We have a berry patch on our homestead in da hood. Well, it's not exactly ours or even in our yard, but there's nobody living in the house next door and the patch springs up right on the edge of the back fence, even though every week last summer and at least monthly since autumn, the dudes with the Killer Huge Mowers and damned loud weed eaters have assaulted the air, our ears, and every living creature on the other side of our wrought-iron fence posts, where The Barrio Berries live.
So in my thinkin', since (a) nobody lives there, and (b) the poor plant has managed to survive human onslaughts to the extent of sprouting a little fruit this spring in spite of being not just neglected but attacked, it's mine. Just like those dogs and cats I used to find dazed and stinkin' on the road.
The Editor will have nothing to do with the berries. They look absolutely fine to me. In fact, I daresay these berries look maybe even better than a lot of wimpy produce you can get from those farms.I guess when a vine only has one or two or three fruits to work on, there's more of everything to go around and everybody's happier.
Of course, I did consider (with The Ed's suggestion) that the plant may have experienced a spray or two with toxic chemicals by folks who don't love volunteer berry patches as much as I do. But I've ingested a whole handful's worth by now, and so far, so good. (Y'all will tell me if I start glowing, right?)
Picking berries is one of those things that kids did more of when I was younger. I'm glad to hear about those farms where you can drag the little burb children on a 2-hour ride to wander around in the intense swamp heat escorted by mosquitoes to fill up plastic buckets with berries -- almost any time of year!
Yeah, I never did that to my kid. The Boy learned about berry picking the old fashioned way, like I did, when he was three years old. We lived in a different part of Swamp City, just as urban but with lots more shade trees. The huge empty corner lot across the street used to host a house, but it had long ago burned down and never been rebuilt. There's almost nothing more fertile in the city than where a house burned down. A few carefully positioned trees were surrounded by wildness. We used to wander over there when I got stir-crazy in our tiny century-old house, to feel like we were in the country. And we stumbled upon some of the biggest berry patches I'd ever seen outside o' the cow pasture in back of our house in the South-Park-now-called-Martin-Luther-King area of Swamp City. (Now there's a story -- up to the time I was nine, we lived in a house that backed up to Ben Taub's field. He had a hospital named after him. We sat on the top of the fence (it was built like a ladder with a flat 2x4 on top) and talked to the cows and horses. We weren't supposed to, but of course, we'd slink down on the other side into the thorny bushes and grab a few berries.)
So I taught my son not just how to pick berries, but how to spot a berry patch in the wild. I figure when the End Times come, he's gotta eat somethin', even if there's no sugar to sprinkle on the berries by then.
My patch'll do fine by me. It's another little gift, for which I am thoroughly grateful (and lucky).