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Ripe blueberries Picking berriesa cluster of ripe fruit pick and eatWe cupped our hands hands and raked our fingers through the bush, producing a heaping pile of blueberries in seconds.  The 20-year old bushes were full and ripe, so heavy with fruit that we circled the same bush three times, harvesting from it as if we were coming to it anew each time around.  From bush to bucket, we worked quickly under a sky threatening rain.  We picked so fast that it didn’t matter how many berries Waylon took out of the bucket to eat–his appetite couldn’t keep up with our hands and those bushes.

Just under two hours later we finished, our buckets 50 pounds heavier, and our berry-filled bellies heavier, too.  And so we’re ready for the winter: strawberries and blueberries piled in the freezer, and canned peaches stored away.  Of course the lamb and chicken will help us through the cold months, and the vegetables, too, but summer’s sweetness is what truly brings sunshine into the yurt on cold winter nights–when the night falls early and the wind and snow blow outside, what better way to warm a home than a peach blueberry cobbler?  Berries ripen in the summer, but we pick for winter, ensuring our desserts will bring us through to another June.