Saturday sent my parents and I into a foraging frenzy! It was my first full-fledged, honest-to-goodness fruit foraging experience here in town, and it was so much fun!
My mom and I were sitting on the porch swing in my backyard, chatting, when a neighbor came by talking about the wild cherries he’d happened to find while out walking his dog. As he described the location, Mom and I locked eyes.
“Want to go look for them?” I asked.
She raised her eyebrows and nodded eagerly.
I leaped from the swing. “Just give me a second to change!”
Within a few minutes, both of my parents and I were walking along a trail by the river, swatting mosquitoes, and scouting for wild cherries. Boy, did we ever find them! The trees the neighbor had mentioned were enormous monsters, gleaming red and yellow with succulent berries. We could have fed half the city, except for the unfortunate fact that that vast majority of the fruit might as well have been in another galaxy! We managed to gather about three pounds of red cherries and half a pound of yellow cherries from the low-lying branches. A beckoning black mulberry tree with dark flavorful berries, staining our fingers purple, and a delightfully sweet white mulberry tree with its small delicate berries were our final forage.
As you can see, photographically the red cherries stole the show. They were simply gorgeous and photographed beautifully. They tasted delicious, too, alternating between sweet and tart tangy goodness.
We almost overlooked the yellow cherries; from a distance, they looked like they still needed a few days to ripen. Nothing could have been further from the truth! They were actually a tad overripe, but even a touch on the soft side, they were marvelous…
They mulberries were exquisite, too. Yum. We’re still enjoying a delicious cherry-mulberry cobbler. Delicious!
If you ever get the chance, I’d whole-heartedly recommend a fruit foraging trip. Not only is the little journey itself a lot of fun, but the fruit is totally natural, organic, local, more flavorful than its store-bought relatives, not sprayed with nasty chemicals, and FREE! The only cost was a little time, mulberry-stained fingers, and an assortment of itchy bug bites. In my book, totally worth it!
I excitedly told a country-dwelling friend about my foraging fun. At first she was a little confused.
“Foraging? What do you mean?”
I described our experience.
“Oh! Out in the country, we just call that berry picking!”
Whatever you call it, this fun summer activity is not to be missed! I’m already on the lookout for another foraging opportunity!
(Originally posted on my old blog, Interim Arts, on June 19, 2013)