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Why Berries and Cream are better than iPads and Netflix

March 11, 2016
Berries and Cream

Over the many years spent up north, one of the outdoor activities I remember the most was when we would go picking berries.

We spend so much time these days in front of a screen, at work, at home for play and at home planning our next outdoor trip we often forget nature is often not that far away, weather it is farm country, the forests and lakes of the north, the steep mountain trails, or the wide open of the desert.

Most everyone does the weekly pilgrimage to the grocery store to buy “fresh” fish caught in Alaska or farmed in BC, “fresh” beef raised in Alberta or Texas, “fresh” potatoes grown in PEI or Idaho, “fresh” berries grown in Argentina, Mexico, California or BC, all of which are prepared thousands of miles away well before their prime.  When was the last time you picked a fresh Raspberry from the side of a road, pulled an apple right from the tree or baked a pie with Blueberries you just picked?  Many people do not even know what fresh food actually tastes like.

One memory I have from childhood was the frequent trips into the bush up north to pick berries.  We would often go on hikes on the back roads and stumble upon a group of Blackberry or Raspberry bushes along the side of the dirt road.  Sometimes we would actually go looking.  Sometimes my parents would drag us along while we were complaining that we would rather swim in the lake, other times we would meet up with our cousins and go exploring down the miles of dirt roads on our bikes looking for berries.  Other times we would do the yearly pilgrimage with the entire extended family to a new location miles away where blueberries were abundant and spend the day harvesting a huge batch of berries while my grandmother would tell us again of the time when she was a toddler she met a big black teddy bear who ate all her blueberries while her parents were picking berries not far away. We would often spend those days being reminded to save some blueberries for the pies while we ate as we picked.

In an age where technology allows us to get Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries all year long because they are grown strategically up and down the earth from Argentina to Canada so that you are sure to find the Blueberries you crave any month of the year at a reasonable price, we often forget that most fruit is grown in huge commercial farms that use pesticides, genetic engineering, computers to forecast growth, weather forecasting and total revenue for the years harvest, and most importantly they are often harvested well before they are ripe so they will ripen on the flight, are stored in warehouses that are temp controlled at 1 degree above freezing, are pitch dark and have had the Oxygen removed to ensure the berries stay “Fresh” until they get to the grocery store weeks or months after they are plucked from the bush half a world away.

Technology may be the reason we can get all this food any time of year, but sometimes we need to remember that technology does not substitute for the fresh taste of a bowl of wild strawberries and cream on a hot summer day where you actually swatted away horse flies to pick them.  By the way did you know that wild strawberries are not the size of a quarter (or in some freakish cases the size of a plum)?  They are actually smaller than a pea but those tiny berries have far more flavor than those huge frankenberries you find at the store.

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From → Outdoor, RV Travel

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