Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tom Would Have Been So Pleased

Tom would have been so pleased.   During the summer of probably 2005 or 2006, after years of trying to discourage dog walkers from letting their dogs use our fence along the entrance to the Middlesex Fells for their ... business ... Tom and I planted raspberry bushes there, a spot of land owned by the state, maintained by the city, and accessible to all.   Tom's theory was that everyone would be more invested in taking care of the driveway area, even though none of us owned it, with the siren song of those beautiful raspberries calling us to them.

We had a few extra plants that didn't fit along the fence and planted them just inside the gate into the Fells and have paid them not one whit of attention in all the ensuing years.

That first summer after we planted the bushes (and if you've ever seen raspberry seedlings,  you know I should really just call them twigs) we didn't realize that the city's maintenance included weedwhacking the entire driveway flat.  Oops.  The next year, we replanted, but embedded wire mesh in the ground around the base of the plants, and mentioned it to the guys when they came around again, and the plants have happily survived our annual Weedwhacking Day ever since.

We nurtured those plants along the fence,watering them often. 96 and 98 poured a 2-liter bottle over each of the plants every Saturday, and spiked the water with fertilizer during the growing season.

Apparently the dogs and their owners didn't fully appreciate our gift to them, and the dogs continued abusing our fence and raspberries, despite every remedy we could think of, including (separately), polite signs, stern signs, cayenne pepper, baking soda and soap. Nothing worked. The berry bushes along the fence never thrived, but they're still alive and I haven't given up on them.

But oh, those bushes inside the Fells! All of a sudden (literally, like, this week) they're as tall as I am, and have spread to cover probably 75 square feet.   I collected nearly a pint of berries this morning without even trying.  In fact, with Medford being the birthplace of the infamous gypsy moth caterpillar on my mind, I worry a bit that maybe we have unleashed the next Medford invasion on the northeast. But even if we did, I mean, it's black raspberries. It could have been worse. It could have been wild broccoli.

You're welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love black raspberries and have fond memories getting all scratched up picking them as a child.