Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

June 26, 2010

Berries Abound…and not

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:37 am
Tags: , ,

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There!  Those beauties got your attention, didn’t they? ;-)

This is a story of another love/hate relationship (my camera, my hydrangeas..etc)  in my life.  Well, hate may be a bit too strong of a word, but it sounds better than love/strong dislike.  I love berries.  I can’t think of a berry I don’t like as I sit here typing.  Years ago, my husband came home from Home Depot or Lowe’s or some manly place like that with a very innocent looking little 6-pack of raspberry plants.  Hubby not being much of a fruit-eater, I was pleased he wanted to make this addition to my backyard garden.  I had already planted some seedless concord grape vines on the side of our house, and there was some space left between the grapes and our deck where I thought the raspberries would fit nicely.  I don’t think we got many berries that first year, but the plants did nicely and continued to grow each year.  Now this is what they look like:
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That innocent little 6-pack has turned into a ginormous, roving, monster of a berry beast!  Those are my grapevines in the background of the shot, climbing the house.  The raspberries have invaded the grapes’ space, my lawn ( I run over small shoots each time I mow) and my deck:
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Each year I cut them back, but each year they keep coming!  Their invasive nature is the “strong dislike” part of this story, but every year, I forgive them because I get this:
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Aren’t they beautiful?  Like everything else this year, the raspberries are early, robust and bountiful.  Back in the beginning of the month, I took this shot:
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I was very excited about what was coming.  I normally don’t pick raspberries until July.  For at least the past week or so, my daughter has been picking a bowlful like this on a daily basis:
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(I included the shot with “Blue’s Clues” on the bowl because I think its kinda funny.  My daughters are teenagers now, but we still have this bowl from one of their favorite shows when they were little.)

And now for the “not” part of the story.  Two years ago my sister gave me some strawberry plants from her huge patch, which also began with an innocent little 6-pack brought home from the store by her husband ( I think – correct me if I’m wrong, Jennifer).  The patch has come to be known as “Larry’s Berries” over the years.  But I digress.  With my vegetable garden taking up all the space to one side of my deck and raspberries and grapes on the other, I needed a place for the strawberries.  I didn’t want to add them to the end of my veggie garden because Larry’s Berries have ended up taking up a prodigious amount of space in Jennifer’s garden.  The space near the back of my house and deck is the sunniest in my yard, so I wished to reserve it for my veggies.  The next sunniest space is where our above ground pool is
Sparkley pool

..so I decided to create a small space to the side of it to create what I was sure would be my very own bountiful strawberry patch
Strawberry fields forever?

The plants grew pretty well.  This is  our third year with the plants and it was looking good this spring, with lots of blossoms and tiny berries:
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This area is a bit further away from the house, closer to the wooded area of the yard.  Last year, the few berries we got were eaten by critters, I’m thinking chipmunks, despite the bird netting we protected them with.  We tried a new strategy with the netting this year, but didn’t have enough to cover the whole patch because it had indeed grown in size.  Hubby promised to get me some more and finish covering it over while I was at work.  Well, things happen, and the netting was never fully put in place.  I’m not sure this netting would have even saved our little patch.  Critters can be fairly industrious and this is what we ended up with for strawberries this year:
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I’m thinking maybe I should find a new place for my strawberry patch next year!

Oh well, I’ll enjoy my raspberries for as long as we can pick them.  Because of their delicate nature, raspberries don’t seem to keep long enough for me to gather enough to cook something wonderful from them.  I just have to eat them! Bummer, huh?

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16 Comments »

  1. Strawberry pots. Put ‘em on the deck where the raspberry canes are trying to poke through and kill two invasive species with one piece of stoneware.

    Lordy those are gorgeous raspberries.

    Comment by Gerry — June 26, 2010 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

    • Great idea, Gerry! I may just do that next year, but I’m missing something – what would be the 2nd invasive species I’d be killing?

      Comment by karma — June 26, 2010 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  2. Your raspberries look big! Ours were really small this year.. can’t remember if we got any last year. Hmmm…
    Strawberries are still my favorite, though.

    Comment by thedailyclick — June 26, 2010 @ 3:34 pm | Reply

    • They are pretty big this year. Most of them are about the size of the pad of my thumb!

      Comment by karma — June 26, 2010 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

  3. Maybe next year we’ll have to work out some sort of berry exchange! That is if we get a decent crop of strawberries next year. They seem to be petering out.

    Larry found a black raspberry bush next to the building at his work and he brought home a big dish of them the other day! I made a cobbler with them and it was delicious but they were so seedy! The seeds seemed bigger and harder than regular raspberry seeds.

    Comment by Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) — June 26, 2010 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

    • Ah, I thought I saw some yummy looking berry dessert while I was trolling your Flickr stream for strawberry pictures! Apparently you can’t paste someone else’s shots into your website without downloading the shot then uploading it to your own stream!

      Comment by karma — June 26, 2010 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  4. You sure have gotta love berries… We have blackberries growing wild in vast amounts round here, and they’re gorgeous in a pie… and you certainly can’t beat free… And I have a solution for the strawberries too, but here it involves going strawberry picking at a farm, and eat while you pick, and hope they don’t weigh you before you leave… lol..

    Comment by FS Photography — June 26, 2010 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

    • Yes, Brian, that could work! ;-)

      There seem to be a few wild blackberry vines growing near my strawberry plants. The berries are small, but I suspect they will meet the same fate as the strawberries anyway. My next door neighbor when I was a kid had a vast hedge of blackberries! Boy did we love when it was picking time. She never minded if we ate some because there were so many.

      Comment by karma — June 26, 2010 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  5. MMMMM, berries……LOVE ‘em! :-)

    I’ve had the same experience with strawberries. Grew them for years and all I ended up doing was feeding the critters. They’d grow and flower and then we’d see red berries – EACH with a nice big bite taken out of it! LOL! Ripped the whole patch out last year and planted daylilies instead.

    We have wild raspberries and wild black raspberries out back in the forest areas. They grow like weeds and when I get to them before the animals I can pick a bunch to nibble on. So yummy!

    If you like Limoncello and champagne, (who doesn’t??), we make a fabulous drink where you put 1/2 tablespoon of raspberry syrup (not fresh made but the sweet syrup from Monin or Davinci that folks use in their coffee) in the bottom of a champagne glass, then you shake up a combo of Limoncello and Champagne (can’t recall the exact ratios at the moment) in a cocktail shaker with ice, then add to the glass. Float in fresh raspberries. Nice alternative to mimosa and so good!! :-)

    Comment by milkayphoto — June 27, 2010 @ 9:26 am | Reply

    • Your cocktail sounds fabulous! Have you given it a name? I’ll have to put it on my “to try” list for the summer!

      I’m thinking of going with Gerry’s suggestion for next year. With strawberry pots on my deck, I’d think we could fend off at least some of the critters.

      Comment by Karma — June 27, 2010 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

      • Of course! Hubby and I created it 3 years ago for our 15th Anniversary Party so we called it “Milkay Celebration Cocktail”.

        Here’s the real recipe (makes 2 servings):

        1 cup (8 oz) champagne (Korbel)
        1/4 cup (2 oz) limoncello (Sogno di Sorrento is really good)
        Crushed Ice
        Raspberry Syrup (Monin, DaVinci, Torani)
        Fresh Raspberries

        Place 1/2 Tblsp raspberry syrup in the bottom of each champagne glass.

        In a small shaker, add champagne, ice and limoncello.

        Shake lightly to combine and pour into glasses.

        Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve immediately.

        Repeat. :-)

        Comment by milkayphoto — June 27, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

  6. Those are some beautiful berries! I can see why you put up with all the growth. I would too. :)

    I’ve never had any luck with growing my own strawberries. Something always eats them before I can pick them. I’m just not fast enough. lol!

    Comment by Robin — June 28, 2010 @ 11:43 am | Reply

    • Thanks, Robin. It seems losing strawberries to the critters is a fairly common problem.

      Comment by Karma — June 28, 2010 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

  7. Yummy! Those raspberries do look scrumptious! Love strawberries, too!

    Comment by Barbara — June 30, 2010 @ 4:52 pm | Reply

  8. [...] Saturday night, I decided I finally had saved up enough raspberries to make something delicious with them.  My sister recently blogged about using the Pioneer [...]

    Pingback by How We Spent Our 4th « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — July 5, 2010 @ 10:57 am | Reply

  9. [...] to figure out how to get a close up shot of them for a few days.  The recent snow fall and my out-of-control rasberry bushes prevent me from getting anywhere near my grapevines without suiting up in my husband’s [...]

    Pingback by Picture Winter Day 15 « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — January 15, 2011 @ 4:52 pm | Reply


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