Among the plants that thrived while I was doing the cancer thing were our Summit Raspberries. I started with five plants ten years ago. The Summits are an everbearing raspberry. They don’t have as good a flavor as a June bearing raspberry but in September, October and November there is nothing better than fresh raspberries from the garden.
The Summits have a tendency to travel. They took over the two beds nearest the one I gave them. I now have two twenty-four foot rows of thick raspberry plants. They produce a heavy crop in June and another in July. They produce a third crop in September. In between the main crops they produce more than I can eat.
My friends and neighbors have been more than willing to come and dig up raspberry plants that grow where I don’t want them. They kept the raspberries from being invasive. I don’t know why they didn’t want to take home crabgrass and dandelions.
I shared more than just the plants. Right after my cancer surgery two women from the church came and picked raspberries. They took them home and made jam then each gave me back one jar. I had to buy the rest of my raspberries back at the church bazaar. They make fantastic jam.
My idea of how to process raspberries is to stand in the garden and pick those that look most ripe and pop them into my mouth. There is nothing better than sun warmed raspberries eaten while standing in the garden. My raspberry canes grow about six feet tall and arch over the path forming a tunnel full of yummy rich-flavored fruit.
At the Northwest Flower and Garden Show this year, I was telling a total stranger who sat next to me about my raspberries. She was excited and explained that raspberries are full of anti-oxidants. She had a theory that plants and gardeners have a special chemical/magnetic bond so our plants respond to our physical needs. She speculated that my physical, cancer distress triggered something in my plants to stimulate their growth. It is possible. They certainly grew well with no fertilizer, pesticides or chemicals.