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Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re already a couple of weeks into summer. And that means getting ready for the ripening of the summer fruits.

This is a gentle reminder for you to get out your garden gloves and secateurs, round up your family and head off for the garden, the hedgerows or a Pick Your Own (PYO) farm.

Right now, the season of fruit picking is approaching for:

Berry Picking Season

apples

apricots

blackberries

blueberries 

cherries

figs 

gooseberries

pears (better in September)

plums

raspberries

strawberries 

The best months are from August right up until December, depending on the fruit.

When you pick berries direct from the plant, you’ll know how fresh they taste.  Most berries have a natural sweetness and require little effort to prepare.

We just rinse them under water and add them to morning muesli or snack on them throughout the day. 

The all-important nutrients

A single cup of strawberries contains 100+ mg of vitamin C, vital for building a strong immune system AND strong connective tissue.  Connective tissue helps build and maintain physical structures including, tendons, blood, bone, cartilage, adipose tissue and lymphatic tissue. Strawberries provide us with calcium, magnesium, folate (vitamin B) and potassium; blueberries give us vitamin C, minerals and phytochemicals.  

Black raspberries are of particular interest due to their complement of compounds with demonstrated chemo-preventive activity – some swear this is more effective than an HPV vaccination.

How to find your nearest PYO farm: 

Google ‘Organic PYO (and your town name)’.  Then pack a picnic to keep your energy levels up, a drink to quench your thirst, containers to carry your harvest home; wear old clothes and wide-brimmed hat. 

Then crank up the children for a day of excitement.

When you get home, look up a recipe for Blackberry and Apple Crumble.  Although there are many books teaching you how to make jams and marmalades, for this we bought “Lost Crafts: Rediscovering Traditional Skills” by Una McGovern.  

Apart from guidance on how to make jams, there is a wealth of information in the book from bee-keeping, milking a cow, tracking animals, foraging for wild food, making butter and cheese, making soap, tying knots and navigating by the stars.  

Something to keep the children occupied in the coming holidays.

You need to be careful when buying fruits in supermarkets! Fruits had a distinctive taste when I was young.  You could instantly tell the difference between a Braeburn and a Pink Lady.  Not so much these days.

I definitely know what blackberries should taste like on my tongue. But when they come in a supermarket’s plastic box and look as they still have some growth left in them before picking, it makes me more determined to source the real thing.

And don’t forget lashings of cream or ice cream!

What’s stopping you?

Phylipa Dinnen

ResourcesForLife.net

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