nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘picking berries’ Category

Green bottles and blue berries

with 9 comments

We have been spending time at our cabin.

~

~

In the window, on our bench, the light flows through green bottles.

~

~

Our paths are green tunnels.

~

~

And in the fields and along the trails are blueberries.

~

~

Lots to pick and eat.

~

~

~

bitter blue

for Mom

~

of all the silvery summer days we spent   none so warm   sun on granite boulders   round blue berry field   miles across hazy miles away from hearing anything but bees

and berries

plopping in the pail

~

beside you   I draped my lazy bones on bushes   crushed berries and thick red leaves over moss dark animal trails nudged between rocks berries baking brown   musk rising to meet blue heat

or the still fleet scent

of a waxy berry bell

~

melting in my mouth   crammed with fruit   sometimes pulled from laden stems   more often scooped from your pail   full ripe blue pulp and the bitter shock of a hard green berry never ripe

or a shield bug

with frantic legs

and an edge to her shell

~

~

From ‘within easy reach’, Chapel Street Editions, 2016

Previously published in The Amethyst Review 1 (2), Summer 1993

~

Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 16, 2017 at 7:00 am

wild strawberries to pick

with 4 comments

In the field around our cabin, the wild strawberries are ready for picking. Red, sweet, delicious.

~

~

~

~

‘wild strawberries’ Jane Tims 2016

~

If you love picking berries, or eating those first dew-covered berries of summer, you will like my book of poems about gathering and eating wild local foods.

‘within easy reach’ is published by Chapel Street Editions in Woodstock, New Brunswick. The book is illustrated with my drawings and includes lots of information about each wild plant mentioned. The book is available here at Chapel Street Editions or here at Amazon.ca

~

For another of my posts about wild strawberries, and a poem about picking wild strawberries, look here.

~

Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

spring flowers – service berry bushes

with 4 comments

At this time of year, many ditches and fields in New Brunswick are filled with Serviceberry bushes in bloom. Their delicate white flowers only last a short while but later, in summer, we will be able to pick sweet Serviceberries.

~

~

the shad are running

~

after hard rain

and thin wind

between cold front and warm

riverbanks overflow

and for dinner we have fiddleheads

potatoes and shad, served

with last summer’s Serviceberry jam

~

Serviceberry bushes are torn fish nets

holes poked through with fingers

white petals scattered over mossy stones

on the river shore

~

~

Published as ‘the shad are running’ in within easy reach, 2016, Chapel Street Editions

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2017

remembering spring – wild strawberries

with 2 comments

I have completed one of the paintings I am preparing for my fall sale of books and paintings. This painting is of the wild strawberries growing at our cabin property.

~

Scan0020

July 31, 2016 ‘wild strawberries’ (acrylic, gallery edges, 10″ X 8″) Jane Tims

~

I hope when you see these paintings, they will remind you of the berry-picking seasons to come!

~

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

August 1, 2016 at 7:00 am

within easy reach – another chance to win a painting

with 5 comments

You will recall that earlier this month I held a draw to win the cover art for my book of poetry within easy reach. Carol Steel, a fellow blogger, was the winner of the painting !  http://carolsteel5050.blogspot.ca/

~

This is to remind you that I am holding a draw to win another painting — ‘berries and brambles’ (18”x 14”, acrylic, gallery edges, unframed). Anyone who has purchased my book from me or my publisher, Chapel Street Editions, has already been entered in the draw. This includes the blog comment folk who entered the earlier draw.

~

berries and brambles~

There is still time to enter to win the painting! Just purchase my book within easy reach between now and June 30, 2016 from me or my publisher!  http://www.chapelstreeteditions.com

~

The draw will be held in mid-July at my book signing and workshop at the 8th Annual Free School at Falls Brook Center in New Brunswick. http://fallsbrookcentre.ca/wp/events2/8th-annual-free-school/

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

June 23, 2016 at 7:15 am

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.)

with 4 comments

Like miniature fireworks, bright bunches of the berries of Highbush Cranberry  (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.) burst along our roadsides in late summer.  Highbush Cranberry is also called Cranberry, Pimbina, and in Quebec,  quatres-saisons des bois.

The Highbush Cranberry is a large deciduous shrub, found in cool woods, thickets, shores and slopes.  It has grey bark and dense reddish-brown twigs.  The large lobed leaves are very similar to red maple.

In spring and summer, the white flowers bloom in a cyme or corymb (a flat-topped or convex open flower-cluster).  Most flowers in the cluster are small, but the outermost flowers are large and showy, making the plant attractive for insect pollinators.

The fruit is a drupe, ellipsoid and brightly colored red or orange.  The juicy, acidic fruit has a very similar flavour to cranberry (Vaccinium spp. L.) and is used for jams and jellies.  The preserves are rich in Vitamin C.

~

~

fireworks, quatres-saisons

            (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.)

~

~

against a drawing paper sky

some liberated hand

has sketched fireworks

~

remember precursors in spring?

blowsy cymes, white sputter

of a Catherine wheel

~

now these berries, ready to pick

bold, spherical outburst

of vermillion sparks

~

a pyrotechnic flash of red

strontium detonates

in receptive dark

~

a four-season celebration

spring confetti, berries,

fireworks in fall

~

cranberry preserves – acidic,

tart blaze of summer sky

winter ignition

~

~

© Jane Tims  2012

© Jane Tims  2012

Blueberries!

with 18 comments

I love blueberries and so I am very happy – our blueberries are blue and ready for the picking at our summer property.

There are two ways to pick blueberries, with your hands…

or with a rake…

My husband bought me my rake years ago, so I use it when there are lots of berries and most are ripe.  There is a bit of a knack to harvesting with a rake.  The ripe blueberries are loosened and captured with the tines of the rake.  The basic technique is to sweep the surface of the bushes, tipping the rake upward as you sweep, since the ripe berries fall into a tine-less part of the pan.  The experience of raking berries is very different from picking.  The process is less calm, although you do get into a rhythm.  Also, the tines of the rake vibrate as you sweep, making a lovely musical sound!

We compared the yields between picking and raking, and we get about five times as many berries per unit effort with the rake (I am sure professional rakers do much better than this).  The rake gets lots of leaves and debris along with the berries, so the time saved in raking instead of picking is lost in the cleaning (in a professional operation, the debris is removed with fans or another sorting method).

Although we have lots of berries on the property, they are getting fewer each year because the growth of other vegetation crowds the blueberry bushes.  But we have a backup plan!

We also travel to the southern part of the province where the berries are in full production this time of year.  Our preferred place to get blueberries by the box or by the pie is in Pennfield, at McKay’s Wild Blueberry Farm Stand.

We eat most of our own blueberries almost immediately.  They also freeze very well.  Our favorite way to use the berries is by making Blueberry Dumplings.

~

Blueberry Dumplings

two to three cups of fresh blueberries
1/2 cup of water
2 tbsp. of sugar (more if you prefer a sweeter dish)
~

Bring the berries, sugar and water to a boil.

When the mixture is bubbling, turn down the heat.

Dumplings:

1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. of shortening, cut into the flour/baking powder mixture
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup milk
~

Mix well and add by spoonfuls to the top of the cooking blueberries.

Cover the pan tightly with a lid (otherwise, you will have a blue-spattered stove).

Cook at low for about 12-15 minutes or until dumplings are fluffy and done in the middle.

Enjoy!

~

~

raking blueberries

~

the sweep of the rake, the berry

touch, the ring of the tines

vibrato in blue, duet with the wind

in the whispering  pines

~

~

©  Jane Tims  2012

 
 
Warning: 
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.
~
%d bloggers like this: