Monday, July 13, 2009


I went to Vancouver, Canada at the age of 15 for one month to study English. My host family (Verna and Jim) lived in Richmond.
They would often take me to the Richmond Nature Park. It was fun to walk among the woods, with squirrels crossing your way.

It was there that I learned the joy of blueberry picking. The blueberry trees bore lots of fruits all around the park. It was fun to pick and eat the sweet little blue things as you walked along the shrubs.

"You are allowed to pick and eat the berries in the park", Verna said, "but you can't take them home in a jar to make jam"

There was this primordial joy in nourishing nature at first hand. You can get blueberries in packages in the supermarkets, but it is not the same thing. Devouring directly from the twigs had a flavor incomparable to any artificially prepared delicacies.


Petrusa de Koker said...

You are so right. Blueberries in packages in the supermarkets are not the same thing.
When we where kids, we would watch our father and the farm-hand milk the cows. We would bring our little mugs so that father could milk straight into the mug. We loved drinking the creamy luke-warm fresh milk and would laugh at the froth giving us milk-moustaches. Our more cultured friends from the city were quite shocked. They would tell us we are crazy, drinking milk just like that. Milk had to be pasteurised and homogenised before one can drink it. We didn't know much about those processes. We just loved the milk straight from the cow. :-)

(ma)gog said...

Canada, is the first foreign country I visited when I was 21. I had to go there because of "Anne of Green Gables". I worked very hard to save the money for the trip. I stayed at a student dormitory in the outskirts of Toronto for a month, and from there I flew to the P.E.I. to make a week trip on the island. It was an adventure which I had dreamed of for almost 10 years! In Vancouver, I stayed just for two days on the way back to Tokyo, I wish I could have had more time there because it was such a beautiful city. During the stay in Canada, I also encoutered squirrels often. It was a fresh and a delightful surprise for a girl from Tokyo!

Utako said...

"Devouring directly from the twigs had a flavor incomparable to any artificially prepared delicacies."

I like this phrase. As the village where I grew up was so poor economically, children would venture on gathering nutrition from nature every day.

One day we were shocked to compare "Kyoho"(giant grape) with our small wild vine. The "Kyoho" was sent from Osaka for the Bon Festival. It was better than ours at all points.

I can buy "Kyoho" anytime at the supermarket now. At the same time, I know the wild vine is never packaged, and only in my fragrant experience or somewhere unknown hills.

Yamabuki no Tubone said...

Blueberry picking in Richmond, B.C. Canada!! There is nothing better than picking up from trees!! I tried several times in Richmond!! It brings back memories of university days in Vancouver. So much fun at the time.

Ken Mogi said...

Dear, Petrusa.

Thank you for your comment.

Your "straight from the cow" milk surely sounds very nice. I would like to try it myself sometime!

Anonymous said...


Thankyou for reminding us of the small, real pleasures of life.

消費者・学者として自然界の儚い肉体を見失う傾向があると思います。毎朝東武ストアーの抗酸化ブルーベリーを食べていますが、sweet little blue thingsを直接木から自らの手で摘めばいいね。