92-year-old David Plett picked over 100 pails of chokecherries this year. Picking fruits has always been something he loves doing, and since the chokecherries were plentiful this year, he took advantage and picked away.
However, his family had run into a problem. What were they going to do with 100 pails of chokecherries?
His daughter, Bev Penner, tells the story.
“He didn't know what to do with them because my mom passed away in March, but we still have lots of jam that my mom has made over the years. Cause my dad would pick and my mom would make jam from it and but there's still lots of jam, so even we as family most of us really didn't want it either.”
That’s when she asked her dad if he had any ideas. And he replied:
"Well, I don't know, I guess I'll just throw it in the freezer.”
Obviously he doesn’t have enough freezer room for 100 pails of chokecherries, so that’s when Penner asked if she could make a listing online to sell them.
"What would you like to charge for them? And he said ‘nothing.’ And we're all going well, dad, it's a lot of work. Even if you charge like 5 bucks and he's like, ‘no, I don't want anything.’ I'm like, okay, well if you're sure.”
So Penner posts it online, gets a ton of responses, and they sell out. But Plett keeps picking, so they kept the post up and have now given almost all of the rest away.
Penner says not only did he pick 100 pails of berries, but he also cleaned all of them as well, putting them in zip lock bags and storing them in the freezer until it was time for people to pick them up.
There were quite a few people who questioned why they were giving them away for free.
“There was a number of them that said, ‘Are you sure you don't want anything? Like, here's a tip' and I'd be like, no because this is just something my dad wants to do and he doesn't want anything for it, he is just blessing other people with chokecherries.”
She goes on to say that everyone was very appreciative that they were able to get some chokecherries. Penner says that one lady was unable to pick this year due to issues with her arms.
“She was one that wanted to pay for it, and I said no my dad doesn't want anything. She's like, ‘well, just tell him that I feel so blessed that someone has been able to pick and I can still make my syrup for my family because I was not able to this year.’”
To find the berries, Plett goes around with a Kubota tractor and drives all around the family's farmland. He ties the pail onto himself so that he can pick berries with both hands. Penner says it gives him something to do to get out of the house, and she’s happy he’s still healthy enough to do this activity that brings him enjoyment.
“He's enjoyed picking fruit all his life. I remember my aunts and uncles coming out from the city and they'd go to the bush and that was literally a pastime for them, not a chore. It was something you actually took the day off from work to do.”