Razzle Dazzle Raspberry Patch
The year after my mother died, I traveled every six weeks to Wisconsin to check on my Dad and pay his bills, cook, and so forth. He had planted raspberries in the backyard of his ‘town’ home and they were ripe. So each morning he would go out and pick them for me to have with my cereal. There were too many seeds in them for him to enjoy. He had also planted a patch on the farm. The ‘town’ house was sold and the berry patch uprooted but the patch on the farm remained. Concord grapes had also been planted and the two of them intertwined with each other to make a nearly impenetrable thicket.
Each year for the past four years I have pruned, thinned and otherwise reckoned with the patch. This year, my husband drove a bush-hog down the center of the patch while it was still in the early stages of growth. And then during the Fourth I trimmed and pruned again, leaving only the new canes for fruiting next year. We used an old gate from the barn for a fence for the grapes to grow against and plan to prune them back this fall. Of course, I could have been working inside cleaning out the fruit cellar but outside–even pulling ragweeds is much more appealing.