Monday, June 28, 2010

We Eat from Glut to Glut


It's guest post time again.  My husband waxes lyrical, once again, on fruit:

I’d like to start out by saying I love raspberries (especially black). So when I found a wild black raspberry cane in the far back corner of our property last summer, I savored every berry. The one downside was that it was growing out of a pile of dirt for which I had other plans. I showed the cane to a friend and he said its life was spent. But he then proceeded to show me how to propagate the associated vines that had sprung from the main cane. So I started cutting, digging and planting my new wild black raspberry patch. The heartier cuttings bore fruit and it’s been a joy to find those luscious ripe berries hiding in the leaves just as in my youth. It was also a pleasure to see that even more would ripen on the cluster later. But now the season is nearly over. Daily harvest has dropped from almost ½ pound per day into the <50 gram region. When we were flush, it was black raspberry crumble for dessert. And one time it even included 12 of our precious new sour cherries. But the season is waning and it’s only enough to pour cream over, add a little sugar and eat with a spoon. Oh, delight! But the sadness of their passing is tempered by the signs of a massive wineberry harvest soon to come. On to the next season!

P.S. My wife found some excellent canvas forearm sleeves as protection when reaching in deep. Their effectiveness is profound.

(Kate says: the canvas gauntlets are from Fedco.  I expect them to really pay off in the blackberry brambles, which have much more formidable thorns than raspberries.)

9 comments:

Annodear said...

I often raid the blackberry brambles near my home, and have found that arming myself with the longest BBQ tongs to be the very best tool imaginable. Not only can I move vines out of my way, to get in a little deeper, but once moved, they snag onto each other and stay put :-) Can also 'bring the berries to me' by using the tongs. The ones I have are about 18 inches long.

Linda Woodrow said...

I love the title of this post, but I wish "glut" was a nicer word! If you grow food, it feels like there is always such abundance of something, but "abundance" is a word that has been devalued too. Maybe "bounty"?

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

i tried black raspberries when i was in new england one summer...heaven....i just fell in love with them....hardly ever see them out here in california...what a loss...i sure miss them....

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen black raspberries in England- sounds like I should start looking for some plants...
Hazel

Andy and Cheryl said...

Hi! I use welding gloves when working with my wild blackberries. I have posts with line going from post to post and I train the bramble to climb on it... I even have some climbing on tree branches... Pretty cool find... The cordial from it I made tasted like cough syrup... Dried some, canned some and froze some... Make awesome cheeze cake... Congradulations!

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

What is it about husbands and blackberries? My husband thinks blackberries are the fruit to end all fruit.

Alas, our blackberry bushes, gifts from a very talented gardener for whom they flourished, are struggling under our care. We'll have a few, though, and we're looking forward to them.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a photo of the canvas arm guards. I use West county's rose pruning gloves; leather gloves that go up to the elbow. They're great, but they don't keep out all the thorns; Himalayan blackberries are vicious!
NM

swineinsanity said...

I use thick leather welding gloves.

Kate said...

Annodear, great tip. I'll keep that one in mind.

Linda, I kinda like the word "glut." True, it does sound sort of vulgar, but it's one of those words whose "reputation" deserves to be revived.

MFK, I don't think they're terribly common anywhere, though it always seems that black raspberry shows up as a choice in the better ice cream parlors. Maybe try growing them yourself?

A&C, good tip on avoiding blackberry cordial. It's so tragic when one goes to the effort of harvesting and then the preservation stage ruins everything.

Tamar, we harvest blackberries from a relative's property. They have an enormous spread with lots of edibles, but they only harvest when the spirit moves them. It's not too far a drive for us, so well worth the effort.

NM, I'll try to remember to get a picture of them in action the next time we go berry picking.

swineinsanity, another good tip. Thanks.