Berry Time

Went back to the hotspot and picked over 20 lbs of berries in about 2.5 hours. My friend Kurt is harassing me because when he asked me to go fishing – we haven’t caught a fish in for. Ever. He said I can buy Smuckers at the store. I told him Jerry’s meats has nice king salmon all the time. One thing for sure is this berry patch will be a sure thing for I hope another week at least. I’ve got my system down now, too. I carry a coffee can which I stuff in the top of my overalls, which are heavy duty and the salmon berry (and devils club) thorns can’t penetrate. I can use both hands to pick this way. When the can is full, I put the berries into a gallon zip lock, which just fills it up. I put the bag of berries in my pack and continue. I think I picked 6 coffee cans full tonight. When I get home, the newest berries are mostly whole with little juice. The bags on the bottom of the pack have squashed berries and lots of juice. I dump each bag into a small colander that sits in a bowl. I pick out the leaves and sticks as I pour. Any juice goes into the bowl, and I then dump the cleaned berries into a vac pack bag. By the end of the 6 coffee cans worth of berries, I had over a quart of juice, which will make nice jelly. I’ll make mostly jam from the berries. I then vac pack the berries and freeze them. The first few tries yesterday left me with a vac packer full of juice until I adjusted the vacuum time and drained what juice I could before hand and now it all went smoothly today with no leaks. I’ll get another day of picking in tomorrow, then up to Anchorage to join Sara for her Dad’s memorial service on Wednesday. I thought today as I drove with both truck windows down how few times the weather calls for that here. It was 70 degrees today with a light breeze. What more could I want for a summer day.

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