Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Work

Fresh raspberries (from the new garden plants) on an Asian blue plate. It's  beautiful image. Or at least I think it is!

The blue and white plate. The ripe berries. A little patriotic. Certainly delicious and so very summery! The pairing looks thrown together in a wabi-sabi kind of beauty. It's also deceptively easy. Nothing worth having is ever easy - someone wise said that long ago. The proof of that is more apparent to me every day. 

Getting from planting to plate took effort. In some ways it is like a relationship - some may look effortless but all require work, care and tending to flourish. 

It started with selecting  and planting new plants. Picking the right plants for our lifestyle. Easy care. Multi-blooming. Did you know that raspberry roots can not be exposed to sunlight? And that they should be damp planted? Six plants in total. 2 of 3 kinds; one a double bloomer of spring and fall. This should create a hedge of delicious berries in 2016 from June to September!

This first year, I had to go out every few days to pinch off the spring and summer blooms. (Pairing the relationship to what you want it to be.) This "meanness" allowed the new plants to put down deep roots and not waste their energies on unnecessary pretties. 

Late in the summer, the second blooms came on the plants. We had late summer berries. A delicious surprise into October due to the unseasonably warm weather.

Next year, the canes that give out berries - they will be brown - will have to be cut out. This will allow the new ones to grow and have berries in 2017. It's a bit like removing old habits that no longer serve you so you can replace them.

Each year, in the fall, we'd cane the raspberries at my grandmother's. Gloves required to hold off the thorns. I always marveled that something so delicious had such sharp thorns. The price, I always assumed, of the tasty bounty. I liked the raspberries better than their rose cousins because I could eat them. I did not mind caning them out, but I never liked cutting down the roses.

At Bunny Haven, the new plants bloomed for fall; this first year I had fall raspberries. We had an unexpectedly long fall; I had berries until October, late October. (The odd rose, too, out in front of the house.)  An unexpected fall bonus - which plated beautifully and belied the work and future planning which went into the treat..

Take-away - That which is easy is rarely delicious, whether food or relationships. Put in the effort.

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