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Sun Jul 18, 2021, 04:41 PM

Just picked a bowl of wild raspberries, and poured them on some vanilla ice cream

It's a sort of guilty pleasure to live where I live. I'm a suburban asshole with a car and lawn, although I detest both lawns and cars. When I first moved in, my neighbor, and older gentleman, an accomplished birder with a very long life list, now passed, stopped by and defined for me, a first time home owner, what was and what was not a "weed." "If you want it there, it's a plant," he said, "If you don't want it there, it's a 'weed.'"

I have lived by his wisdom since.

I have almost no weeds, only lots of kinds of mysterious plants, other than poison ivy, which I kill by burying it under clippings.

Some years ago, I either attended a lecture by or read an editorial by the former Editor of one of my favorite Scientific Journals, Environmental Science and Technology, Jerald L. Schnoor, in which he said that the common suburban practice that he found to be the most odious was applying fertilizers - phosphate is a non-renewable resource, and even it wasn't, fertilizer run-off is killing our fresh water reservoirs - to suburban lawns. Food is one thing, chemical lawns another. He's right.

So I don't fertilize my lawn.

I also don't use weed killers; I do mow all the species - there are a lot of them - except certain interesting flowers when they bloom, I wouldn't want to make my neighbors even more unhappy with me than they already are.

For the last for years, as they began to grow in from the surrounding woods, wild raspberry bushes began appearing in the middle of the yard, and all around the edges patches appearing in the middle of various places in the yard. They don't get mowed.

For the last few years, I've been harvesting them. They're small, and after a rain, incredibly delicious. There's about a three week period when they're available. It's always a competition with the birds; and they do get their share. You wait too long and "their share will be 100%, not counting the drop offs. We share. It's bird droppings that have spread these raspberry weeds.

We've had generous rains, and only a few instances of oppressive heat. After many years of spreading raspberry bushes, we have a bumper crop, the birds and I.

I harvested a bowl this afternoon. It's a good way, by the way, to appreciate what farm workers go through. A package the size of the bowl I picked would probably cost about $7 in a supermarket around here. It makes you appreciate what the wages must be.

Anyway...

I had a little vanilla ice cream that I smuggled in out of sight of my wife.

Wild raspberries and vanilla ice cream...

What good have I done to deserve this? Heaven in New Jersey!

Life is astoundingly beautiful and then you die.

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Reply Just picked a bowl of wild raspberries, and poured them on some vanilla ice cream (Original post)
NNadir Jul 2021 OP
imaginary girl Jul 2021 #1
marble falls Jul 2021 #2
Atticus Jul 2021 #3
CanonRay Jul 2021 #4
3catwoman3 Jul 2021 #5
Pobeka Jul 2021 #6
keithsw Jul 2021 #7
eppur_se_muova Jul 2021 #8
NNadir Jul 2021 #9

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 04:46 PM

1. Enjoy!

We had a good season this year, too!

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 04:49 PM

2. Just made a batch of stuffed shells with homemade sauce from tomatoes we grew indoors ...

... with home grown basil, garlic and onions.

Could you send over some dessert, please?

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 05:34 PM

3. Our wild raspberries are finished for this year, but wild blackberries are now in season. Great

with yogurt or just milk and a little sugar.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 05:53 PM

4. I had my first ripe wild blackberry today.

They peak here the 1st week of August or thereabouts

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 06:17 PM

5. One of the simplest yet most sophisticated desserts...

I ever experienced had only 3 ingredients - half a papaya filled with fresh raspberries and creme fraiche. Soooooooo good.

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 06:20 PM

6. Wild rasperries are awesome. Enjoy.

When I was a child, a friend and I used to pick rasperries in a huge patch over the other side of some railroad tracks.

It was so huge we had to tunnel in.

We'd pick for several hours, enough for two pies -- one for my friend's mom, one for my mom.

Then there was the third pie's worth, the ones that never made it into the buckets and went straight into our mouths!

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 07:01 PM

7. Enjoy!

Was driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway today and saw a lady picking some on the side of the road. Hope she enjoyed them

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Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 08:24 PM

8. NJ is The Garden State, after all.

Lucky! Wild blackberries are abundant around here, but sadly less than they used to be. Too much 'development' of late. It used to be almost any vacant lot or fallow field had plenty of blackberries, at least around the borders. Took very little time to fill a half-gallon jug if you knew where to look, and you could pick a couple of handfuls just walking home from school.

I have seen a wild raspberry only once, and it was a black raspberry, a thing I did not know up until that moment even existed. But I do love raspberries, and I can testify that it tasted just like a raspberry should.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 18, 2021, 08:43 PM

9. My wife was giving me a little lecture on this topic as we were driving up to Sparta...

...to see her sister.

She's reading a book on the history of African Americans in our town - going back to the time of Slavery in NJ (we were the last coastal State to emancipate slaves North of the Mason Dixon Line (excepting Delaware). The book covers NJ history through the mid-20th century however, and our African Americans played a huge role in our agricultural industry. Apparently, up to mid-century, NJ was NY Cities Answer to the role played by the San Joaquin Valley to LA/San Francisco. That was the time New Jersey became known as the "Garden State," which used to get a laugh from me when I was a stupid kid growing up on Long Island, because I perceived NJ as a giant oil refinery.

We still have considerable farmland, and large rural areas. Rutgers, our State University, is well respected in agricultural research. We are large producers of cranberries, blueberries, peaches, the famous "Jersey Tomato" and other small market crops.

I will say, regrettably, that we are losing farm houses to suburban tracts of poorly constructed McMansions. My town, which was historically successful at resisting huge development is among those changing.

My little lot is as wild as I am allowed to get away with though. I cannot grow vegetables except on my Deck, because of our deer overpopulation problem, but I do grow lots of "Jersey Tomatoes, Basil, and other herbs and peppers.

The deer don't seem to eat the raspberries, because of the thorns, I guess.

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