April 2010

For years, I’ve been telling people my berries are black raspberries. This is based on what I recall the guy who gave me the initital cutting told me. I even spent a good part of last Sunday during the garden tour telling people that I have a black raspberry plant.

However, based on my reading this week in the California Master Gardener Handbook and a Master Gardener training class yesterday on fruits and berries, I think this is wrong. Berry and plant-growth characteristics now make me pretty sure that my plant is a thornless blackberry. So, now I’ll start calling my homemade liqueur a blackberry liqueur instead of a black raspberry liqueur. 🙂 More importantly, if you’re looking to buy a plant, look for a thornless blackberry!

Who would have guessed that spending six hours standing in the sun could be so much fun? Yesterday, my yard was on the Bay Friendly Garden Tour. With help from greeters Fred, Gina and Holly (a big thank you to my fellow Master Gardener trainees!) we hosted over 450 visitors. From 10 am to 4 pm, I was in my backyard talking to people about growing food. I was also listening to them and their ideas, learning about things like organicponicos in Cuba, how to train my young grapes to provide a visual screen from the neighbors yard and how to protect my deck where I’m installing a new planter. Even though I’m mostly between winter and summer annual crops right now, people were very interested in my perennial vegetables, fruit trees and berries. My favorite visitors of the day were the three well-behaved toddlers who found my snap pea bush sprawling out over my mulched walkway, all of whom were willing to sample a little bit of fresh garden produce.

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