The Herald Bulletin

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July 4, 2013

Rick Bramwell: Wild raspberries ripe for picking

Wild raspberry patches come and go, but one of my best is in the city limits of Anderson.

Piles of dirt and construction material were left on a half-acre to grow into scrub brush, mulberry trees and wild black raspberries. I used to share these pickins with some unknown person, but not anymore.

Hundreds of people a day used to drive by this spot, but as far as I could tell just one other person knew about the berries. Weeds would be trampled back to those big shaded black jewels. For 20 years, I never encountered the other picker, but they are gone now.

The business that stood beside the patch has long since gone too. It is sad, but there seem to be few old-timers to teach youngsters about nature’s bounty.

Indeed, one of my softball players, Brittany Contreraz, came to mow my yard. I walked her to a fencerow and instructed her to pick the dark colored berries. “Are they safe to eat?” she asked. I let her know they were the same kind that was in a pie she ate a few days earlier. The young teen enjoyed her find. Perhaps she will take a liking to picking the blackberries that are beginning to turn red.

It is amazing how the largest, juiciest berries grow back in the shade and are difficult to reach. I take on a lot of scratches forcing my way.

Wild raspberries do hold a secret. A few have little worms in them that are difficult to see. I never let that stop me from eating handfuls while I’m picking. Actually, if you pay close attention, you will notice a small shiny spot on the otherwise dry head. However, if you have to look that closely it will take forever to pick enough for a pie.

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