25-52-2014 – Summer is Officially Here!

25-52-2014 – Summer is Officially Here!

25-52-2014 - Summer is Officially Here!

June 22, 2014 – The best thing about summer is the fresh bounty that can be found at the local fruit-stands.

I spent every summer of my youth on my grandparents farm and orchard and while the work was hard, the rewards were plenty and flavourful.

I remember riding around on Grandpa’s lap on the big old tractor, and when I was older, driving it though the orchard bringing crates of cherries back up to the storage shed.

I remember dragging tall ladders around for people coming from far and away for our U-pick.

I remember climbing to the very top of those 16 foot ladders and reaching for the juiciest, plumpest bundles of cherries, the ones that had received the best sunlight and contained the sweetest juices.

I remember going out to the raspberry bushes to pick berries for my morning cereal.

I remember the oppressive heat that would descend over the orchard at mid-day and how the dust would puff up around my feet when I finally couldn’t take it any longer.

I remember the water fights we’d all have to cool off, and the trek down to the lake to swim away the hottest part of the day.

I remember afternoons shelling peas in the shade on the lawn. I probably ate more than ever went into the freezer bags. And I remember taking the pea pods to the neighbours, far across the alfalfa fields, to feed to their goats.

I remember hot steamy days in the kitchen with Grandma canning fruits and vegetables and stirring huge pots of strawberry and raspberry jams.

I remember milking the cows and collecting eggs with Grandad.

I remember time in Granny’s farm kitchen, baking and freezing freshly baked cookies filled with fresh-from-the-orchard jam.

I remember picking huckleberries in the bush, always looking over my shoulder, keeping watch for the black bears that would want to share in the bounty.

The berries of summer evoke so many memories for me. These fruits hold the sights and smells and flavours of my childhood.

It hurts to pay the prices that I find today when it was so accessible and basically free when I was younger, but I’m also happy when I’m supporting local BC farmers, so I bite in and savour the fleeting fruits of summer with pleasure.

Ahhh summer… you are so fleeting but you bring such treasures when you arrive.

Fresh corn!

24 Comments

  1. Dee Jackson June 23, 2014 at 2:50 am - Reply

    Come out to the FV and get some of the 1st crop of strawberries- so nummo!!!!!!

  2. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Picked up a basket at a local stand, and yes….nothing like the local berries!

  3. Marne Birch June 23, 2014 at 11:40 am - Reply

    Sigh….the torment continues.

  4. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    You coulda’ just stayed here….. πŸ˜‰

  5. Marne Birch June 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Dave might have protested. πŸ™‚

  6. Dee Jackson June 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    Make her come visit you with a trunk full! You deserve that from your BFF! Or maybe have her preserve some….not sure if Paige is handy in the kitchen….don’t remember. LOL.

  7. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    I used to make preserves every summer, haven’t for some time tho’ as I just don’t have a massive sweet tooth anymore. πŸ™‚

  8. Marne Birch June 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    I’m liking her coming to visit with a truck full of fresh fruit. It would be a really nice thing to do after posting that photo. πŸ™‚

  9. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    The truck would be empty by the time I arrived πŸ˜›

  10. Marne Birch June 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    Drive really fast! πŸ™‚

  11. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

    Then I ‘d be on the motorbike and I wouldn’t be able to cary much….AND I’d eat it all on the way..

  12. Marne Birch June 23, 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    I’m sure the truck goes fast. πŸ™‚

  13. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    But I’d have to sell all the fruit on the way to pay for the gas

  14. Bill Hughes June 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    Dare I ask, Marne; what grows in Thunder Bay?
    …no; seriously! πŸ™‚

  15. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 9:57 pm - Reply
  16. Bill Hughes June 23, 2014 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    So this might be a Thunder Bay window box with new sprouts?

  17. Paige Ackerman June 23, 2014 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    ROTFLMAO!

    (Sorry Marne……)

  18. Marne Birch June 23, 2014 at 10:48 pm - Reply

    I laughed so hard I snorted! πŸ™‚

  19. Bill Hughes June 23, 2014 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    πŸ˜€

  20. Marne Birch June 24, 2014 at 12:22 am - Reply

    Seriously… we grow the usual peas, beans, strawberries, raspberries, sasaktoons, carrots, etc, but it’s been so cool and the snow lasted so long that things are barely poking out of the ground. Int he case of my strawberries, I have flowers, but that is it.

  21. Bill Hughes June 24, 2014 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Sorry Marne, Paige posted “Ice” and I googled “ice cube tray” and that picture popped up…I almost pee’d myself! πŸ™‚
    I’ve actually been to Thunder Bay about 12 or 15 years ago…it was Springtime so there was still frost in the morning! πŸ™‚
    I made the mistake of taking the bus from Toronto to see the countryside! 22 hours! Lol!
    I’ve always been grateful for the washroom in the A&W in Sioux St Marie!

  22. Sheryl Salisbury June 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    I agree. I love the fresh fruits (and veggies) of summer. Yum.

  23. Sheryl Salisbury June 24, 2014 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    I agree. I love the fresh fruits (and veggies) of summer. Yum.

Have a thought? Share it!