After our jaunt to the farmer's market, we stopped at an orchard on the way home. Not quite time for apples, but they had blackberries ready for picking.
It's been a long, long time since I've picked my own berries. Like still in elementary school, playing on a farm in Illinois with my cousins, eating berries off the bush long time.
The u-pick lady gave us some buckets with plastic liners. Told us which rows had berries ready to pick.
And then we went a little crazy.
Kiah and Ches went with my sister, their cousin Em, and my mom. Brady, Dan and I walked up a little farther to row 42. Dan's favorite number.
We started to pluck those little black berries.
When my bucket started to get pretty full, we tracked back.
"I think we got enough," I said.
"Nah. Never enough," was the answer. So we picked some more.
We ended up with three fairly full buckets.
It was expensive, probably. We took them to my parents' house and my mom split them up. When we got home later, I washed them, laid them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and popped them in the freezer --- after taking out some to just eat and some for a crisp I wanted to make for dessert.
Twelve hours later, I started putting individually frozen berries in quart size bags. I got six bags. With those held out, we probably brought home seven quarts for ourselves.
That's a lot of blackberries.
My freezer is now well stocked. For throwing in hot oatmeal. Smoothies. Yogurt. Making more crisp. Eating with ice cream. We'll be rolling in the blackberries for a bit now.
It just makes me so happy to think about it.
I'm pretty sure there's nothing better than blackberry stained hands.