Fruits of My Labor & Family Traditions!

Don't they look scrumptious!?  They are!   There is just nothing quite like a fresh warm blueberry right from the bush!  It was a beautiful morning of picking with friends, old and new.  I probably did more talking than picking, but came home with 5.25 lbs.!  A respectable amount I'd say!  It's certainly better than the handful I picked Tuesday when we got rained out of picking!  I plan to freeze about 2 lbs., bake a few things (not sure what yet), and have some leftover to share with friends and neighbors.

While I'm on the subject of fruit, I have to mention that we have been eating so much fruit this year compared to previous years.  Heck! In Cleveland I barely remember eating any sort of fruit other than watermelon and bananas.  But here in NC, farmers markets abound, and along with all the local/regional produce that Whole Foods sells, I've found a renewed love for fresh fruit, for many reasons!  Here's one cute reason: a mom mentioned to me this morning how, after multiple questions from her daughter as to why exactly grapes had stems, she was able to show her why fruits have stems, simply by their picking berries together!   I love that!

My sisters and I as kids used to pick strawberries with my Italian grandfather and bring them home to my grammy for some serious jam making!  And at the supermarket, grammy would somehow choose for us the sweetest plums I've ever eaten.  I hadn't tasted a plum so sweet since then, until this past week when I bit into a Black Velvet plum form Whole Foods. of course, once Munchkin tried it, he wanted the res of it, but what I did get to try of it was DELICIOUS!!  I think they were from Florida or SC, and they were fuzzy like a peach - best of both fruits! (But I hope it wasn't a type of "genetically modified" fruits!)  Believe it or not, after 4yrs of living in NC, I just this year tasted a Georgia peach -- WOW!  It was honestly hard to stop at just one!  But the local NC peaches at the farmers market will do just fine, too!

Whether Jack Lalanne was just selling juicers or really meant it that fresh fruits are so much better for you than frozen, I'll never know; but, I DO know it's good for the SOUL to pick them with your own hands! For our family it seems to be somewhat of a tradition to pick fruits, on both sides of the family.  Kudos to my mom for her success in growing her first plums this year!  She planted them when I was pregnant, specifically so her grandchildren could come to "GaGa's" house and pick fruits straight from the trees, just as my sisters and I did from her parents' :-)  It warms my heart to see Munchkin enjoy whole foods so much!  What will make me equally as happy will be to know that he understands where his food comes from!  I forgot for a while in my early twenties, but have been reminded by this wonderfully fruitful state of NC!

So have you picked or do you plan on picking some berries/fruits this year?

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