This morning I have glorious sunshine keeping me company on the deck. Our newest addition to the backyard bird feeder is a plump, rascally, gray squirrel. Sometimes he brings a friend. I’m not a big fan of these guys because they chase the birds away. On the other hand, I believe Mother Nature sorts things out, so for now, we will co-exist until Mother Nature needs a hand.

Maine is winning the summer scene. It had a slow gardening start, but just like in the story of the tortoise and the hare, gardens, orchards, and fields are catching up. Berry Fruit Farm in Livermore Falls is tops for fresh strawberries, cherries, raspberries, and apples. They also have delectable donuts, but fortunately, donuts don’t depend on gardens for availability! You can get them regularly at Berry’s in Livermore Falls or seasonally on the Crash Road. “Pick your own” opportunities abound at the Crash Road location where they just announced raspberries are ready.

I don’t pick my own raspberries unless I happen to spy some on the edges of the Whistle Stop Trail. When I was a wee lass, my folks grew ravenous raspberry bushes, and I enjoyed picking. Then one day, I stumbled into a bee’s ground nest. I still clearly remember screaming so loudly I’m sure I was heard clear in the neighboring town three miles away! To this day I have not ventured into a raspberry patch.

Summer fresh raspberries are a top berry consumed worldwide. One cup packs a whopping 8 grams of fiber, 64 calories, and nutrients, particularly Vitamin C which wards off age-related macular degeneration. Their high level of ellagic acid helps to decrease damage from free radicals. Studies suggest fresh raspberries reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. I eat them because I love their fresh summery taste.


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