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Black Raspberries: Summertime in the Midwest

The Fourth of July has always been black raspberry season in the American Midwest. They spread prodigiously on their own, sneaking in along edges of woods, on the weedy backside of a neglected garage or barn, beside country roads, anywhere there is a bit of sunshine that is not repeatedly mowed down. I remember laughing in surprise on a visit to a nursery in a city and seeing black raspberry plants sold for $15 each, because some unfortunate soul might actually have to buy what is considered a weed out here in the country. I have many memories of stopping to forage for black raspberries on the dirt path that takes us to my grandfather's lake, the most recent being yesterday. A July Fourth potluck at my great aunt's lake cottage wasn't complete until someone climbed up the hill out back and came back with a bucket of these precious black gems to round out the dessert table.

Black raspberries tend to be somewhat smaller than their ruby cousins (more so if they aren't ge…

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