…and Hand Picked

In our continued programme of finding lovely outdoor things to do on the weekends while the sun still shines, we set out early yesterday morning to pick the last of the summer blackberries

Wind Ridge Blackberries

and some Encore Peaches that have just come onstream at Wind Ridge Farm near Wentzville, about 45min drive away.  It was the nearest we could get to the kind of ‘just down the road’ pick your own fruit & veges that I grew up taking for granted in Nelson.   The fruit were looking beautiful in the summer sun, and it was a lovely morning out.  Kazuo was in the backpack, which was a bit of a challenge for him when Akira bent over into the blackberry bushes (they both came away with a few little scratches) but gave him an excellent view of the pretty peaches in the trees.  As always, he loved being outside and had a happy little morning.  We even managed to find a peaceful spot under some picked-out trees to have a morning tea picnic.

Wind Ridge Peaches

Although the berries were pretty picked over, and the peaches were only just coming into ripeness, we did get enough for more than a taste of country goodness.  Here is our little helping – three punnets of berries, and a peck of peaches:

Pickings

Last night I stewed up one punnet of berries (have frozen the other two) with some water and a dash of the honey we were given last weekend when we went out to Overland with our friend Tarah to visit the bees that had swarmed in her compost bin earlier in the summer.  The bees were happily established in their own hive and have been getting into something distinctive as the honey is a dark dark amber and has a wonderfully strong flavour.  All I had left in the freezer was chocolate ice cream, so we poured the berries over that and it was AMAZING.  So simple, so so tasty.

I am scouring the net for imaginative ideas for the peaches (though they are so good I think we may just eat them all fresh…) and think I might try my hand at poaching them in some white wine.  Shall see how they go ripening further first.

I buy our fruit and veges at a farmer’s market in the Loop each week, they are the cheapest I have found, so I don’t really get to satisfy my desire for organic/local much of the time.  They do source a lot of their produce from the greater St Louis area, and it is great value all year round… but I do miss the amazing taste of fruit and veges procured from source.  Somehow picking them off the tree yourself makes you feel convinced of their superior quality.  This is a spurious conclusion in that I am sure that if we could manage more organic food in our budget, it would taste even better… and there are no guarantees about production processes with these PYO places… but it was a sweet outing, and so the fruit just seems that much sweeter.  Summer… you are long here, but you are delightful!

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