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Thursday, June 26, 2008

FORAGING FOR BERRIES

Back when Intern Tom was still around, we often discussed the merits of farming. On one occasion, he repeated something I’ve heard before, which is “Food always taste better when you grow it yourself.”

I have discovered this to be a myth. (I’ve been snacking from the kitchen garden lately and I have noticed no difference in taste between the three heads of lettuce I planted and the three Tom planted in the next bed over.)

My mother often says, “Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it for you.” This I do believe.

Based on recent experience, however, I now believe foraging to be the most satisfying eating of all. Yesterday, following my close watch this past week, I discovered the very first ripened blackberries of the season. I ate them all in a moment. They were good.

In regards to the blueberries growing in the kitchen garden, they too have been ripening at a rate of only a handful each day. I have made it my practice to harvest a few of the choicest first thing in the morning, lest other diligent blueberriers beat me to them.

Like most things, I suppose, the berry chase often surpasses the enjoyment of berry having.

Consider the recent strawberry harvest. The patch yielded so many strawberries that the other interns and I were able to eat ourselves full and then fill a large pot with the extras. I soon lost all interest in the potted strawberries, and I noticed that they sat uneaten for several days.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi, jared -- i read your blog from time to time. Thanks for writing it. Kind of bittersweet to read of haying and berries in Jersey. I planted the strawberries -- the south patch three years ago and the north patch two years ago. Glad the yield was good. I hated to leave them behind. We've been berrying in central IL, too, but things are more cultivated here - not as much wildcrafting. Try the walk from Fiddler's Creek Rd. up to the old Kuser mansion pretty soon for abundant wineberries. Some blackberries, too. Enjoy -- and hi to everyone.
Kate, former intern

Anonymous said...

by the way, re: Tom and New Jersey farm opportunities, there has been an ad in The Stockman Grass Farmer seeking someone to turn a large farm in Hunterdon County into an organic operation. Don't know why no one's jumped on it yet. I can get Tom the contact info if he's interested.
Kate

Anonymous said...

Make sure you know what wineberries are before you go foraging. I see alot of different kinds of berries growing around the county that look good enough to eat but I'm sure some aren't.

I think those handfulls of berries are probably just enough for each day, just like nature intended. As for berrie eating, I don't think it could get much better than eating them as you pick them. Lucky for you. Happy berrying!

Jared Flesher said...

Kate,

I heard from Tom and he said he'd definitely be interested to hear more about the farm opportunity in Hunterdon County. You can email him directly at:

tompaduano@gmail.com

Jared Flesher said...

Also, thanks for the strawberries!