Thursday, August 16, 2012

The First Harvest

We made the final move to the farm at a really strange time of year. It was mid-July and the rhubarb that we had discovered when we toured the property in May had passed it's prime. The cherries on the trees had turned red and were immediately snatched up by a sneaky flock of birds right before we moved in. We didn't have time to net the trees, and I hadn't had a chance to learn how to use the shotgun.

The one thing that was still producing, and most people in Montana consider a weed, were the raspberries. We have discovered small patches of raspberries all over the property. Most of them are small and in poor shape because they are shaded by a shed (the shed deserves it's own entry- all in good time), but I was determined to find some worth eating. I LOVE raspberries!

I set out with my farm hands (dogs Manny, shown under the raspberries in the picture above, and Cloverdale) to see what we could salvage. Most of the plants were low to the ground and the berries were covered in dirt so I used an old frame (what the heck is it really for?) that I found on the farm to support the plants temporarily until we could come up with a permanent solution.

I quickly learned that not only was I competing with the birds, sun, and time of year for the last ripening berries, I also had to compete with my dogs! I have never seen a dog forage for berries before, but there they were, plucking the berries right off the bush! I worked as quickly as I could, shooing them away as I went, for a bowl of berries that I coveted as our first harvest on the farm.

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