The Zen of Picking Raspberries

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IMG_20190709_114641I love raspberries. I also love and appreciate how easily they grow in my small garden. I am still learning exactly how to prune them most effectively in the autumn so that they grow best the following year. I can’t remember what I did last year but I obviously went crazy and cut the new growth back by mistake. Undaunted, the bushes grew to about two feet high (instead of the normal five feet high) and produced fruit anyway. I admire their tenacity in the face of my inadvertently created setback. The only support I give them is a bit of organic feed every couple of weeks to keep them happy, thrown into the bucket of recycled washing up water. I set aside time every second day to pick the fruit, making sure to thank the bushes and the garden as I do. It seems only right to offer something in return for such bounty. I like the way I have to hang nearly upside down like a bat in order to see the fruit. I like peering into the undergrowth and seeing what I can see. I feel like David Attenborough sometimes. I notice that when I move on to the next section, sometimes I look back and see one I have missed. It’s a process of zooming in and zooming out. I bring two cartons with me; one is for the perfect fruit, and the other is for the less perfect fruit. Perfect is beautiful but less perfect is good enough too. Then of course comes the eating and the sharing of them with friends and neighbours. So it’s both a solitary, pleasurable, mindful activity as well as a sociable one. Next autumn I intend learning how to prune them properly, so I will learn something useful too. All round, the raspberries add more than fruit to my life. As good as it gets. 🙂

One comment

  1. This delightful description reminds me of picking raspberries when I was a wee nipper in our big garden in Strabane. Perversely, I always preferred the strawberries, which were never as productive nor as mouthwatering sweet! I would now much rather have the succulent raspbs – one of the benefits of age and experience! Do yur pruning perfect in the autumn, Marese and look forward to reaping ever greater rewards xxx Jennifer


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