The time is ripe again for berries

KINGSTON — Berry shortcake will soon become the main staple in Kingston — at least for the Kiwanis. The group kicked off its annual berry sale this month, and soon a plethora of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries will make their appearance in town.

“We’ve only received a couple of phone calls so far,” said Kiwanian and berry sale coordinator Dave Muller. “We’re mailing all of our past customers, and we rely a lot on word of mouth.”

There are also fliers in key areas to catch residents’ eyes and entice them to purchase the sweet goodies.

This year, the strawberries will be sold in 15-pound containers for $27, the raspberries in 14-pound buckets for $30 and the blueberries in 10-pound buckets for $27. Pickup days will be celebrated with the annual shortcake, with whipped cream and the berry of the day, and visits from the latest raffle prize, a Corvette blue 1968 automatic V-8 Ford Mustang refurbished by Lori and Jerry Schmidt.

“We’ll have the car at some of the dates, and we will be selling raffle tickets,” said Kiwanis president Debbie Anderson. “It’s also going to be at Viking Fest. It really will be fun. There’s not going to be a rummage sale again this year.”

Last year, the group decided it didn’t have the time to organize a rummage sale, and instead raffled off a cherry red 1966 Ford Mustang, earning more money than it had through a rummage sale. The raffle brought in about $13,000. The Kiwanis decided to do the same thing this year after their success.

Anderson also said there could be some special treats at the berry sales, including some raspberry freezer jam, or the recipe so residents can try it out with their berries.

“This is a good fund raiser,” Muller said. “And everyone always enjoys getting a taste of berry shortcake. The berries are fairly close to organic, they aren’t quite there, but almost.”

The berries are picked the day before they’re handed out to the public and are Food Alliance Certified. Residents can place orders up to five days before the containers arrive.

“We raised between $4,000 and $5,000 last year,” Muller said. “And that goes directly towards our scholarships and (the North Kitsap Boys and Girls Club).”

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