Berry Pickin' Fun


kids in field first time
My kids on their first walk in the field! 

A photo of JulieSeveral months ago my family took the leap and moved to a home in rural  Southern Tier of Western New York. To my five children still living at home, this was the adventure of their lives. Driving away from the urban wilds of Buffalo the children spied their first 'real' cows, deer, and more open land than they'd ever seen.

After we were settled in, I took the kids out to explore. We wandered through the field behind the house and down an old trail in the national forest that butts up to our yard. While we explored, I found the tell-tale signs of some of my favorite treats: berries!

The field was chock-full of wild strawberry plants. In thickets around the edges of the forest and field there were raspberry canes and blackberry brambles. As the winter slowly melted away, we kept six sets of hungry eyes on the plants.

strawberry bloom
A wild strawberry bloom tempting us in May. 

One day in late June my seven year old ran into the house, “Mommy, I see a tiny strawberry!” That day turned into the kid's first berry hunt outside of a grocery store. I  was filled with pride watching my city kids become country kids, but the berry hunt was the turning point in their plant appreciation. Searching through the tall grass, the kids would pop up with a mouth or hand full of berries. Cries of “Found some!” echoed through the field.

9/6/2012 1:29:47 AM

Julie, welcome to the GRIT blogging community. We are a diverse bunch of all sorts of folks. I myself am a urban dweller that has jumped into inner city gardening of a piece of untamed land filled with wildlife. It's been a real challenge but then that's why I do it. It's a great thing you are doing with your kids. You are building memories just like the ones of your childhood that will follow them right into your grand children. I too have those memories of grandma cooking over the old wood stove with the most delightful smells coming from the kitchen. The coffee was always on and the pound cake was just a slice away for any visitor that came unexpectedly. The backyard was filled with a fruit orchard and a garden that filled the pantry with the best tasting stuff on the planet. Foraging was one of my best courting memories from my first wife. Mushroom hunting with my uncle was awesome as well. Thanks for bringing up those great memories of the past. Have a great foraging day.

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