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the berry patch

August 14, 2011

When my sister and I were very small, my mom would take us out on a hazy summer morning to hunt for black raspberries.  She always seemed to know the “good spots” in the brush on back roads or along the edge of our property where the fields became the woods.   Hallie and I would carry little plastic McDonalds pails (the kind they gave you with Happy Meals in the 80’s) and we’d be set loose in the brambly thicket to fill our buckets with what would later become a kitchen counter lined with pies.

For the past few weeks I’ve been keeping my eye on a section of the woods near Jamaica Pond where I noticed some green berries on a recent jog.  Each time I passed I’d stop to examine their progress and make a mental note to return for the picking.  Long story short – either fellow JP neighbors or a flock of ravenous birds beat me to it.  Drats.  A little bummed, yes, but still very determined.  Later online I was able to find an orchard in Ipswich featuring pick-your-own blackberries through August, so I bribed K to join me with the promise of pie.

By mid-morning saturday we made it to Russell Orchards. We paid $3 each and immediately set out to the fields to pick our heart’s desire of blackberries.  In typical K fashion the task somehow became a competition, and in less than 25 minutes we had already picked 6 heaping pints.   It seemed too brief a visit to leave at that point so we walked around for awhile, checking out the animals and the farm stand.  Inside the barn we tasted their fruit wines & hard cider, and we also bought two of their famed Apple Cider Donuts (they once sold 13,000 in a single day…holy donuts!) which we gobbled all too quickly.  Before we left, I made K promise me that we could return in the fall for Halloween pumpkins and fresh-pressed cider. But back to the blackberries…  we are home now and I am off to bake some pies!  I will return soon with an update on that…


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