Between the rain last week and the heat this week, we had a few clear, balmy days. So, last Friday and Saturday, my family went blueberry picking. On Friday we picked 145 pounds and Saturday morning we picked 94 pounds more. Then we washed them and put them into gallon bags for the freezer.
Berry picking reminded me of the strawberry picking party at Donwell Abbey in Jane Austen’s Emma:
Mrs. Elton, in all her apparatus of happiness, her large bonnet and her basket, was very ready to lead the way in gathering, accepting, or talking—strawberries, and only strawberries, could now be thought or spoken of.—“The best fruit in England—every body’s favourite—always wholesome.—These the finest beds and finest sorts.—Delightful to gather for one’s self—the only way of really enjoying them.—Morning decidedly the best time—never tired—every sort good—hautboy infinitely superior—no comparison—the others hardly eatable—hautboys very scarce—Chili preferred—white wood finest flavour of all—price of strawberries in London—abundance about Bristol—Maple Grove—cultivation—beds when to be renewed—gardeners thinking exactly different—no general rule—gardeners never to be put out of their way—delicious fruit—only too rich to be eaten much of—inferior to cherries—currants more refreshing—only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping—glaring sun—tired to death—could bear it no longer—must go and sit in the shade.”
— from Emma by Jane Austen, Chapter VI