My husband wants to pick some blackberries, so he gets another bucket from the shed and heads to the ten or so rows of blackberry bushes toward the less-frequented part of Persimmon Hill Berry Farm in Lampe, Missouri. I wait for him under a cedar tree at a picnic table with our two one-gallon buckets brimming with the blueberries we just picked. It’s a sunny, humid day. Among the rows of Collins, Northblue and other varieties, the air is thick and still. Oppressive. But while I sit in the shade, a gentle breeze chills the dampness on my neck and arms. I observe and listen to the mid-morning activity of blueberry pickers.
A mother walks purposefully by. She is wearing a stiff, white Anabaptist bonnet and a long, navy blue cotton dress that covers her neck, shoulders, arms. Its hem reaches to her mid-calf and draws my eye to her footwear: hot pink, sparkly flip-flops. Her son wears long shorts, a plaid shirt, and a gray cap. They chatter in a loose and quiet German. The woman’s daughter, about four years old and the younger of her two children, wears a burgundy dress in the same style as her mother’s. Her blonde pigtails bounce with every step she takes in her sandals. She lags behind her mother and brother, dawdling to carefully study three little girls sitting at the picnic table to my right. Like baby birds, they perch atop the table, lifting their freckled cheeks to their mothers to be evenly coated with sunscreen and dutiful vigor.
The bonneted mother turns for the daughter and curtly calls her to hurry. Drawn to attention, the little girl’s eyes dart upward and her mother grasps her hand, pulling her alongside. The girl stumbles, hops, and dances to catch up to her mother’s long, deliberate strides. They turn into a row and disappear among the bushes near the far-end of the acreage where the berries are at their heaviest and sweetest.
My husband returns with a bucket half-filled with shiny, bumpy blackberries, many the size of elongated golf balls. It won’t take many to make a pie, which is what he intends to do this evening. We gather up our buckets and head for the house to pay our bill. I glance back across the valley of blueberry bushes. I see the mother’s starched white bonnet hovering over bushes and I appreciate her determination to accomplish the day’s tasks with her two little ones in tow.
6 replies on “Watching and Waiting at Persimmon Hill Berry Farm”
Love your post and the picking berries with family memories it evoked for me!
Thanks for your comment! We have great family memories, too, from when our two kids would go with us. Alas, they are adults now, and our schedules usually don’t allow for us all to go. (sigh)
A lovely way to spend the morning and the rewards are so great. I love blueberries. We aren’t too far from you – we live in Mtn. Home and have a berry farm here too. My mouth is watering thinking about that blueberry pie. Enjoy!
Checked out your farm. You have quite the operation! Will try to visit soon!
Wonderful descriptions. I have picked blueberries in such a place, but not with Anabaptists and so that made me really shift my mental picture. Love the incongruity of the clothing with the sparkly sandals.
Thanks for commenting! Yes, u-picking allows for great people-watching!