Saturday, June 20, 2009

Blue bayou

Down in the wooded flats of the South Canadian River, we were directed to the blueberry farm of a friend of my aunt Mary's. This is near Scipio, Pyle Mountain, Wild Horse Creek and Tannehill Road — oaken, rich land that steams in summer and whistles in winter, with the smell of wood burning a kind of Pittsburg (Co.) perfume.

The farm of Bruce and Debbie, former Angelinos, was idyllic — a pristine spot cut out of the oak trees where Debbie makes soap (she sells most of it online, in New York and California) and not far from Bruce's post at the local ammunition plant. Bruce is in ordnance. Debbie's in berries.

He came down to pick "a quart and a half" and stayed for much more than that. "Debbie's going to make jam." We filled a couple of gallon pails, paying in sweat equity and some futures on my aunt's vegetable garden.

You can't tell from the image, but we picked berries as big as cherries at Bruce and Debbie's. The Kerr Center wants to pay her to grow blackberries and grape but Debbie can't decide. She once sold cut-your-own Christmas trees, too. She raises cattle.

"When I got here," she said, "I didn't know the girls from the boys. Not until calves started falling out of them."

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