This evening, my children and I did something we’ve not done before. I shooed the birds away from the two serviceberry bushes outside of our house so we could actually pick a few of these little treats for ourselves. I planted them about four years ago when a friend recommended them to me. Apparently they are native to our climate and are therefore pretty hardy (i.e. good for a novice gardener/plant killer like myself). I’ve been pleasantly surprised by them. For a start, they are indeed hardy. Many a shrub died in that same location and these two little bushes have done well with very little care. Second, they have pretty white flowers in early spring that help me celebrate the end of winter and finally, they have edible berries that come out in late June!
For most of my life I’ve avoided berries on bushes and trees except blueberries or raspberries that I was perfectly familiar with. Too often as a child I’d heard, “Don’t eat those, they are just for the birds but will make us sick.” About 10 years ago, my grandparents were visiting and told me I just had to go and collect the mulberries from the tree dropping them all over the road by the school. Yes, these elongated blackberries that come out in late summer and stain sidewalks are delicious and not just for the birds! But I digress…
The younger kids were pretty thrilled to be picking the serviceberries as we waited for our dinner to cook.
“This is just the old fashioned days!”
“They look just like tiny apples!”
Quite a few of the berries that we picked were slightly under ripe and a little tart but the small bowl we collected was soon picked over by my little birds who were happy to enjoy the fruits of their labour. (And yes, I have told them that we can’t pick any other berries around town because those ones are, “just for the birds”!)
Now, dare we try to eat our dandelions?! Apparently they are all the rage and ours are truly organic and plentiful!!