The Mayhaw Berry Harvest has officially begun today. Fred has been out gathering some for almost a week now, but like an avalanche, the berries are ripening at an accelerated pace. We’ll all go out again later today and more often every day until the harvest is done.
This is Christine writing, since Mom Bobbie is out helping with the harvest. I’ve posted a video on YouTube with snippets of the process.
It begins with the proper clothing, waders. We have a few sizes on the ranch. Charissa and Mimi dress with boots and hooded-ponchos so they don’t get bugs and things in their hair.
We use heavy duty pool skimmer nets to scoop up the floating berries. Not too much debris, please! Because the next step is to clean out as much of the leaves, grasses and tiny twigs – while the berries are continuously moved around and dried over big fans. As they dry, the light pieces of debris fly away, so that’s convenient. Then we bag and freeze them immediately.
We don’t wash them because they need to be dry to freeze. So, when you are ready to take a bag out for jelly or cake, you need to. We put them in a colander and rinse.
This is a natural, protected Mayhaw Berry stand, so they never see pesticides or fertilizers – not even livestock waste since they are fenced out. And with all the rain we’ve been having, one has to believe they are clean berries!
Our goal is 200 bags this season. We are well on the way with.. oh, about half a dozen! Each bag holds a gallon and we’re selling them at $25 each. We’ll have enough to start selling at the Mayhaw Berry Harvest Festival this weekend.
I learned to make Mayhaw Berry cake yesterday. Left it on the counter to cool and Bailey, my dog, ate half of it! Wasn’t funny at the time… not real hilarious now, either, come to think of it.
Mom bought some smaller bundt pans and practiced making Pindo Palm Berry cakes. Mistakes were made… but they taste delicious!