Weeding & Picking in the Garden

strawberries
12 cups strawberries
strawberry jam
strawberry jam

Picking

After finishing other outside projects around here, I step into the garden to pick ripe strawberries. Todays pickings amount to 12 cups after washing and coring. Here is how they cook up into strawberry jam in the evening. Sweet home aromas! I love the smell of jam cooking, drifting throughout the house during the summer evenings.

corn rows
weeding the corn

Meanwhile, back at the garden. After picking strawberries and setting the water, I look for the shadiest area to choose where to weed, and today it is the corn.

Weeding

Gardens are always in need of weeding, no matter how conscientious of a gardener you are. I am comfortable in my Bloomsday long sleeve shirt, jeans and wearing an old lady straw hat along with sunglasses. The breeze is heavenly, the birds sing to me as the butterfly’s and hummingbirds swoop in and around. Heavenly. It is truly amazing how calming and relaxing this chore is. Mindfully, stretching the back, arms and legs while requiring that I use my knees.

I weeded the first three rows completely. Looks pretty. However, noticing that I was running out of sunlight…. I did a “pre-weed” on the remaining four rows of corn.

What is a “pre-weed”?

I stand and pull the obvious big weeds as I am walking down the row, instead of getting each and every little weed out (on my knees). I’ll go back and fully weed these rows next time around.

Pickin’ Choke Cherry Berries

Choke Cherry’s

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Choke cherry picking is one of the funnest kinds of berry picking! They fall off in clumps into your bucket when you pick like you are milking a cow. Near my friends house in northern Spokane, Washington my friend noticed some loaded ripe chokecherry bushes during a walk through the trees with her little dog, Skippy. She gave me a call and we met the next afternoon to get some. Choke cherry jam is super “ono” luscious!

Berry Pickin’ Friends

choke cherry picking
Linda P. choke cherry pickin

I am so happy to have a berry pickin’ friend, Linda, sorry about the branch in front of her face. My friend is very special to me because she is a true berry picking cohort. Who can you call and say, Hey, the berries are on over here do you want to go pick? I know her response will be, Sure!, if it is at all possible. Then we either meet at the trail head or drive together to the location and pick to our hearts content.

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There is no babysitting required between the two of us. We both love the outdoors, and peace & quiet of harvesting these delicious little fruits, even though there is rarely much peace and quiet as we cruise together and talk about all kinds of stuff.  A good friend that loves gardening, cooking, flowers and berry picking is really a treasure to any pirate soul like me.

Want to Get to Know Someone?

Go pick some berries with ’em. I remember the first time Linda and I went up in the mountains to pick huckleberries together. Not knowing her very well,  I assumed that she may not know what is needed, and boy was I wrong! Bringing an extra bucket with the basics that most people forget about, lunch for two, water, bug spray, TP, sunblock I found that was not even necessary. She surprised me at how prepared she was showing up with jeans, comfy shoes, and long sleeve light shirt with lunch, water, TP, small bucket (with bungie cord belt to hold it close at the waist), along with a hat and jacket. I have learned so very much about picking berries from this expert already.

Larry and Pete in garden
Larry and Pete in garden

Here are our better halves discussing important world events in our the garden. Linda and I are so lucky to have found the best husbands who also enjoy each others company.

I count my blessings every time Linda and I go for berries together. We get to see some of the best views in the mountains as we walk and talk, and when we get home we can exchange recipes for the best jellies, jams, and syrups that ever existed on the planet. We get together to do dinner and play cards together as often as possible. Thank God for the gift of wonderful friends to share our lives with.