Thursday, July 14, 2011
Hi There: I Like to Party...
I come from a big family. On one side, I am the oldest of 24 cousins. Fortunately, everyone takes a turn pouring sweat into the farm. Christy scraped hundred-year-old wallpaper from the hallway a few weeks back. Ryan planted a fig tree in the barnyard. Leif came up last weekend to line the driveway with boulders that will help prevent erosion. That's the sort of work Leif likes--the hard kind that involves loading and unloading heavy things into and out of a pickup truck. The kind that makes you feel like you deserve a beer or four. Did I mention that in addition to hard work, Leif also likes to party? So it was no surprise that we spent Saturday night soothing our sore muscles with hopped-up suds.
Come Sunday morning, we needed a little pick-me-up: a dose of natural sugar to get our blood running again. Fruit sounded good, so we drove the truck up to the top of the hill where, along the tree line, we found hundreds of wineberries.
Wineberries grow in the woods and along the roads near our farm--and pretty much everywhere else in the Northeast. A wild relative of the raspberry and originally from northern Asia, the wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius) was introduced in this country to breed hybrid raspberries, but it escaped captivity and took very well to the climate and soil here. Some people (probably the same folks who call dandelions "weeds") say that it's an invasive species that has taken over the woods. I call it a treat. The berries, which look like polished rubies and taste like raspberry wine, ripen during June and July.