Red Raspberries

Special Note: All material here reprinted from Grow It! Copyright © 1972 by Richard W. Langer. The title of this excerpted chapter is “Berries.”

If ever I dies an’ yo ain’t certain I’s dead,
Just butter some biscuit an’ new made bread
An’ spread em all over with raspberry jam,
Then step mighty softly to whar I am
An’ wave dem vittles above my head,
If my mouf don’t open, I’m certainly dead.
-Monroe Sprowl

One of the tastiest spots on your farm is the berry patch. Of course, it won’t have just berries in it. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, their names notwithstanding, aren’t berries at all in the botanical sense. Grapes and currants, on the other hand, are. Just to balance things out, some with “berries” as part of their names really are berries — blueberries, cranberries, and gooseberries, for instance. Which somehow explains why they’re all grouped together here, and certainly in no way detracts from their flavor.

Growing Blueberries

To add further to the confusion of nomenclature, if you’ve ever had huckleberry pie, or picked wild huckleberries in the woods on a camping trip, chances are you didn’t. Blueberries have small, soft, almost invisible seeds. Huckleberries have approximately ten big, stone-hard seeds. Eating real huckleberry pie is rather like chewing on a clam full of sand.

Blueberries are fussy about their growing conditions,…