Berry Picking with Benny

Benito (“Benny”) Guindon is the a second generation Quaker and one of the remaining Quaker farmers. He’s also wickedly funny in a dry, self-effacing way. He makes jam, cheese, sells milk, leads square-dances at the meeting house and weaves pine-needle baskets and pot holders for sale during the holidays. He’s an important fixutre of our experience of Monteverde. So, the other week we volunteered to help him collect some berries for his jam.

IMG_5182

IMG_5181
Notice how deep the grass is.

The Guindon farm is a large, old, rambling affair, as farms often are, with pastures that look forgotten, but are, in fact in heavy use. He keeps cows, goats, chickens and a few pigs. He also has become something of a local wildlife shelter; when people find an injured mammal or bird, they will usually bring it Benny first. We’ve met a few such creatures, including an owl that has recuperated and left, and one that never will.

IMG_5186
Reid collected a ton of berries.
IMG_5189
Reid and Liam rest for a minute. This was where the boys got chiggers. Turns out chiggers are annoying – itchy as all heck, but ultimately harmless.
IMG_5194
Our harvest. We easily tripled Benny’s time investment.
IMG_5195
This is a vine that they have growing outside their house. I bet it captures flies for pollination.