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I woke before the sun and set coffee to brew and then headed to the southern property line just as the sun crested the distant eastern horizon. Blackberries destined for my Le Creuset kettle and a fancy half pint Ball jar needed picking. The season for berries is early. For every small cluster of black berries, there was an adjoining cane full of red and ivory berries. The season will be long and if the rains keep coming each afternoon, the berries will get bigger. I put up 7 half pints of pectin free seedless blackberry jam. I bought a Roma food mill two years ago; the hand cranked device makes a quick transformation of 10 cups of berries into seedless juice. I will repeat the berry collection and put the seedless juice in the freezer.

Then off to the farmers’ market I ran to get eggs and a whole organic chicken, orange juice ambrosia and to peruse the other fare. I bought four pints of blueberries, some chevre (not for human consumption), purple onions, agapanthus, sweet shrubs and a few butterfly bushes. The sweet shrubs are a special find and I am so happy to add them to my garden. They will die back in the winter, send out runners and spread out over the years. Evie likes the agapanthus; he calls them fireworks flowers. He has an affinity for blue and indigo flowers in the garden and I will indulge him.

Tomorrow we will rob the hive. I am excited to see what my bees have produced in the last 10 months. I have recipes collected to use with my honey and may start with a honey challah tomorrow to eat with my black and blue berry jams.

Wild blackberries

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