How To Eat A Raspberry
With Muddy Hands

Dateline: 3 July 2015

Just starting to ripen

I think it has rained here to some degree every day for a whole month. The local news says we had three times more rain in June than usual, and that it was the wettest month for us in recorded history.

But today the sun is shining and no rain is expected. 

So I ventured into my garden. The soil is saturated but the plants are healthy. Pea pods are full, Baby zucchini’s are being born. New potatoes are forming in their hills. We have been eating beets (and beet greens!), kale, snow peas, and other greens every day. The spinach bed is finally going to seed. We are sorry to see it happen.

 As soon as possible, after all this rain, the open areas of soil (like in my onion beds) will need to be cultivated. Cultivation destroys pre-emergent weed seedlings, of course, but it also allows oxygen into the soil. 

The old agricultural writings frequently advised that garden soil be stirred after a rain because the sun’s drying action on rain-soaked soil creates a crust, and the crust prevents oxygen from getting down into the soil.

Oxygen is necessary for optimal health of not only plants but of humans too. Slow, deep breathing is something that helps to oxygenate our bodies, and many people routinely deep breath as part of a healthy lifestyle. Do a Google search. You might want to try it. But I digress.

Timing is everything when it comes to garden cultivation. 

There is a period in time, after a rain, and before the soil is too dry, when it is nicely moist, but not wet, and the earth can be cultivated with ease, and pleasure. So I’m waiting for that time.

In the meantime, with timing in mind, right after a rain is the ideal time to hand-pull any weeds that have gotten ahead of me. I pick them into a bucket, with lots of soil on their roots, and dump them in my compost pile. These weeds have extracted  minerals from the ground and packed them into their bodies. They will make fine compost.

And that explains how my hands were muddy this morning when I discovered that the raspberries on my well-tended canes are beginning to ripen. I could have gone in the house to wash my hands, but that really isn’t necessary….

To eat a raspberry with muddy hands, you simply grasp the stem the desired berry is on, pull it towards your mouth, inspect briefly for insects (blow them off if they are present), bite into the berry lightly, and pull it off the cane, into your mouth.

It’s a simple, naturally intuitive technique. I’m sure you could have figured it out for yourself, eh?


In other news, I am, as noted in my previous blog post, dealing with continued heavy demands on my time. The volume of Planet Whizbang business is making it hard to do much besides Planet Whizbang business. Speaking of which, I sent ten Whizbang Plucker “shebang” packages to Nigeria last week. Northern Africa is an expanding economy, or so I’ve heard. And they are just discovering the Whizbang Plucker. I haven't decided if that will be a blessing or a bummer for me.

Every day I focus on the “critical path,” a term and concept I adhered to back in my days as a remodeling contractor. Defining and staying on the critical path is key to getting things accomplished in an efficient, timely manner. It's an industrial-world concept that I can't seem to shake. 

The critical path is a tyrant when business orders come, as they are now, in a big, months-long wave. It doesn’t allow for blogging or gardening, or much else. A son’s wedding is coming in a few weeks, Futureman will be here for a visit again soon. Fifty Cornish-X chicks are due to arrive an a matter of days.

And in the midst of all this business, current events have compelled me to start another blog/web site. It is not agrarian. It has a  socio-political focus. I will announce it here soon, if it continues to come together. Some readers will find it of interest. Most will probably not. Hopefully, a few will feel compelled to help me with it. We’ll see.

At this very moment, however, the critical path is screaming at me... Get on course! Get to work!

I have miles to go before I sleep, as Robert Frost might put it— and miles to go before I sleep.  

But, I'll have you know, my raspberry patch is on the way to my workshop. I may tarry a few short, sweet moments there, before I get get on "the path.”  And, even though my hands are now clean (clean fingers are necessary for typing a blog post), I think I will still eat some raspberries as if my hands were muddy. It’s a whole lot more fun…..


Anonymous said...

Excited to hear about your new blog....been wondering what your thoughts are concerning recent events.

Unknown said...

Sending you best wishes and efficient days.