Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Berry Maine

Let's talk berries! As in Berry Maine (or VERY Maine-can it be confused?) because on my recent visit to Maine berries were everywhere! Everyone loves Maine blueberries, almost as much as they love the Maine lobster. But have you ever had chocolate covered blueberries from Maine's premiere gourmet candy making shop called Wilbur's of Maine? I have, thanks to a very good blogging friend in my home state of Maine, Sarah Laurence.Sarah, my mother Jean, Mr. Fix-it, the Jimster and I all met for a cup of coffee and pumpkin donuts on a sunny day in Maine. We met at a local establishment that has been around too many years to count. Frosty's is a local donut shop and has a down home feel that has not changed since I can remember (in at least 30 years). It was a perfect place to meet.
I met Sarah on an early spring GBBD post when she commented on a blog about living Maine. Since I am from Maine I was intriqued so I visited her blog and found links to my hometown. What a small world.

At the time Sarah was living in England as an expatriate and blogging and writing about her experiences. You see, Sarah is a professional writer and has two novels under her belt. She is currently working on the third. Do check her out for a very well written blog if you have not already visited her.

We took several pictures out front of Frosty's, including a few with my mother since she is such a big part of this blog and reads many blogs; including Sarah's. I love the location (Main Street small town New England), and I especially love the fact you can see the opposite side of the street reflected in the window of Frosty's. If you look closely by Sarah's left arm you will see her bike reflected in the window as well. She rode to Frosty's from her home and somehow I just knew from reading her blog that she would NOT come by car. Sarah, you are an inspiration! Thanks for the chocolate covered blueberries-they sure are good and were a special treat for the trip back from Maine. I hope to meet up with you again in the future as we all had a great time!
Now let's look at some other berries that were not quite as tasty as chocolate covered blueberries but not bad either. I enjoyed these red berries and they tasted pretty good. With the exception of seeds I could've eaten quite a few though I have no idea what they are. Maybe honeysuckle? Or maybe cranberry viburnum? Linda's blog at Garden Girl gave me an idea these are something other than honeysuckle. I truly have no idea what though, and my mother was not sure either.
This was a different type of tree though the berries were very similar to the ones pictured above. Not sure what it is either.
I just couldn't resist snapping the juniper berries. They are the silver ones and the red things are rose hips. These junipers and roses grow wild on the coast of Maine.
You all are seriously going to have to help us out with these berries. They were everywhere and so stunning! I think some kind of euonymous? I was surprised the birds were not all over them but they weren't. Or maybe they were somewhere in an area less traveled, not sure. Notice the chain link fence? A post will be coming up about this 'top security' farm where most of these berries, roses and junipers all grow that will explain the fence.
Anyone recognize these yellow berries with the red bursting through? Same berries as the close up, just a longer shot.
We all think the above pictured berries are some type of holly berry. I have no idea what type but I am fairly certain holly berries. The Jimster thought they were the same as the honeysuckle and took a bite. An unpleasant bite I might add.

Though technically a drupe, apples are included here because they were very plentiful and good! Mr. Fix-it is checking out bags of them for sale at a roadside stop; which is an "On your honor" system. There were also ripe raspberries (also technically a drupe) on the roadside. They were NOT very good though. A bit under ripe.

We really enjoyed all the berries and bounty Maine had to offer, and especially the opportunity to meet a new friend in Maine. Hope to meet up with you again sometime Sarah and voting is done for us. Yeah!

in the garden....

Many of you have asked about DP. I promised Dan I would email her and see what she is up to. She is fine but been busy. She tells me she hopes to be back in the garden and on the blog by the end of the week.


  1. What a truly drool-worthy assortment of berries. I havent seen any of these around here in Mumbai (Bombay) except in the dried form that costs more than gold!
    I love the look of those red berries. Are they sweet or tart tasting?
    Those yellow and red berries remind me of the nutmeg fruit with the fleshy yellow splitting open to reveal the bright red mace.
    Great post!

  2. Wonderful array of berries. That tree I wonder if it is Cranberry Viburnum...Thanks for the link to Sarah Laurence's blog, I went and checked it out. Well written and beautiful photos.

  3. Tina,it was so much fun meeting you and your family! We look so happy because we were. I love having a post here to remember it. I'm going to have to make it back to Frosty's for more pumpkin doughnuts for, uh, research?

    I love how in your posts you take a theme like berries and run with it and teach me stuff I didn't know. Those berry shots are gorgeous.

    I'll be blogging about our meeting and Maine Street next week since I'm blogging about our Columbus Day weekend White Mountains trip today - I'm a little behind in life and in blog!

  4. Perennial Gardener, thank you! We must have been posting our comments at the same time as I only saw yours after I published mine. I'll go visit you too.

    Tina, I forgot to add, thanks so much for the marker stone!

  5. Tina ~ I'm so jealous, it's been so long since I had a doughnut and a pumpkin one sounds just too luscious!
    Sorry I can't help identify any of your berries although I never saw berries on honeysuckle - do they get berries?
    I'm glad for your note about DP, I've missed her and was hoping all was ok.

  6. Berries in the plenty but I have no idea what they are either, one that is along the side of almost every road, looks like hawthorne trees, in the short version.
    Ah, frosty's, I haven't been there in eons.

  7. Good morning Tina, yep, that definitely looks like a viburnum! The berries are beautiful, and quite plentiful too!

    Your orange and yellow bloom looks like bittersweet. Around here this time of year, some of the nurseries sell small bouquets of bittersweet. A little bunch with about 6 or 8 stems costs upwards of $10.00! They are so pretty though, and make wonderful fall decorations. I'd love to try growing bittersweet, but I understand they can be quite invasive around here.

  8. Blueberries! YUM!! I like blueberries anyway--and chocolate covered sounds sinfully good! :)
    Then you mentioned pumpkin donuts--wow, wish I had been with you. I've never been to Maine-sounds wonderful. Thanks for such a great post!

  9. I was curious about how DP was doing. It's been a while since her last post. The berries look great! I think Gardengirl hit the nail on the head. Cranberry viburnum and bittersweet. Bittersweet does have some neat looking berries!

  10. Good morning all! Great day today, today will be even better as I will be able to finally garden, in the rain and all.

    Sunita, Thanks for dropping by! It is nice to meet you. I don't have as much time to meet new bloggers as I would like so unless I meet them thru Blotanical or on here I am a bit lacking in finding some of the really enjoyable blogs out there in cyberland. Yours is definitely one of them and if I ever get to India, I will take you up on some fun wine! There berries were kind of sweet AND enjoyable. It was silly of me to try them without knowing what they were before trying them, but I couldn't resist and none the worse for the wear. I sometimes envy the birds with all the berries they eat. I suspect the dear like them too. I'd love to see some mace. Sounds cool.

    Racquel, I never even figured viburnum until I saw Linda's post. I just haven't seen these kinds of berries here in Tennessee so I am thinking more of a northern thing. Do you have them in Virginia? Yes, Sarah is a lovely lady and her blog is great too. She posts each Wednesday and I am always there. She writes wonderfully. Glad you checked it out as I think it a real treat. She is an excellent conversationalist too-she says hi to you too! Isn't that great?

    Sarah, We for sure have very big smiles and are happy. It was a beautiful day and great for meeting new friends. My mother kind of does too but is looking elsewhere since she was unhappy I insisted she get in the photo. It is a nice picture of all three of us too. I will be looking for your Main Street post. People not from the north sometimes don't always get the real Norman Rockwell feel of small town New England Main street, complete with ice rink, hot dog vendors and friendly folks. Especially in this college town. I am betting you can convey it perfectly. You are welcomed for the marker stone!

    Cindy, Hi there! You must run out and go to Dunkin Donuts up there. That is a must for us when in Maine. One problem with Maine is they have TOO many Dunkin Donuts. Good thing I only visit occasionally. We have Krispy Kreme down here but it is not the same. It was nice. Yes! Honeysuckles do get berries. This is one reason they are so invasive. The birds eat the berries then spread the seeds around and the honeysuckles germinate everywhere. Honeysuckles also grow in both the vine and shrub form. I have a few shrubs down here that get nice red berries, though sparse ones. The robins are so fond of them that I keep the honeysuckles. The only problem is this time of year they look rather ratty. Oh well. Spring will be here before we know it.

    Dawn, We are thinking cranberry viburnums. Which makes sense since these are supposed to be great fruiters. I have only seen a very few down here. I hadn't been to Frosty's in ages either, but knew it was easily recognizable and have a good atmosphere for our meeting. A trip down memory lane. Mom says it is up for sale. Hope they keep it the same.

    Linda, Thanks! You would think I would know these shrubs and trees but I find the more I think I know, the less I really know. lol They were pretty delicious. I think bittersweet is a bit invasive in the north. These were everywhere but so beautiful. I just loved them. Had I known they were so valuable and good in flower arrangements I would've carried some back with me and use them at garden club. Oh well. Next time.

    Meadowview Thymes, You are welcomed! Maine is special. Most all visitors love it-hence their number one industry-tourism. One unique note about Maine. In the 70s the state voted to outlaw billboards. NONE whatsoever are on the interstates. Very picturesque and people note the beauty. Mainers are unique. If you ever get the chance do visit and get TONS of blueberries. I had never even heard of these until Sarah gave us the box and they were yummy. I am sharing them with my friends so others can have a unique taste. ttyl

  11. You would think I would learn to wait a bit before I post my 'books'. Dave I missed you-again! Cranberry viburnum and bittersweet it is. So neat. Now we'll all know. Fall is so great.

    Yes all, DP is fine and will be back soon. I know she appreciates everyone's good wishes.

  12. Hi Tina, The yellow and orange are bittersweet. They do make a wonderful addition to fall arrangements and hold their color for a very long time. Bittersweet is very slow to mature. I've considered growing some here but it takes a long time to begin bearing seed.

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog. We were in Maine a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it thoroughly. I love blueberries too but here in the southeastern part of the state, the stores mostly carry the fake, pumped up, tasteless kinds. Northern Minnesota has the real thing.... wild ones.

  14. Chocolate-covered blueberries are certainly new to me! But I do like blueberries, and of course I like chocolate, so definitely sounds like a treat I would try:)
    How exciting that you and Sarah were able to meet! I've been reading her blog for awhile, and I agree it is so well-written and interesting. I loved "visiting" England when she was there, but her photos and stories of life in Maine are just as appealing.

    You are a brave soul to sample some of these unknown berries--some are poisonous, aren't they? I can't wait to hear the story about the farm with the chain link fence, Tina.

  15. Tina, Yes I have heard that Frosty's is up for sale and I think the reason it has not sold is because the sale will have conditions, one being that the place will not change at all. I do not mind the religious music and wall hangings as I figure you are there for the company and good treats but I guess some people do not wanna buy it with that condition. That does not make sense to me as it has been a long time success so why would anyone mind keeping it the same. Also hear that the donut receipe does not go with the sale. However, that is all hearsay. Dunkin Donuts are everywhere here but Tim Hortons are sure going in everywhere also. I think in Brunswick and Topsham we have at least 4 Dunkin's and a new one is being built on Plesant Street. Nope. no billboards anywhere in Maine. Nana was glad when that law took effect as Baba had let a friend put one up at the end of their field for his motel and Nana hated it!!

    Our meeting with Sarah was great and I also love the reflection of the other side of the street. Great picture.

    Hi Sarah!! It was such a very enjoyable meeting with you and I hope you enjoyed it half as much as we did and I can't wait to read your post about it. I do have a question, did you ever get your phone working? Great story, one to tell future generations for sure :)

  16. Good Morning All,
    At least I think it is still morning.
    What a lovely post Tina. The pix of your home state are ever so good. And I liked to hear about your coffee break.
    Glad you were able to meet a fellow blogger. How nice. And your mom got to go to, that is terrific.
    I have no clue as to what the berries are. But for blueberries---they are good & good for you. We have lots of Blueberry farms here. Some are you-pick-it. That makes it nice if you want to do some canning. They will keep in the fridge almost 2 weeks if you don't wash them. I really like them but have never had chocolate covered one. They sound delicious.

  17. Marnie, I am still kicking myself for not cutting some stems for my house. Darn! Next time. I have always heard of bittersweet but never seen it. Thanks for identifying it. I have added a link to your veggie update. Thanks!!

    Troutbirder, Minnesota's weather would be very close to Maine's so I am not surprised they grow the good stuff there. They are yummy fresh.

    Rose, Those blueberries are yummy-blueberry tasting but chocolate for sure. Sarah's blog is real nice and I was so happy to meet here. That is one of the things I like about blogging; meeting new folks with like interests. Yes, I was a bit of a dummy to try unknown berries. Not something I would EVER recommend to anyone, but I was fairly certain they would be okay. Especially since they tasted good. Not sure if they are poisonous but I don't think so. I hope not! Stay tuned for the farm at some date-no one give it away in Maine!

    Mom, It was so nice visiting with you and everyone! Gotta ask you a favor, can you get some stems of the bittersweet? If not, don't worry about it. I should've gotten some. We were so loaded as it was. I am guessing I should've pulled them instead of the viburnum berries I did; which traveled with difficulty. You should see Bella with BJ. Poor BJ, wants to play but not really up to her antics. Bella loves him as does everyone. Her and CeCe are fine too, just not around food. Link could care less since he can't hear Bella's growling or anything else for that matter. Old guy that he is.

    Lola, It was very fun and I am so glad all the pictures came out nicely to show the bounty. I used to pick blueberries in North Carolina and do so here too. Down here they are high bush blueberries and very good, but a bit different from the low bush that grow in Maine. Still yummy though. The chocolate was great and I was happy my mother could visit too. I asked Sarah AND my mother at least a month ago and everything worked out. I met a few other bloggers so stay tuned....ttyl

  18. With all the talk about blueberries I have to come back and add my 2 cents. Like Lola said, they are very good for you. One of the highest yeild of antioxidents there is. Maine grows many, many blueberries and is the #1 grower of lowbush blueberries in North America, producing over 90% of them. With our 3,500 miles of coastline, they love the salt air. The largest seller of canned blueberries, Wymann's, is in downeast Maine. Our state berry is, what else? BLUEBERRIES!!! Bet you all had that figured out. LOL.

    Glad the dogs are doing so good. The cats are also but it will be a long haul. The cats take a lotta time as I have to sit and watch them eat twice a day as they are on different kinds and amts of food. What we don't do for our loved ones!!!

    I will try to get some bittersweet and then just what would you like for me to do with them? And oh boy, do I ever feel like a dummy!! I also think, better yet, know those pretties to be bittersweet and should have come up with that on my own.

    Also, I have been forgetting to ask but those bulbs you brought in, were they all glads? I like to keep them all seperate so was wondering what pile to put them in.
    Still have some blooming so still have to get some in. Maybe next week.

  19. Oh my! We eat blueberries daily. I'd have chocolate covered blueberries daily if I could! :-) Cameron

  20. Hey Ms. Tina,

    What a berry good berry post! I love blueberries too! We have them in pancakes a lot. And when our blueberry farm takes off, we'll have them coming out our ears (1500 bushes planted two years ago).

    (Are y'all always so bold in tasting berries you don't know anything about?)

  21. Thanks for finding out about DP.

    Unfortunately I can not help with the berry names, I looked though my guides and have everything but shrub guides. I have noticed that there is a bumper crop of berries & fruit on everything this year.

    Chocolate covered blueberries sound very good and the pumpkin doughnuts sound even better. Maybe I will put one of my pie pumpkins to use make pumpkin doughnuts.

  22. I am not sure, but I think your first berry photo is some sort of eleagnus. I agree that the second is a viburnum, both of these are edible and perhaps the Jimster should have tried these instead of the holly. The gray berry with the rose hips is Northern Wax Myrtle, or Bayberry (good for candles, but not for snacking).

  23. I am not sure, but I think your first berry photo is some sort of eleagnus. I agree that the second is a viburnum, both of these are edible and perhaps the Jimster should have tried these instead of the holly. The gray berry with the rose hips is Northern Wax Myrtle, or Bayberry (good for candles, but not for snacking).

  24. Sorry for the double post, slow computer tonight.

  25. Jean, it was great meeting your too! You are such a good listener and careful reader. Some people just hear without listening or forget. I really admire that about you.

    In my 20 years of telling the story of how Henry and I met, you are the first to ask about the phone that wasn’t working! It must have been love because I can’t remember anything but Henry’s green eyes and wit. Henry did tell me “to forget the phone and have a beer.” It’s just as well that he lived down the hall and didn’t need to call me. He's forgotten too.

    Tina, I’m afraid my Maine Street post will be a disappointment after that great build up. It will just be an intro as I’m sure I’ll revisit it again. It is a Small town after all.

  26. Blueberries and chocolate, yum, yum. Beautiful berry photos!

  27. The berries look great. I didn't konw they would be this late in the year. I have never tried blue berries? I will have to try them.

  28. Hi Mom, Yes blueberries are great. Just hang the bittersweet upside down in the cellar. You knew but forgot bittersweet? Funny. It will be okay. All glads yes. Long day today.

    Cameron, They are good, very different.

    TC, You got my very berry-great comeback! No, I don't make it a habit to try all berries, just the yummy looking ones:) Bad habit.

    Les, You need to stop by more often and help identify these plants I find as it is clear I don't have a clue sometimes. What was I thinking juniper? OOPS! Thanks for identifying them all for me. I am so relieved they are edible. Yes, Jimmy needs to pay attention and absolutely no problem in the double post.

    Sarah, It will not be a disappointment, don't worry. Just do like you always do as you write so well. Small towns are great sometimes.

    Iowa Gardening Woman, They were good for sure. I am talking with Machelle on posting on bottle trees. Have you got yours up? I will come see.

    Sarah, We NEED to get you to the tin barn this year for some fresh blueberries. The boys will love it. Never having one, we need to fix that.

  29. Mouth-watering photos of Maine berries, Tina. The chocolate-covered ones must be so yum. I've used American tinned blueberries as dessert toppings but didn't check the state. But they were really good! And if tinned ones are THAT good....! Lucky you!!!

  30. Tina: What fun to meet a fellow blogger and hometown acquaintance. It is bittersweet going back I would assume and it was bittersweet with the orange and yellow berries. It is on the invasive plant list here in RI. Next time you travel through, I would be happy to make you lunch!

  31. Kanak, They were so yummy indeed! I shared them with many of my friends here, even a few from out of town (Like Skeeter).

    Layanee, I am very touched. That is such a kind offer and if we get to Rhode Island I promise I'll give you a buzz. I've met the best people blogging (both virtually and reality-I know not proper English but you get it.) Thanks for dropping by and if you ever get down here in the south, do look me up as I'd love to get together!