Field of Science

In defense of some wild brambles

This past winter was not kind to our red raspberries, which is to say, it was not kind to bunny rabbits, who in turn were not nice to our red raspberries. What was left is producing at a rate about 1/6th to 1/8th of its potential yield, but here and there in the wilder margins of our urban estate, wild black raspberries have risen to the challenge. Fully 1/3d of the berries picked today were wild ones, and actually the combination of the two species is extremely tasty, with a smattering of blueberries thrown in because so far in our alkaline soils, a taste of blueberries is the most the Phactor has managed with his benign neglect management style. So maintaining some balance, cultivated vs. wild is not a bad thing, and one should think carefully before extirpating some wild species. A few years back before the north 40 was so tame, the black raspberries sort of took over for a year, and if memory serves me, with the help of adventuresome neighbors (those were some bad brambles) over 22 quarts were harvested, and damn they make some awesome jam. So hedge your bets folks. It can pay off dividends. Now if only passion fruit would grow on the back fence.

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