Raspberries

I love the idea of gardening. Having ample vegetables and herbs to cook with, all right in your back yard. I have made several attempts to sustain a reasonable vegetable garden and I have learned a lot, mostly about myself, including that I HATE GARDENING.

I have what could commonly be referred to as “a brown thumb.” The more attention I seem to pay to plants, the quicker they wither in my presence. My sister is excellent with plants and gardening. Each year, she has something new in the garden beds and absolutely supplements her family’s nutrition with food she grows. Not me.

I had two 4’x8′ garden beds in the back yard for several years. I’ve tried lettuce, spinach, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and several other veggies over the years. I can generally be relied upon to either overwater or underwater, to plant things too close together or too far apart, to forget about the garden altogether and go on vacation for weeks, coming home to find nearly all of it had died or had been eaten by slugs. It runs the gamut, but can generally be described as a shitshow.

I have found one plant that produces delicious food and has managed to survive my horrendous abuse. About 12 years ago, I bought 3 thornless raspberry canes at a recycled plant store and, probably after several weeks of leaving them in a pot, hemming and hawing about where exactly to plant them, I got these foot-long sticks planted in the ground. One of them died almost immediately, but the two others took off like rockets. Now, lo and behold, I have a HUGE raspberry patch.

Every year, as long as I am in town and not on vacation during the high production weeks, I can count on harvesting at least 2-3 gallon-sized freezer bags of raspberries, most of which I freeze for smoothies, etc. The berries are so huge, bigger than my thumbnail, and when ripe, taste positively of heaven. It is such a blessing.

Now we are in the all too short harvest season for my raspberry patch and I’ve been trying to pick as much as is truly ripe every 2-3 days. I’ve even invited some friends over to partake, since I’m running out of freezer space and energy in keeping up with picking all that is available. It’s like I have my own little U-pick raspberry stand, one week only.

All I needed to find was a garden plant that would thrive on neglect, and I definitely did. Good thing it was also one that produced an ample amount of something so wonderful and delicious.

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