fresh corn and tomatoes in the dead of winter is quite satisfying.

So, the fam has taken it upon themself to brave the bramble, briars, bugs and heat and bring home the blackberries. 

So far, I’ve put up four gallons, with tons of red ones left to pick.  I’ve got scratches to prove it.  And red bug bites.  Not a fan of those by the way.  As I stop to scratch.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

We put the whole family to work. My mother in law even helped.

I’m not sure she could have gotten any further from us without actually going home. 

Before long, I saw the sense in this.  Mack got into the middle of a bramble and decided that it was a good idea to take his shoes off.  You can imagine how that went. And I was the closest adult.  Raising four children left her with some serious bits of wisdom, I guess.

Jake was the smartest one in the family.  It was so hot that he could only hold one eye open, so he had the good sense to cool off.

What are you “putting up?” Are you recruiting your family?  How’s that going for  you?

I hope we all end up with our pantries and freezers overflowing.

***The little Jamberry outburst, courtesy of Bruce Degen.  It’s one of our favorite read aloud books!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2010 10:26 am

    Blackberries are my favorite, hands down, close the polls. Especially when made into pies and milkshakes.

    Eat a few for me!

  2. June 22, 2010 10:36 am

    Yum!! That is the coolest ever! I planted raspberries in my backyard a couple of years ago dreaming of all the things I would do with those raspberries, but sadly I’ve yet to produce a single solitary raspberry yet. It’s so sad.

  3. June 22, 2010 10:57 am

    We have nothing like that around here. All those fruits you mentioned, they grow near you? Just like the blackberries? I would love that. Looks like it would keep my kiddos totally entertained for a while too!

  4. June 22, 2010 11:04 am

    Oh my goodness…have you made blackberry icecream. Sooooo good!! My grandma has a farm and has masive amounts of raspberries. So we always pick those and make jam and freeze the rest. Let’s see…we usually pick peaches and put those up too. I love freezing them in sugar water and then letting them partially unthaw and serving it with cream. So delicious. The problem is we have no self control when it comes to spreading them out over the winter!! They never last. We are too piggy!!

  5. June 22, 2010 11:09 am

    We have a blackberry bush in our garden, and this year it’s SO loaded that we decided that we’d share the wealth with the robins around here. We haven’t gotten 4 gallons worth, but at least a cereal bowl’s worth and that’s better than nothing, huh?

    I always leave your place feeling so peaceful!

  6. June 22, 2010 11:53 am

    4 gallons?!?! Goodness gracious! And “put up” is SUCH a southern term! 🙂

    We put up nothing, sadly.

  7. June 23, 2010 9:51 am

    I LOVE THAT BOOK! Seriously, love. I used to read it all the time.

    That and Imogen’s antlers. I have a feeling my son won’t like that as much.

  8. June 24, 2010 9:57 am

    Wow…I am so impressed that all that grows NEAR you. We have nothing but weeds in our backyard, since we’ve yet to landscape it. And it’s surrounded by other people’s backyards. Eat some fresh blackberries for me! (While I enjoy my frozen grocery store blackberries. Sigh.)

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