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(Delicious black raspberry Italian sodas garnished with herbs and flowers)

Each summer I am dazzled by the enormous explosion of life that surrounds us. Here in the Hudson Valley, our forests feel like the jungle, wet and wild with plants that seem to grow like giants with the rains we have been receiving.

In our baskets, my daughter and I have been harvesting an incredible amount of mushrooms and berries. In our parts, the black trumpets, oysters, boletes, and chanterelles are fruiting and providing us with hearty, protein rich food that we add to quiches in the morning and sauté with butter and garlic scapes in the evenings.

The berries we have been picking are black caps (the abundant black raspberry grows wild in our parts), gooseberries, currants, service berries, mulberries, and the wild blueberries are just beginning to fruit. We dry berries for the winter and make yummy jams and jellies for the colder fruitless months. The black caps have been so abundant this year we have been enjoying pies and delicious drinks with this delicious antioxidant rich berry.

This past holiday weekend, I marveled at the harvests we had gathered. There were no busy grocery stores to navigate or dollars to spend. Just wonderful walks in the woods and time spent on the water that manifests into a basket of wild mushrooms or a pesky trout.

Wishes for a abundant season to appreciate its beauty, smells its sweet scent, eat its fruit, and give thanks for this vital time.

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