Four and twenty blackberries baked in a pie…
I thought sure that was how the rhyme went when I was little. Maybe it just foretold my love of blackberry pie or maybe that I would one day have a “Great Blackberry Patch”. Behind my garden shed I have a good-sized piece of land. It would be the perfect place for a vegetable garden. It gets full morning sun and is really quite roomy at around 20’x 30′. Many times I have pictured the cherry tomatoes, zucchini, artichokes, green beans and lettuce all growing organically out there. Feeding my family from the land just like my grandma did when I was a little girl. But that, I have come to realize is not going to happen because that piece of land belongs to the blackberries.
There weren’t that many in the beginning (compared to now) and I actually thought I could clear them and the weeds that came along with them when we bought the house. The vines at that time hadn’t produced berries so they seemed relatively useless. I started small on my own digging cutting and going through about three gallons of Ground Clear a box of band-aids and a tube of neosporin.
It didn’t take long before I realized it didn’t work. I couldn’t believe it. How deep were theses roots? We tried several more ways over the following years to remove them, even going so far as removing 18″ of old dirt back there until finally I just gave up. The blackberry bramble had won. Now other than just keeping it under control as best I can, I have stopped battling the blackberries behind the garden shed. They have begun producing a multitude of sweet berries that make a yummy “Four and Twenty blackberries baked in a pie” kinda pie. My garden behind my shed didn’t turn out to be vegetables but it did become something maybe even better, The Great Blackberry Patch.
Cheryl in the Garden