September 01, 2014

Summer on the Amur

The Amur Oblast is sufficiently large that there are great climatological differences between its northern and southern regions. As a result, there are also certain agricultural differences that have an effect on summer dacha life. For instance, when I was growing up in the North, I never saw strawberries, peaches or cherries being cultivated on garden plots. Not that they did not exist, but if they did, I did not see them, and I got around.

On the other hand, down south, where I live now (Blagoveshchensk), I have never seen lingonberries ( brusniki). This is a very tasty and beneficial berry, but it only grows up north, where it is gathered in the early fall.

One of the first signs that summer has come to the dacha is the arrival of honeysuckle berries, which normally appear in the middle or end of June.* They are gathered in the wild up north (which is the case with most berries there; rarely did I see berries planted in gardens), but often planted in dacha gardens here down south. As with all other berries we collect during the summer, honeysuckle are used to make jellies, jams, and to fill pies or just be canned for the winter.

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