On Wednesday, my mom and I and my 17-year-old stepson went up north to the Flathead Lake to do some cherry picking at a u-pick orchard. Although the place I went with some friends last summer wasn’t open yet, we found another great spot – it even operated on the honor system and just left out a scale, some buckets, and instructions on where to leave your money when you were finished picking and weighing up. Oh how I love this great state of ours!
Even though I never buy cherries in the store and don’t much care for eating them, I really enjoy picking and prepping them. I find the whole process to have a high degree of mindfulness built right in naturally. And there are many activities like this, that innately involve a certain quality of mindfulness that you don’t have to work at developing, it simply exists with little effort – like fishing, cooking, playing an instrument, knitting, wood working, painting, photography, and so on. I find that picking cherries and then setting to work pitting them holds my attention and focus quite readily.
My stepson and I picked a collective total of 10 pounds of cherries at $2/lb, for a total of $20 – I was at the market today and saw the same Flathead cherries being sold for $5.99/lb, so I think we scored. Since I don’t really like eating cherries in and of themselves, I went to work this morning cleaning, de-stemming, and pitting them, in order to freeze them for later usage in smoothies and pies. I also used a few cups to make two fresh cherry crisps, one for a potluck we’re attending tonight and another to have around the house – it smells delicious in our house right now!
It took me 1 hour and 25 minutes to pit all 10 pounds of cherries, I timed it! I even stopped the ol’ clock when taking short breaks, so as to ensure the most accurate accounting of how long it would take me :)
I so enjoy showcasing these red beauties and tracking their journey in pictures from tree to oven – this way, too, it is easy to get in touch with a good portion of their life cycle and connect with them on a deeper level. Hooray for local produce, which affords me the opportunity to see more clearly the true nature of interconnection!