black raspberries brambles at the edge of the woods
The only berries we planted were Heritage Red Raspberries which we've continued to divide and transplant as they send out new shoots each spring. Black raspberries, wine berries and mulberries were already here. We've encouraged the spreading of the black raspberries and wine berries by knocking down surrounding weeds to promote more light. And spread, they have! I'm also picking small handfuls of blueberries, which is like heaven to me.
There are about a dozen distinct areas around the yard where berries are. I don my berry container necklace (allowing me to pick with two hands and not spill my bucket). Miriam takes no container because she picks for her tummy, not the bucket. I love knowing that she gets these large doses of spray-free sun-ripened berries.
Between mouthfuls of berries, she talks. Nonstop. She reassures me when there are bugs or when I feel as if I may topple into the bushes as I reach for some berries hiding toward the back. She'll say, "Don't worry, Mama, I'll scare that ant away," or "Just stand up, Mama, you'll be fine". She tells me how she likes the black raspberries best because they're so easy to pick (why more so than the others, I have no idea). She comments about the chickens, telling me who the biggest pullet is how she'll protect the others (her name is King of the Wind). She pushes her way through prickly bushes where I'd rather not go and points out the ones we've missed.
The black raspberries are still going strong and the red raspberries and wine berries are just starting, so there will be many more hours of berry picking this summer. I treasure these hours with her, at age four- full of ideas and chit chat. She treasures them, too. She gets her Mama all to herself with no competition to hold my ear. Sam used to be my berry boy. Then Sadie became my berry girl. Now it's Miriam. Whatever will I do when she grows out of this, too?