Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saskatoon season

I think I've mentioned before that I grew up in Saskatchewan. My grandparents lived on a farm, and we'd spend summers out there.

They had a big garden with a variety of vegetables, as well as strawberries and raspberries.

However, around this time of year, we'd go and pick one of the native fruits from that area - Saskatoon berries.

My grandmother wore a dress every day. Saskatoon picking day was pretty much the only day when she'd wear pants. We'd all put on old clothes, and pack ourselves into the van. We'd get to wherever the saskatoons were good that year. When we got there, we'd all pile out of the van. Everyone would tie a pail around her waist with an old tie, and we'd start picking.

We picked chokecherries on occasion as well - they are easy to pick because of how they grow on the branch. Saskatoons are not easy to pick - you have to pick each berry individually. Needless to say, we'd get bored quickly.

When we finished, we'd head home. At that point, the pails were half-filled with berries, and then filled with water. (This made it easier to pick out bad berries, as well as twigs and leaves). Once they were drained, my grandmother would put the berries on a tablecloth, and then "sort" them into containers. The sorting basically consisted of taking out all of the bad/unripe berries.

Saskatoons are small, purple berries. They look like small blueberries, but have a stronger taste.

Anyway, a few years ago I discovered a farm outside of Ottawa that sells saskatoons. It has become a part of my summer routine to make one or two trips out there.

Today I went out there after work and picked up some saskatoons.

There's really no point, this is just a rambling story.


  1. Saskatoon berries sound yummy, and I like your story.

  2. One of my favourite past bosses was from Saskatchewan - he would tell lots of stories about growing up on the prairies. He was nearing 70 years old, so I suspect things aren't quite as isolated there these days.

    I love berry picking! There is something very soothing about it...though picking strawberries is something of a nightmare. It's a popular summer job for poor students around my hometown.

  3. Wow, your family was much more structured with your stn berry picking than my Mom and I were. What was also fun about stn berry picking was dealing with all the mosquitoes and other pesty bugs.

  4. You forgot to mention the fact that Grandpa ate more berries than actually made it into the pail! (so did the rest of us!) Also, this time of year reminds me of pickin the peas at the farm and then spending the evening shelling them for freezing - again, Grandpa ate more than went into the pail!