The Promise of Summer in the Heart of Winter

I didn’t grow up knowing about gardening and growing food. My parents were both adults during The Great Depression, and my mom was raised as the daughter of a farmer who never owned his own land. The idea of having to garden, or grow your own food out of necessity, was something they never wanted to do again. I cannot fault them for that.

 Aaron Tilling

When I was about twelve, or so, my parents allowed some Youngberry vines to come up, under the fence, from the neighbor’s yard into our backyard. Over the course of the next several years, my dad carefully cultivated those berry vines. He would dig up the new canes as they emerged and replant them in neat rows in the backyard. He trimmed out the old, spent canes every fall, and trained the tender new vines onto the support system he built for them. My girls grew up enjoying Granddad’s Berries every June, and eating countless pieces of Memom’s Berry Pie! We have taken starts from those original Youngberry vines with us every time we have moved.

Copper’s grandmother, on the other hand, was quite the gardener. That woman had the quintessential green thumb! Grandma’s Raspberries were always a favorite. For the last several years, I’ve wanted to plant Raspberries of my own. Last week, when we picked up Dani’s seed potatoes and other garden supplies, we made the spontaneous decision to buy bare root Raspberry canes.
New Raspberry Patch

Aaron broke ground and made a dozen or so passes with the rototiller on Saturday. The soil was beautiful! By mid-afternoon that same day, all ten canes were in the ground.

Bare Root Raspberry Canes
Bare root fruit trees and vines look lifeless. The raspberry canes I planted looked like dead sticks with spidery roots on one end. Though they don’t look like much now, leaves will soon emerge from their now tightly closed buds. If the weather cooperates, we may even enjoy a few juicy, sweet raspberries this first summer.

Raspberry Leaf Bud

What a wonderful promise of summer in the very heart of winter!



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