Two-bit Guru | Raspberry Harvesting | Photo of raspberries, raspberry plant |

I love to be in the garden, whether I’m working, or picking raspberries, or just hanging out. This morning I opted to pick raspberries to put on my cereal. The patch is located literally 4 paces outside the front door, as the crow flies, meaning I have to step over the hostas. It’s 8 paces if I walk around. That in itself is a simple pleasure.

The temperature was about 70 degrees with a soft breeze blowing, a brightly sunny morning, with a few bees working the patch, ants sucking the sweetness out of a berry here and there, and me picking. A hummingbird stopped by. A whole series of simple pleasures, enjoyable enough that I put off my hunger to spend as much time out there as I could, eyeballing the nearby tomatoes to check for redness, doing the same with the peppers, getting the camera to take the photo at the top of this post, and of course, taking time to make sure I’d picked the canes as clean as I could. Living in the moment is all it’s cracked up to be.

The raspberry plantings started as a gift from a friend, about a dozen canes each of two different kinds. We didn’t know how they were different since he’d gotten them from someone else. What could be nicer than free raspberries, and the anticipation of not yet knowing what kind they are? I gave my friend about a thousand worms. Not that we bartered it at all. He expressed an interest in worms and I had expressed an interest in raspberries.

I planted the canes in 4-foot wide beds on either side of a garden path. By putting out runners (more free raspberries!) each patch grew to be about 12 feet long. The ones on the south are goldens, the ones to the north are traditional reds. The goldens are sweeter than the reds but then they are more fragile, too, easily breaking apart when you pick them.

In the second season, I saw golden berries on what first appeared to be red canes, a remarkable feat of nature that was, except it wasn’t. The feat was that the goldens had put out a couple of runners that found their way into the red patch, crashing the party over there. The reds haven’t ever ventured into the golden patch.

I got better than a pint and a half this morning, ate some and froze the rest. The picking was fun, the eating was fun, and eating raspberries in the middle of the winter is going to be fun.

It seems that every moment of every day we are presented with choices. One choice that is always there is to take the opportunity to experience pleasure. It’s free. Why not take it?