The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Homestead berries

Bowl of berrties

Mark asked me how many kinds of berries we grow.  Of course, I immediately got bogged down in the fact that many things we think of as berries (strawberries, raspberries) don't technically fit the botanical definition, while others that people don't really put in the berry category (grapes) do.  Geekery aside, we're currently eating two kinds of gooseberries, the last of the strawberries, the first of the blueberries, and masses of black raspberries.  Other "berries" on the farm include honeyberries, red raspberries, blackberries, red currants, grapes, and hardy kiwis.

Berries have a lot going for them on the homestead (ease of growing, quickness of bearing, and pure deliciousness coming to mind), but they do have two major minuses.  First, there are the birds, which we mostly coexist with (although we had to chase away a family of blue jays this spring since the corvids were eating or damaging a full half of our ripening strawberries!).  Second, there's the fact that it takes several minutes a day just to harvest the delicious little morsels.  When I'm feeling overworked and the sun is blazing, I sometimes skip the picking chore, but I usually relax into a happy end-of-the-work-day berry zen.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'm glad you posted the photo. I had not been over to the corner of the yard with the gooseberries in almost a week and the majority of the berries were ripe and ready to eat. We had a big crop this year.
Comment by Brian Tue Jun 24 09:19:07 2014

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