Berries ripen in July – whortleberries, huckleberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries – and beg to be picked and made into pies.
Tuesday, July 16, 1912 – “Very warm – showery nearly all day. Pauline [hired girl] went whortleburing in afternoon. Got nearly two quarts. Very nice ones.” – Lydia Jane Hall
You may, like me, wonder, “what in the world is a whortleberry?” Well, whortleberries are blueberries, but not quite. They are more like a wild bog blueberry, and I have no idea where they would have grown on the farm. Maybe someone can tell me.
My mother and her older sister Lydia were champion berry gatherers.
Wednesday, July 20, 1921 – “Fairly good day – still manage to get in some hay. Agnes went in town – brought Hattie out to go after berries with Lydia. She brought Lydia a small pail for her own, which she thought was fine. She picked it full up. A good little girl for work.” – Lydia Jane Hall
A few years later, my mother, Janet Hall, wearing plaid stockings and a necktie, went berrying with her own bucket.
My mother knew the whereabouts of all the best berry patches, and in 1986 she took my daughter and her friend Winifred into the back lots to gather blackberries.
That afternoon my mom made one of her perfect berry pies. We ate it with vanilla ice cream just as the fireflies began to flicker and glow in the warm dark Connecticut evening.
On Friday: August Window