I begin this blog with a reflection of where my love of growing things stems from: my grandfather, or Pa, as my brothers and I called him. I was raised with a garden in the backyard. It wasn’t kept as meticulously as I keep mine, but from a very early age I learned to appreciate where our food comes from. And also the hard work and diligence needed for a successful bounty and root cellar.
It’s the beginning of blackberry season. These blackberries were transplanted from Pa’s garden. Long forgotten about, I stumbled upon them while searching for his horseradish (a future post, for sure). The bushes were overgrown and overwhelmed by the fauna nearby. I certainly paid my dues with scratches to my legs while digging up the runners nearby the mother bush. I brought them home to my humble pad 3 years ago. Last year I was losing faith they were going to be worth the effort. But I refused to give up. Something about keeping these alive are helping keep my grandfather alive. Or at least his memory. My efforts seem to be paying off. This year the plants have taken off and I might get a decent bounty yet.
I covered them with some simple netting to try and deter the birds from stealing the goods before I have my chance. I doubt my bounty will be enough to freeze a bag for unseasonal use. But what I do end up collecting will make great additions to my morning yogurt or perhaps a delicious tart for dessert. Perhaps this one! (disclaimer: I’m a huge fan of Martha Stewart’s recipes. Simple, fresh, not finicky or excessive.)
Just a couple weeks ago I planet 4 other raspberry and blackberry bushes nearby, purchased from my local nursery. Prayers to zmother Nature that within 3 years time they are growing as healthily as my Pa’s.