It’s become an annual tradition for third and fourth graders to harvest the berries of our Cornelian cherry tree (Cornus mas). The name is a misnomer; it’s not a cherry at all, but a dogwood, albeit with enormous, pitted fruits. Americans don’t know what to do with them, but in the Middle East, where the tree is from, the berries are used to make a tart sauce akin to pomegranate syrup.

We make a quick jam with the “dog berries” that the students consume on the spot, while it’s still hot.