My dear friend and colleage, natural history writer and photographer Connie Toops, has a penchant for bringing me wonderful plants each year when she comes to speak and guide at the New River Birding and Nature Festival in Fayetteville, WV. She comes up out of the mountains of North Carolina with pots of fabulosity. And last spring she brought me four golden raspberry plants. I kept them in the pots until they were busting out, then set about digging them a soft fluffy garden bed in June. On one of the hottest days of the year. I worked out there, turning the soil, getting all the Virginia creeper and trumpetvine out of it, making a huge mound of manuery soil for their home, edging it with plastic so nobody could get in and they couldn't get out. Got myself a good case of heat exhaustion and had to leave a dinner party that night, practically incoherent, with a pounding head. But oh, were those plants ever worth it. We've had tantalizing hints of the bounty to come in three flushes, one, yes, in October. Never have I tasted a more delicious raspberry. They somehow pack a ridiculously intense raspberry flavor into each tiny bursting globule, belying their pallid color. Absolutely amazing. A gift of the finest kind.
So here's the piece. Give it a listen, and if you like it, hit Recommend, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or whatevah, and leave a comment if you please. Click HERE to listen and read.