Summer DiscoveriesPosted: June 27, 2011
Here is why I really came to post today, before I realized that it had been far too long and wrote up a catch up post as an excuse to dump all the photos off my phone.
But I meant to share my discovery, very exciting, entirely accidental, and rather delicious. In the past few years, our backyard has…gone to seed. When the kids of the house grew old enough to stray first from the sandbox, then the playground, and finally the trampoline, we kind of let wilderness take over the back corners, and only mowed once in a blue moon. So it was much to my surprise when I looked out the kitchen window and saw something red. Familiar red. I traipsed out through the wild grass to the bush that had taken over underneath our dogwood tree. And I found raspberries.
Small, but lovely little raspberries fringing the outermost stalks of the bush. Cropping up out of the wilderness corner entirely on their own. We never planted raspberries. Neither did the nearest neighbors. But in a blink, I was back through the years of my childhood, when family friends kept raspberry bushes in tall, tidy rows on their land. Each child would be handed a little cardboard carton and we would all go out to strip the ripe fruit from the branches, filling the cartons, and stopping to visit the spaniels on the run line before returning indoors to the adults, trading the berries (what wasn’t already eaten) for one treat or another.
Granted, out little bush isn’t much…
A tidy handful was all I managed, taking the ripe fruit, and there was perhaps half as many berries not yet ripe on the bush. I spotted a few completely closed pods, so maybe we’ll get some more fruit in a week or so, but my curiosity-driven research found that only second-year-and-older stalks actually produce berries, and, as this is the first year anyone has noticed the fruit, my guess would be that we have a young plant.
I’m curious if I could root some clippings, and perhaps cut back a little wilderness to foster the growth of more berry bushes. There’s a project to look into. For now, I’ll watch for the rest of the berries. There won’t be enough to make anything, but they’re sweet enough on their own!