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Harvest Monday -- here and elsewhere

This week was the annual trip down the coast to pick ollalieberries.

It's a beautiful place.

And the harvest is just lovely -- they tasted like jam on the vine.

While I'm the avid, driving force,

I did have help.

And my help isn't like a toddler's "help," unlike Denise's

The big guys helped, even though they're not thrilled about the berries themselves. My two younger girls refused to come, opting to clean the house instead. Go figure!

I don't think we'll be going back though. I do love the trip, love the memories, but the prices have gone up so far that with the long drive added on, my jars of jam are almost retail priced! Since we have many blackberry patches around town, I figure I can get my jam berries that way. Plus, if I plant ollalieberries in the difficult-to-keep-watered back bed (possibly after cutting down the branch overhead first) I'll probably get enough berries to keep us in pies. And then if we want to drive, we'll just go to the favorite beach nearby instead. And eat homegrown ollalieberry jam and peanut butter sandwiches!

In closer harvests, today, I did a quick run through the garden. Apples, strawberries, hot peppers, Padron peppers, lots and lots of kinds of cucumbers, a whack of kale, summer squash, and beans. So far today I've got two bowls of cucumbers and cucumber slices brining, while two jars of pepper rings are pickled and sealed. We ate the kale for dinner, and had strawberries with shortcake for dessert. That only leaves the zucchini and beans to process, the apples and eating cukes to consume. Look away for two days, I tell you. . .

It's churlish to complain, though. And there are lovely neighbors who will eat extra, the food bank is always happy to get whatever we can give, and it's local and fresh. We are blessed.


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