Life Lessons Learnt Raspberry Picking

Raspberries are this season’s #Blissfarm abundance crop. As quickly as I pulled 2 kilos from the deep freeze to replenish our jam supply, there was more fruit to replace them.

Picking fruit is a quiet meditation; a perfect time to reflect. Raspberries, in particular, have taught me a thing or two over the years.

Perspective. When you’ve picked the fruit that crowns the branches, you could easily believe you have seen it all. Push your arms through the throng of brambles underneath. You’ll be rewarded even if it hurts a little. I like to explore the maze below by looking upside down, discovering plump rubies barely visible in the greenery. A different viewpoint can open up new possibilities.

Prepare. Our abundance is thanks to the Lovey Deputy who heaved manure from the paddocks and spread it at the base of the canes and watered and watered. Hard work preparing pays off.

Plan. Last year we crawled on hands and knees to pick the fruit under its protective netting. In winter he lifted the structure so this season we could be tall while we collected the fruit. Picking is no longer a chore with the foresight of planning.

Put a lid on it. If you’ve seen a bird caught in netting you’ll understand, it’s not easy to navigate, particularly with a container full to the brim of newly harvested fruit. We lost one punnet to the ants. A bottle of milk, the methylated spirits you’re using to clean up your paint drips, the shiraz, whatever, put the lid back on it. You never know what challenges you’ll face but it’s safe to say, sometimes it’s best to put the lid straight back on.

Enjoy. Last night he added three shelves around the netted enclosure to stow ready containers and shelve gin cocktails protecting them from clumsy feet that have forgotten the temporary resting place of our beverages. It’s a distance between the head and foot. A sweet tipple is enjoyed among the produce of our garden.

Persevere. Raspberries ripen in the time it takes to circle the garden. Or so it seems. To harvest means to return every night until the fruit is spent, and on hot days, the next morning too. The waste of fruit withered on the vine is a sad loss. Perseverance shows respect to the earth.

Be gentle. The raspberry is the most tender of fruit, made of minuscule beads of juice that burst with the lightest pressure. Nudge them off or give them a tweak, if they don’t fall, let them stay on the branch until tomorrow. Be gentle, each piece of fruit has it’s own time.

Share abundance. We invited friends over to be part of the harvest. Little hands picked one berry for the bowl, another for the mouth, and engaged in a serious discussion on the best way to eat the bounty for dessert. Abundance is a wealth best shared.

If you like raspberries you might also like this post which comes with recipes – Berry Delicious Part I

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