So, we were off on a berry adventure. We pulled up on the farm and looked left as we had been instructed.
''Well, kids, I guess we're heading into the woods on a treasure hunt.'' The weather was pleasant. There were nice mowed paths leading here and there. This was going to be fun. We soon came to a little bramble bush and I instructed the kids, ''Here's what you're looking for. Look out for poison ivy and wildlife. Stay on the paths and fill your buckets.''
I'm a country girl, I had come prepared in long sleeves and long pants but these bushes were even more pokey than I had expected and the fruit was much smaller than I remembered blackberries to be. But, they said we should find two gallons. They had, so we could too, I was sure. And why turn down good food free for the picking with six kids to feed.
One after the other my kids came running back claiming they couldn't find any more berries. They just must not be looking, I thought. We headed further into the woods together. Indeed, I wasn't finding berries either!
Well, it was a pretty nature walk anyway. We circled around and eventually found a bit larger patch which we set out to strip. Storm clouds were rolling in, but we had maybe a quart all together, this couldn't be it yet. We pushed through the tangled bushes picking all we could find. The kids were getting discouraged and I have to admit I was relieved to feel raindrops. ''Looks like we're getting rained out today. Head to the van.'' I looked rather disappointedly at our scanty buckets. So much for two gallons. Maybe two quarts if we're generous.
We made it home and unloaded. A few minutes later, the phone rang, ''I'm over at the farm and I see you haven't been here yet. You still planning on picking blackberries tonight? ''
''Uh, yeah, we didn't pick them all cause we got rained out and, well, maybe we weren't looking, at the right place cause we just couldn't find much worth picking. ''
''Oh, there's a good two gallons here by the left side of the house.''
We were finally convinced to try again, and sure enough when we looked in the right place, there were some beautiful blackberry brambles. All neat and tidy like, along a fence row. Manicured and sitting pretty with huge berries and few thorns. We found our gallons after all plus a quart or two of raspberries waving from their pretty row. Our generous friends threw in some corn, peppers and tomatoes to boot. Time to put up some berries! And eat some good summer suppers for the next few days. God is good and you can't beat living in the country near good people-oh, and finding the right patch. :)