May 26, 2010: Zimbio/ Blueberry picking

<a href=”http://My Zimbio
Top Stories “>www.zimbio.com/member/shelcluzo”>My Zimbio
Top Stories The above site promised to read my blogs and sent a link where interest might catch.  Hey, guys!  Hi!

OK, I found it by googling; “How to get people to read my blogs.”

Now for my story about my dear friends on the Lost Coast of California who own a Blueberry Ranch.  They are the Mattole family and won  ‘Garberville family of the year award’.  Mattole and family went one year past on the recreation of the Oregon Trail wagon train and wife, Jeanne kept a photo album of the trip.

One day years ago my husband was called to the door to see a cowboy in hat and neckerchief wanting to ask him stories from his days in the Calif. redwoods on a commune called Gopher-ville. (It was reputed to get so cold not even the gophers could dig in the ground!)  The owner of the 80 acre commune had received Jesus and many of the residents converted as well, my husband being one of them. They changed the name to Living Waters Ranch.

This cowboy introduced himself as Mattole and had gotten our name as a reference to history in that area for a book he was writing.  We got his address and an invitation to visit their log cabin if we were in the neighborhood.

Not long after, my husband went to Humbolt county and decided to look Mattole up.  We drove in late at night and knocked, but the wife didn’t know us so decided to safely wait for Mattole before  seeing who it was.  We didn’t know why we were left to wait in the car, but started singing our Christian songs to while away some time.  Jeanne heard us and decided we were safe enough to talk to.  But as soon as we opened the car door, a goat leaped in and scared the kids.  We had four children but Jeanne had seven!  And a cow! And a goat!  And she even had room to put us up! (It was a large Lincoln- log cabin built from a kit.)

We all had a good time sharing stories once she found out who we were.  Next morning she showed me how to steam eggs in an iron skillet over her wood stove.  She gave us fresh cow’s milk and apologized the cow was recovering from leaping over a fence.  The wall in their bedroom which they let us use, was covered with a home-made quilt which depicted family memories.

Through the years we liked to hear of the family and how they were doing.  After the last child had graduated from a Christian High School in Oregon, they bought a blueberry ranch in Honeydew, Calif. on the Lost Coast near Petrolia. (South of Ferndale and north of Shelter Cove in Humbolt County).

Come June, July and August they host a U-pick at their ranch of over two hundred blueberry bushes.  The bush types are planted so the early ones  are at one end and gradually ripen towards the other end.  The whole orchard is surrounded and covered by bird-proof wire!  A very good idea!

It is a wonderful experience our family had.  Each selected a row of bushes and grabbed a hand of two or three ripe berries to put into the green cardboard baskets.  At that time we were the laborers and we were given 50 cents per basket.  There is a State campground nearby and the weather there in August is a cool 78 degrees compared to other sweltering parts of the country.

Mattole liked our family and even took our daughter for a ride on one of his horses!  ” I got to be a real cowgirl, Mommy!”

When my husband passed Mattole and Jeanne send me a condolance card with a sweet note.  You know, they say, make new friends and keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold!  I think I’ll give them a call.

Mmm!  Blueberries fresh off the bush!

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3 comments so far

  1. Cuz Meribel on

    Thank you for the wonderful story, Shelley. I am so glad I asked. Maybe some year I’ll manage to find my way to Humboldt county. IN the meantime, guess it might be faster to plant some more blueberry bushes.

  2. Gordon on

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  3. tin mới on

    Good post. I will be going through a few of
    these issues as well..


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