Sunday, May 2, 2010

the battle for the bottle

When we first came here to visit I new we were kinda going to the south and I was vaguely aware that this was the inside the bible belt.  I did not realize that as we drove down here from Dallas that we were  traveling backwards in time.  Back to a time before prohibition ended and you couldn't buy or sell any form of alcohol.  I had no idea what a dry county was and when it was explained to me I couldn't help making tons of jokes about how I was gonna round up the Duke boys and run some shine down here in Hazard County.

Moving here from Las Vegas where it is perfectly acceptable to walk down the street with 64 oz  Margarita,  (hardly any booze in it, but don't tell the tourist that) I still find this entertaining.  Now of course if you travel in any direction there is a liquor store just past the county line which  means that tax dollar from the sale of booze goes to the counties in which it was sold.  For the first time since we have lived here the county is going to vote on weather or not to lift the ban and allow business to sell.  Of course those for it are local businesses including Wal-Mart which is the principal supplier of everything in Tyler county.  Those opposed say it will encourage more alcohol related problems.

Personally, I don't really care either way.  If they passed something that allowed only locally owned business to sell then I think it would make a slightly larger difference in the local economy.  Either way I am planning on making some wine this year and I am not really sure if that is legal or not.  Since I couldn't sell it anyway I don't think it matters, but since I was planning on calling it Dry County Wine it will spoil my fun if they allow liquor sales. 

This year is the year of the berry.  Our place is covered in wild black berries.  Last year at this time you could pick a couple cups of small berries and it was only later on that I could could go out and fill a big bucket in couple hours, but in hour a picked these from a spot right next to our driveway that didn't even have berries growing last year.  All the way down the 1/4 mile of driveway on both sides is fields of berries growing around the pine trees. Even the coyote poop that is normally full of rabbit fur is absolutely black from the coyotes snacking on berries. 

I am not sure what caused them to take off so much this year, but we are going to have more than we know what to do with. Last year Luci took the berry's and made jam, but it wasn't until the end of picking season that we really had enough for her to make a batch.  Even with the kids eating a ton we should have plenty for me to learn how to make my own wine.  I hate for them to go to waste.  When I was picking this morning I could imagine what it would have been like to find a field like this if you were a hunter/ gatherer tribe.  It would be like wandering into the candy store.

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