Let the record show this is the first raspberry of summer. I hope the photo is sharp enough, because I can’t take another one; the goal was to document the first ripe fruit, and I already ate it. The total take was just a half-dozen or so, but it’s only the beginning. Raspberries in my cereal! Raspberries for breakfast! Raspberry pie! Couldn’t be happier.
To tell the truth, I enjoy the harvest as much as the eating. Picking raspberries is an exercise in patience, not one of my top-tier traits. You can’t pick too fast or you’ll drop the fruit. You can’t tromp into the bed with guns blazing or you’ll trample the canes. You can’t pinch off berries that aren’t really ready to be picked; you’ll either squash them or drop them, or both. It takes forever to get a bowlful, and that’s okay with me. During berry-picking season, the time I spend with the raspberries is probably the sanest part of my day.
It was a little disconcerting to have to throw two of the berries back to the birds because of moldy spots. Very few berries showed mold last year, but we’ve had an unusually wet spring and summer this year. So maybe this crop will need more picking-over than usual. But that’s okay. Any and all extra effort is absolutely worth the reward.