The abundance of fresh fruit on German markets - strawberries, raspberries, red currants--reminds me of our labor of love on the farm. In the first years after planting, these fruit bushes provided a good crop already and it was a joy picking them. The children usually ate more than they brought home in their little baskets. In the following year, however, due to lack of proper cutting and pruning the shrubs after the harvest, we had a raspberry jungle out there. Remember, we had planted every vegetable and fruit bush in rows of 50 meters length. When they multiplied, the saplings grew all over the place and in between the rows. We had fruit in abundance. The season lasts for about four weeks in which they had to be picked every day, at the peak of the season for approx. 4 hours a day. After a couple of days, this activity loses its attraction for children. Adults- in this case me!- persevere out of a sense of obligation. Nothing should go to waste, as the motto goes. I remember one breezy day where the 5ft high raspberry canes where swaying in the wind. A picker then should have three hands: one to hold the basket, one to hold the cane and one to pick the fruit. I offered friends and neighbors to come and pick their own.I wasn't even charging for fruit like many a commercial grower these days advertises: Pick your own and pay by the pound.
The reaction I got was less than enthusiastic.Yes, they would love some fruit. Could I please drive by their house and deliver? Fat chance. So I kept going as much as I could, making jams or just freezing them for use at a later date.