Thursday, July 16, 2009

Urban Foraging

I live in a city... it's a small city but still it's a city. I'm lucky enough to have both the entertainment, dining and excitement that comes with urban life and to still get pretty country, farms and all nature has to offer only about a 10 minute drive from where I live. I've often felt that it's the best of both worlds. Growing up in suburbia in a house surrounded by woods on all sides I've been very appreciative that good restaurants and shopping are just a walk around the corner instead of a 20 minute drive. I have an office downtown about a 2 minute walk from where I live instead of a 45 min. commute each way (which is what my Mom has).

Here's a typical view of downtown.

And another.

See nice small city.

But if there was one thing I truly missed from my suburban childhood in the woods (ok two things, I desperately want to have a pool again) it's walking to my favorite summer berry picking spot. Every summer we'd spend lazy afternoon after lazy afternoon playing and walking and grazing the bushes. Occasionally we'd be sent out on missions, containers in hand, to bring back berries for the household.

Last year I discovered my first "public" berry bushes in the city- it was late in the season and most were already gone- but you could tell there had been a huge amount of blackberries. All year I've waited for them to come back, I was delighted by the idea of being able to wander out of the house and pick some berries on a whim. I went to check on them a few days ago, but they were still green... but luck would have it that my husband discovered these blackberries bushes which are even closer- about halfway between my office and our house.

So I went picking on my lunch break- and I certainly had enough in just 10 minutes to make a batch of muffins. Judging by the paths in the brush leading into the bushes we're not the only people (or animals) who know about the berries.

I loved getting the fresh berries (on my lunch break no less) but I have to say it was a distinctly different experience being able to hear city traffic noise while picking them! What can I say... urban foraging is new for me, it may take a while to get used to it.

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