Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blackberry Season

My Beloved got home tonight and I needed a break from the kiddos.  I grabbed our berry containers and headed out for some alone time.  After 20 minutes I had 2 pounds of delicious foraged blackberries. Himalayan Blackberries are prolific in the northwest.  They are an invasive and horrible weed.  They posses an uncanny ability to grow everywhere and are hard to kill even if you can find the central root.    But then, one time a year we all set our distain for this invasive plant and we eat some pretty amazing foraged fruit.

I don't know if it is our very warm summer, or the several rainy days we have had this summer but I think the berries are sweeter than any other year we have lived in the PNW.  When we lived in Seattle I had my favorite parks, overpasses, and overgrown lots that I liked to pick berries in. On Vashon I also have my favorite roadside patches (which of course I won't tell you about!).  I do find it pretty charming that at some of the local beaches though the bushes have been clearly munched by many passers by.

What makes the perfect roadside blackberry patch is usually that it gets mowed periodically sow that the first year shoots (that don't produce fruit) are cut back and you can reach a lot of the berries.  Ideally it is situated enough off the road that you don't feel like you are risking your life, and that no one pays any attention to it.
Here's the question though? Blackberry cobbler or pie?

Monday, August 4, 2014

I heart VashonAll

UPDATE: The Vashon All List Serve through Yahoo groups is no longer a functioning Yahoo group. More commonly people use the VashonAll group on Facebook.  The tone of it is a bit dicey, but still a helpful resource.

If you live on Vashon and use the Internet I think that VashonAll is an invaluable service.

In the past 2 weeks we have.

1. Lost our dog and posted it to VashonAll whereby someone from VIPP (Vashon Island Pet Protectors) called to check on if we found her and gave us a suggestions, which happened to be where she was!

2. Needed a handyperson (man) and gotten several recommendations.

3. Solicited childcare from VashonAll and had many qualified candidates contact us with interest.

Now frankly it might sound like overuse.  Except that now our total solicitation on VashonAll equals 5.

So what is it?  It is an online list-serve. Which is a place where  a group of select people (those who live on Vashon) post things and then you either get an email every time someone posts or a daily list of all the posts.

Beyond what it is in a technical sense is that it connects you to other people's lives.  To the reality that rental housing on Vashon is hard, to the road closures, the wierd noises, the missing pets, the need for plumbers, the teenager who will help you move, the 10 year old who wants to babysit for the first time, the estate sale etc.  It is sort of an online pulse of the Island.

It totally dig it.

Here it is:

there is also now a facebook group called VashonALL.  Which is essentially the same thing but via facebook. I haven't posted anything but have nearly bought furniture from it and have looked up information on it. That one is very user friendly for photos of things for sale etc.

Anyway, that's my 411 and review of VashonALL....