Carrboro, North Carolina
Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim
South Royalton, Vermont
I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren
We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara
Wallace, West Virginia
My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn
My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April
Joy of joys, the wild berries are ripening here in the Mountain State! One of my great delights of summer is stepping outside in the morning and topping a bowl of cereal with fresh berries straight off the vine. At the moment, it's black raspberries (a.k.a. "black caps") and blueberries that are ripe for the picking. Dense tangles of wild black-raspberry canes border the edges of our yard and driveway, so it's a fairly easy task to pick these little beauties. Yesterday, a leisurely stroll around the borders of the yard and hayfield yielded more than a pint of black caps, with minimal effort on my part.
Last winter we transplanted six young cultivated blueberry bushes from the main garden plot (too wet down there) to the hill above our house. The blueberries seem happy in their new home, and a bountiful wild blueberry bush lives right next door to the cultivars, hopefully inspiring them to produce copious amounts of berries in years to come. We've harvested the earliest ripe berries from both our wild and domesticated neighbors. Greater quantities of blueberries will be available in July at McConnell Berry Farm, a pick-your-own operation south of Morgantown on Rt. 119.
On the particular piece of land I call home, the quantities of black caps and blueberries run a distant second to the abundance of wild blackberries, which grow into giant, impenetrable brambles along roads, fences, and the borders of fields and pastures. The blackberries look to be shaping up for quite a bountiful season; they'll be ripe in a few more weeks. The earlier-ripening black caps and blueberries serve as a good warm-up for the height of blackberry season, when serious berry-picking excursions are in order. In the coming weeks, you can bet that I'll be donning long pants and sleeves to venture deep into the berry brambles in search of these juicy jewels of summer.
It's Thursday. I walk into the co-op and thread my arm through the handles of a plastic basket. Blueberries.
I hang a right and go to produce section. I look at the different items... read the cards above. Same cards I read yesterday... and the day before. I scan to pick-out the Locally Grown cards.
Same as usual. Collards, spouts, sweet potatoes. Kale is past. Lettuce never really made it to the co-op. I almost think to myself - why do I always come to this section? Right and I'm in the fruit. Did I turn off the lights in my office?
First of the year cantaloupe from eastern Carolina. Lucky. I smell it and put it in the basket. I'm thinking about my day. Thinking about the work I have to do to prepare for my class tomorrow. What's on the syllabus for Monday. Thinking about a dip in the pool. Coffee? We have some.
I scan the juices as I make a left along the coolers. I miss juice - I always think that. I grab a half-gallon of milk and a lb. of sausage. The aisles of packaged goods are a blur to my left... exotic now... mysterious. At the end of the coolers I follow the path to the right. A package of local pasta, a round of goat cheese. I'm thinking about the emails I need to send. Phone calls to make.
I stop at the hot-bar for no good reason. The steam rolls off the trays and collects briefly under the sneeze guard. Maybe we got a Netflix today. I look in my basket. Six items. I move to the back of a line and thumb through Adbusters while a push-cart of items in front of me gets transferred to the conveyor. I see a friend. "What's up Tim. How's the local thing going?"
Briefly, I wonder what he's talking about.
Oh yeah. "It's going fine, man. What's up with you?" As I'm peddling home, I think about food. Market on Saturday. What could I write about this week?