Thursday, July 30, 2009
2009 is a Berry Good Year
10 gallons and counting.
Plus one gallon of raspberries. Its been blueberry crisp, followed by raspberry muffins, then blueberry cobbler, and blueberry pancakes, raspberry buckle, blueberry muffins - you get the picture.
Eight hours of picking (spread over about four days) has resulted in a freezer full of gallon bags of berries. This is a bumper crop of blueberries the likes of which have not been seen in the Fairbanks area for several years now.
The berries are so thick - 4 to 6 plump berries per cluster - that I turn my nose up at bushes which in past years I would have raved about as being sure signs I had died and gone to berry-pickers heaven. Yup, its fat city.
A few days ago I sent out a gallon to the SO's mom in the vil. You'd think that would be like bringing coals to Newcastle, but no. Because while the berries are fat, juicy and plentiful here, they are not so luxe elsewhere in the Interior - or at least not around that particular village.
I got kudos from mom for that bag of berries, so today another two gallons went over with someone traveling back to the vil. Mom has been around for many, many years and she knows good berries when she gets them. As an elder with specific tastes and high standards - getting props from her was well worth the air freight.
I am all about earning brownie points and looking out for mom. She is the glue that holds the family together - the force that keeps the men in the family in line, on track and from doing crazy men things. That makes my life easier and more pleasant with my SO. Additionally, without her all of us in that extended family are much reduced, and to no small degree without direction. When mom is around, family members' roles are clear, structure settles in, and there is harmony, purpose and peace - like a hive that is queen-right.
A queen-right hive produces lots of honey and is populated by calm bees unlikely to attack and sting; bees that are all working to the purposes to which they were born. A hive that is not queen-right is chaotic, agitated and full of angry bees that will attack at the slightest provocation. A queenless hive has no future for without a queen, the worker bees begin reproducing. Worker bees can only produce drones, and thus the hive starves and dies.
Like a worker bee making honey and taking care of the queen, I got a few more gallons stashed away for mom. A small price to pay for a queen-right family.