Earlier this week, I got a call from my dAd.
He said: get dressed and come pick raspberries with me at the community garden.
Me: Um, okay.
I love raspberries and I love picking berries. You name it, I’ll pick it.
Strawberries. Yes, please.
Blackberries? Okay, who cares that the bushes are super thorny.
Blueberries. Of course , these are the easiest berry to pick.
Blackcaps (or wild black raspberries as non-locals might call them)?! There’s no need to ask me twice. Blackcaps are small and seedy but incredibly flavorful. The juice will easily stain your fingers and your tongue. They are hard work to pick but worth it.
Compared to blackcaps, raspberries are a dream to pick especially when the raspberries are being cultivated by humans rather than just growing wild.
My MoM and dAd are supporters of all things local. So it should come as no surprise that they also support our local community garden. My parents own a small business in town–an antique store–and know just how important it is to support other small businesses, people’s dreams and the development of the community as a whole because ultimately what goes around comes around.
In this case, fresh raspberries.
Across the street from the antique store, there’s a community garden. Whitman College owns the land and a number of years ago–five maybe–turned it into a garden space. My uncle has a little plot of land there and my dAd helps him keep it up.
Now for those of you unfamiliar with the idea of a community garden here are the basics. You join the garden and pay a small yearly fee to belong. You’re given a piece of land and you can grow what ever you’d like on this plot. What you grow is yours. Thus land that would otherwise be untended and growing weeds–in other words and eyesore–is growing vegetables, flowers and sometimes even fruit. Moreover, you get to meet new people who live in your neighborhood and make new friends based on your common interest–gardening.
Anyhow, my dAd is on the community garden email list and received an email that said: the raspberries need to be picked. Please pick them. These raspberries grow along one of the garden fences and don’t actually belong to anyone. Thus they belong to the community garden members as a whole.
So I hurried down to meet my dAd at the community garden to pick raspberries in cool(er) morning air. Then I picked cherry tomatoes both red and yellow ones while my dAd harvested and cut back a chard plant.
At the end we took some photos of me and some flowers and I admired a sign about the history of the land that the community garden stands on. The Walla Walla Creamery is the creamery that my father’s family ran and later renamed Shady Lawn Creamery. The creamery is no more but my dAd’s antique store stands in the same building that housed the creamery for 100 years. It’s pretty amazing that this building has been in our family for something like four generations and that my brother, sister and I are the fifth generation to grow-up and live in Walla Walla.