Tag Archives: saskatoons

Ode to Saskatoons

I only had to look up.
They were there all along.
The ripe and ripening fruit.
Yummy morsels.
Dark purple.

I go out and harvest my breakfast
from my own bushes, nay trees now.

When did the fruit grow out of reach?
How can I harvest?
The tree, if carefully handled,
will bend.
Gracefully bowing its branches
and offering, like a courtesy
its posey to the queen.

Of course looking up at the right time is good.

At first the berries come in bunches,
easy picking, filling my pail in minutes.

There is more fruit there
Waiting to ripen.

Each picking gets more intense.
Berries now ripen one by one
spread over many branches
making the harvest slower and more thoughtful.
For what might be hiding under a leaf?
A juicy surprise
All alone.

I don’t remember losing touch.
When did I stop noticing the fruit
in my own backyard?
When did I become nonchalant?
When did I forget to look up?

Someone walked the path with me.
Someone who knows the forest.
Recites the names,
studies the bark.
Notices the leaves.
Someone who can tell a spruce from a fir.
Someone who made me aware.
Who gave me a new perspective.

I only had to look up.
They were there all along.
The ripe and ripening fruit.
The yummy morsels.
The dark purple.

When all the ripening is done
the last few berries
remain solitary.
How can I possibly leave even
a single berry behind?
Then I remember the birds.
The birds who serenade me each morning.
They need to eat as well.
And in their relief
will broadcast the wee seeds
to more places in my forest
to keep the harvest ever present.

Can I trust this fullness?
The deep ripening which satiates
and fills my soul?

Like a sage writing holy scripture
I notate in my calendar
a year from now.

Look up.

Saskatoon Berries

We went berry picking with my grandson. It was the perfect morning. Cool and breezy enough to keep the mosquitoes away. Overcast too.

Image 7Saskatoon berries are sort of like blueberries, but a whole lot easier to pick, I think. They are a prairie delicacy and loaded with antioxidants (things that are good for you).

Image 2

Image 5

photoMike Michaluk met us on his golf cart and told us which row to start picking in. He told us he planted this field of saskatoon bushes for his wife, Shirley, about 20 years ago. A pretty expensive gift of about $17,000!




The picking method is sort of a tugging gently the cluster hanging together.

Image 13

The ripe ones will easily come away and the unripe ones should get left behind.

Of course your hands get pretty stained.

Of course your hands get pretty stained.

Three ice-cream pails took two of us about two hours to pick. IMG_2426

Eating them fresh with plain yogurt or ice cream is awesome.

And we made freezer jam from this recipe:


First crushing the berries with a potato masher.IMG_2429

Then adding the sugar.IMG_2431

Then adding the liquid pectin and lemon juice.IMG_2433

Voila! Delish!IMG_2435