Berries, Berries, and Cherries!

Kevin and I picked sixty-six pounds of blueberries in less than two hours last Friday at Haven Farms.  I gave some to my parents and packaged forty-eight pounds of them in 2-pound bags for the freezer.  The rest are still in the frig and we're eating them fresh.

This morning I went out to The Berry Patch (in the rain) and picked eleven pounds of raspberries.  It was wet and muddy, but there are still plenty of nice berries and more to ripen over the next week.  I just finished making a batch of raspberry freezer jam and I started a quart jar of raspberry vinegar.  I froze two 2 lb. bags of raspberries to make a couple batches of cooked jam this winter.  Still deciding what to do with the remaining berries--they must be dealt with today as they are dead ripe.  I don't have time to make a batch of cooked jam right now and there aren't enough left to juice.  I do need to pick more this week to make enough raspberry juice for raspberry lemonade during the coming year.  The Berry Patch has boysenberries and Marionberries right now too, so I'm hoping I'll have time to stock up on those as well.

We are on our second 12-lb. box of bing cherries from Shady Lane Orchards.  We bought them picked; I don't like to get on ladders if I don't have to.  We just keep eating them fresh until we're tired of them because their season is so short.  I'm going to pick up 80 pounds of pitted bings at Hentze's in Junction City this Thursday for dehydrating.

And I still need to go pick more blueberries out at Big Bend Berries.  I figure we go through about two pounds of frozen berries per week, in smoothies or on our cereal, so I don't have nearly enough in the freezer yet.  Hmmm....and I might need to start a batch of blueberry-lemon vinegar.  I'm imagining a variation of my favorite salad with dried blueberries, Rogue Creamery bleu cheese, and a blueberry vinaigrette.  Oh, and I still want to try making lavender-blueberry jam, but I can always do that later with some of the frozen berries.

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