American Spoon’s Spring catalog should arrive at your home sometime this week, and because so many of our customers tell us how much they love reading each season’s letter from Justin, we thought we’d share this Spring’s letter here. Enjoy!
Greetings from Northern Michigan.
By late March here in the Northern Fruitlands, we winter-long denizens are a sun starved people straining for the nourishing light behind every hour of monotonous sky. If it is yearning that refines imaginations we have ample time for that. And so when all else fails we escape into our plans, projections and imaginings, our dreams of Spring.
We know that soon we will wake to a morning of gleeful gulls gorging on worms unearthed by a night of rain, their ravenous squeals crowding out every other birdsong. They will tell us it is time to walk out into the Wildwood Hills again, to see where the snow has melted from the ridges and south facing slopes and find where red stemmed leeks have punctured up, en masse, through the dead skin of leaves. Sometimes the first Trilliums and Trout Lillies will have bloomed when another unwelcome snow submerges them again. But their beauty is only briefly hidden, and soon they are accompanied by the more timid blooms of Dutchman’s Breeches, Jack in the Pulpit, and ubiquitous Spring Beauties that cast a luminous glow of palest pink over all the contours of the forest carpet. Somewhere among them are precious black morels, invisible to the hurried eye, tempting the mind to abide there for a time until they reveal themselves. When the wooded ravines give way to saplings that open to a meadow there is the startling, pre-historic croak of sand hill cranes salting the stillness from high overhead while the first blossoming branches of Juneberry trees wave like a promise in the warming air.
Later in April, or early May we can drive out the Leelanau to glimpse the prospect of luscious apricots in tinted clouds of hilltop blossoms and find hope for deep blue Damsons flowering immaculately in gnarled, old orchards near Suttons Bay. By this summer, our hunger for these will be piqued to the limit. But, what Northern Michigan fruit growers will be seeking most zealously is the sight of an abundant crop of tart Montmorency Cherries that should first appear in early May as earth bound clouds of luminous white blooming against the greening hills and then, hopefully, in July as crowns of ruby-red jewels held aloft in an azure sky to restore our climatological confidence and resurrect a way of life. After the most precarious year of stone fruit scarcity anyone can remember, that will be a vision to behold.
And, perhaps, soon there will come a warm enough day when an aging forager might be tempted to pull on boots and hat to wade out into the wetlands again for cucumber-like cat tail shoots, mint and succulent watercress, and later scan the loamy places along two-tracks for tender wood sorrel and tiny wild strawberries that always bring pickers to their knees. Down there among the fragrant fruit and flowers, one can sense most vividly how endurance is rewarded: the land is fully awake and, having renewed itself, rises up again in all its glory. Another Spring has come.
Justin Rashid, President & Co-founder