Only Child learns lessons from picking raspberries

Only Child's black raspberries and bush up close

My black raspberries are out in abundance. Every day I’m out there picking and picking raspberries. I learned a few summers back to dress for the occasion if I didn’t want want my arms and legs to resemble being mauled by a tiger. So, out I go wearing jeans, a long-sleeved blouse, running shoes and a floppy hat, and later dripping sweat.

There’s an art to reaching in and around the heavy bushes to get at the ripe raspberries without dropping the yogurt container I use to collect the berries. There is also an art to pruning the bushes in the fall and my Mom seemed to grasp it automatically. As I write in my memoir

Mom tackled bushes, in particular, her raspberry bushes gone wild, down the other neighbour’s side of the garden and behind our garage, ready to tango with the hedge dividing garden from lawn. Mom marches out with the pruning shears and cuts branches in snips and starts.

“They’re getting all over the place,” she mumbles. Snip. Snip.

I watch in bewilderment, no idea how she decides. She just knows.

(Excerpted from You Can Go Home: Deconstructing the Demons, copyright 2011 Sharon Crawford).

I sure don’t know what I’m doing when I prune the raspberry bushes in the autumn. I prune the branches that bore raspberries the past summer because they are done. I also prune any growing too thick. Somehow, I really missed something last fall as this year’s raspberries are too bushy.

Not complaining – I’m getting more berries and I’m sharing with my son and his girlfriend and my friends next door…and eating lots and freezing lots.

But all this raspberry picking has taught me some lessons – many can be applied to life in general and running a small business in particular. So, here are the lessons of my black raspberries.

1. Patience

2. Persistence.

3. Generosity and sharing.

4. Dressing appropriately for the occasion.

5. Preserving food for winter, which could also be saving money

5. Eating fresh berries well within the 100-mile diet.

6. My bit for the organic movement – I don’t spray my raspberry bushes.

7. Health benefits from eating raspberries – high in antioxidants and may help prevent cancer. See http://www.naturalnews.com/black_raspberries.html for more information.

8. Health benefits from picking raspberries – the zen effect of the continuous picking of the berries and being out in the garden away from traffic – cars and people.

But I won’t have the benefit my late Mom had – properly-pruned bushes making it easier to get at the berries.

Here’s the rub – I have many more berries to share and enjoy.

Cheers.

Sharon

Only Child Writes

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1 Comment

Filed under antioxidants, black raspberries, cancer, Gardening, Health, Only child, Only child memoir, Raspberries

One response to “Only Child learns lessons from picking raspberries

  1. I remember picking blackberries along the edge of the woods at my grandmother’s. She was very picky about how her plants looked, but the blackberries, she just let them go wild.

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