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Nettles, Rhubarb, and Raspberries


Rhubarb was always the very first fresh fruit to be had in the days before imported fruits from southern climes. It was sometimes paired with strawberries, the next fresh fruit to arrive.

The rhubarb on the farm is a green stalk–not the Ruby Red Jubliee which is sweeter and has thicker stalks. No-one harvested the rhubarb this year and it went to seed–huge tall stalks. Several years ago, I had commented to my dad, I missed rhubarb–it doesn’t seem to grow in this part of Texas. He told me to put a sign up at the bank and by noon, the bed of my truck would be filled to capacity with it.

Below the rhubarb—I may have to ask someone to mow that rhubarb down….is the raspberry patch. It is in part of the garden—usually where we planted the carrots and radishes. Three non-productive grapevines are there, trying hard to smother the raspberries.

Each time I go to Wisconsin–only during the growing season–I clean out the raspberry patch and try to mulch it with cornlage or oat chaff. Gnats interfere with the process—until one year, I put on a bee veil.

The raspberries are mostly on the periphery of the patch–I missed one year cleanout due to Covid—but maybe they will be back.

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