Well, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, for the first 4 years of my life I grew up in a cottage my dad and uncle built together on my grandparents berry farm. Since I was 4 I’ve now moved 19, maybe 20 times, I’m starting to lose count! But the berry farm has remained a constant in my life as somewhere I can always go back to and what I would call my true home. The farm is always beautiful year-round but it’s really in it’s prime when spring turns to summer and all the berries you can imagine come into season. There’s strawberries and raspberries, blacks, logans, boysens and blues, currents of all colours and cherries of all varieties. There’s big dark juicy ones and paler smaller sour ones that are great for stewing.
When you look out at the paddocks Saturday lunchtime during Summer you’ll see hundreds of people picking away. There’s you’re families just out for a day, the asian tourists who come in large tour groups on buses from the city and then there’s you’re serious pickers, those are the older couples that arrive before we open, are hard-working and will come with 10 or more of their own large containers which they’ll pick and fill to the brim within just a few short hours to take home to brew into delicious wines, jams, sauces and desserts.
My favourite time however, is just before dusk, after the big cow bell has been rung to call all the customers back to the shed to weigh up and go home. The sun is still out, but the day has cooled to a perfect temperature and the fields of berries are empty of people but still bursting with delicious fruit. Sometimes I take a container to later bring home some delicious treasures with me, other times I just wander and gorge myself on big juicy strawberries before laying down between two rows to relax and soak up the last of the days sun.
If you haven’t figured out by now, what I crave most is berries, berries of all kinds!