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Red, white and blue - berry picking with the staff

The summer solstice early mornings have become my favorite times to enjoy the quiet, if not the peace, with "the staff". I was a bit disappointed when my berry picking plans were put off by an early morning rain, but at a break in the weather I gathered the young angoras and piglets for an outing. I'm sure I wasn't naive enough to think they'd behave themselves, but I was pleasantly surprised that they were indeed delightful company, never wondering far enough to slow my picking. The black cap berry season usually peaks here in Wisconsin simultaneously with the mosquitos, but this year, the early dry spring worked in our favor and I didn't get a single bite.

Blossom, Pink and Floyd, though damp from the rain, were happily eating the brambles, buckthorn and honeysuckle while I picked. WopWops, Scroggin and Hokey Pokey crushed through the undergrowth cheerily snorting away

Blossom begs for a black cap berry.

Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful life!

I'm generally a purist when it comes to rhubarb. I think learning to love this abundant, easy to grow plant is as essential as embracing Wisconsin winter - just take it as it comes and eat lots of pie. Recently my husband John has me hooked on rhubarb / black cap pie - the strongly flavored dark purple berries are beautiful and so tasty that just a cupful makes the pie amazing! Black caps (wild black raspberries) are abundant along the roadsides and wooded parks. Try picking some - they don't last long!



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