The serviceberry tree is budding out already in this warm March weather, pink buds opening up slowly. This tree was a sweet Ohio surprise: tiny red berries in early June, each like a scarlet blueberry with a pointed flare on the end, clustering up and down a tree no larger than a big shrub. I never imagined we could eat the berries (who eats berries off an unknown tree? Not me, that’s for sure.). But our landlady pointed them out as edible, and diversely named — saskatoon, sarvisberry, serviceberry, juneberry, shadblow, wild sugarplum — a sweet, unexpected fruit in the front yard.

Serviceberries on the shadbush tree in June, a spoonful of jam.

Watching the buds, I remember the jam I made from these berries this time last year (read more about it here at The Kitchn). My husband slathered that slightly overcooked scarlet jam on every piece of toast he ate for a month, until it was gone. But it doesn’t feel that long ago that I washed out the jar; and serviceberries are on their way back in.