I spent a lot of time picking black raspberries today, and I was well-rewarded for my efforts. Between our patch and a neighbor’s we gleaned over a gallon and a half of sweet, black, juicy gold. Aside from what we ate out-of-hand today, we were able to put seven quarts in the freezer for summery-tasting treats throughout the winter months.
Those of you who have picked black raspberries before know that there is a cost to this seemingly free fruit. The mosquitos are ruthless, and the briars, poison ivy and stinging nettle can be brutal. Even if it’s 85 degrees, we gear up pretty heavily when we head out for the canes. Aside from the backs of our hands and parts of our faces, there’s not much skin showing.
I don’t know what it is about the time I spend out in the woods picking berries, but it’s often very soothing to me. It’s a time for thought and for prayer–a time for ordering my day or reflecting on moments past. I enjoy that quiet time so much. I also look forward to sharing the fruits of my labor with people that I love. I enjoy baking a pie for the kids or taking some berries to a neighbor. If I give you black raspberries, you can be certain that I think you’re pretty special.