Friday, April 28, 2017

These Old Walkin' Shoes: Let it Grow

With the nice, warm weather finally back, I started my normal morning walks before I go to work. The sounds and smells of spring are in full bloom around the neighborhood. Me, I’m thankful for the opportunity to get back out and walk a little. I used to hate going on walks, but I’ve learned to love it in the last year or so. I welcome all those sounds and smells. It means warmth.

While coming home from my walk on Monday, I noticed that the strawberries in the backyard are really looking great. There is a lot of new growth this year, and the leaves are lush and green. In another month or so, we will be enjoying their juicy freshness.

I also noticed that a rogue raspberry bush has invaded the strawberry bed. We have a small group of raspberry bushes, but they are nowhere close to the strawberries. I have no idea (other than birds) how this bush got all the way over there. At any rate, that just means more fruit for us.

We tried blueberries and blackberries. The birds decimated the blueberry bush. It barely survived the first year. By the second year, it was gone. The blackberry plant steadfastly refuses to die, grow, or produce. It looks great for the summer. Well, at least the leaves look great. However, we only get a single handful of berries, if that.

Part of it could be the girls helping themselves when they see ripe fruit. I know for sure that happens in the vegetable garden. Whenever we plant peas, IdaLena will walk the aisles, picking every pod she sees so she can eat it. She gets them all. No one else in the family even gets to see them.

All this great weather has me thinking about the garden. The rain has me joking about planting rice this year, but I know that it will dry out. Then we’ll be able to ready the plot for food. Who knows what new thing we’ll try in the garden. It seems like we always try at least one thing new each year.

My biggest need for the summer is blackberries. Our plant does not grow very many of them. I live blackberry pie. It used to be that we would go with my grandmother and explore the blackberry bushes near Lake Ontario. I haven’t been able to find them in recent years, though. It’s almost like the plants have simply disappeared.

We used to go along the railroad tracks in Lyndonville, although we probably shouldn’t be eating those berries. Even those seem to have disappeared. Where are all the blackberry plants? If anyone knows where I can find some when the time is right, please let me know. There may be a blackberry pie in it for you.

While I don’t eat a lot of the veggies that we grow (I don’t like eating green things), I love having the garden. There is something awesome about watching those tiny plants grow into large, lush plants that produce something that can sustain the kids. It’s like a sense of accomplishment. And it’s fun, even if the weeds sometimes try to win the war.

Are any of you growing a garden this summer? What do you plant?

Craig Bacon wants you to think about him when the blackberries are coming on. They truly are some of his favorites.

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