Fruit Season

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I skipped out on fire department bugle duty yesterday and used the morning to pick cherries with Tomoe and Mona at a nearby cherry farmer. It was part of a special promotion for orchard owners in the area. For 2,000 yen ($20) We were allowed to pick all the cherries we can eat for 30 minutes. It sounds a bit expensive, but cherries are expensive here, and we figure we picked and ate about 10,000 yen worth, plus there is the fun of letting Mona pick.

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If not careful, of course, after about five minutes you are full. I tried to go slow, but as good as they were, I was pretty sick of them after fifteen minutes. Tomoe was too, but Mona came up with the great idea to stuff some into her pockets (against the rules). Luckily she didn’t get caught.

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It was fun and we have both had our fill of cherries for a year, so no more looking longingly at the 1,000 yen little basket of cherries at the farm stand. We took a little “hike” around the orchard area afterwards because the cherry-farts would have made it impossible to get back into the confined quarters of the van.

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Even more fun, however, and cheeper, is picking wild mulberries. Yesterday we visited one of our fields and were happy to find a few strawberries for Mona to pick, but even more happy to find the tiny mulberries on some of the trees that grow like weeds around here.

The unripe berries have a hallucinogenic effect, but the darker ripe ones are fine to eat. Luckily Mona is not a fan of the sour un-ripe ones. (One theory about the reason silk-worms were able to be so easily domesticated is that the the mulberry leaf, which is the only thing they eat, puts them in a drug-induced stooper and prevents them from wandering away.)

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Compare photo above with five years ago enjoying the kuwa berries in Hakuba – Tomoe hasn’t changed..

Below is a rather long video of Mona enjoying her mulberry (kuwa), and another with a little peek at what our area looks like in late June.



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  1. Shannon says:

    I love these pictures of Tomoe. They rock. She is beautiful!!!

  2. Shannon says:

    The one where she is handing Mona some berries, from behind, you can’t see her face. (11th down.) It’s a great shot.

  3. Shannon says:

    Ok, I’m blabbing, but, actually it’s all of them of her that add up to the whole. Great montage of her.

  4. heather says:

    they’re hallucenogenic? really??? Bloody hell. My kids eat anything and everything that grows on trees around here and often before it’s ripe. Will have to watch out for that one!

    I was really shocked when I found out that all you can pick here means ‘all you can pick AND EAT while here’. Seems such a gluttonous way of doing it and with no chance for jam to boot!

    • kevin says:

      If it was all you can pick and take home, I would have robbed them of everything on their trees and had bushles and bushles of cherries rotting in our front entrance now. I suppose they expect that after having such a tasty treat we would buy some to take home, but having already paid 1,000 yen, gorging myself until I didn’t want to see cherries, there was little temptation to purchase. If they did “All you can pick in 30 minutes and you take home 1/10 of it, that might be a good deal – they get someone to pick, and I get 1/10th of whatever i can pick, but then of course I would probably pick lots of cherries that are not ready yet and they would be pissed off.

      As for the mulberries. This sis just what I read. I have eaten plenty of unripe ones and neither I nor the big koala bears who were enjoying the picnic were effected in the least.



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