Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The sweet taste of summer in Minnesota June 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:16 AM
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Black raspberries ripen on vines in my Faribault, Minnesota backyard.

ALREADY, SPLOTCHES OF PURPLE stain my fingertips. Thorns scratch across my forearms as I ferret for more fruit. My skin itches. Mosquitoes swarm. I pick a hair-thin, squiggling worm from a tiny berry.

Yet, I continue to reach and pluck, reach and pluck, occasionally popping a juicy black raspberry into my mouth. As the seeds crunch against my teeth, as the slightly-tart berries burst upon my tongue, I relish this first taste of summer.

After a long Minnesota winter, these berries tempt my senses. I admire their deep purple, near-black, color. I caress their daintiness, savor their sweetness.

Daily I pick enough berries to fill a small bowl.

Soon I’ve filled a small bowl with the wild morsels that grow on thorny vines tumbling out of the woods next to my backyard.

Later, I’ll toss handfuls onto romaine lettuce I’ve grown. More go into the blender, combined with ice cream and milk for a deep purple shake that bursts with flavor. I mix other berries with vanilla yogurt, bananas and milk to create a healthy smoothie.

But mostly, I grab berries now and then from the bowl that sits on the kitchen counter. Sometimes I wash the raspberries, most often not.

Tomorrow I’ll be back in the berry patch, braving the brambles as I gather this fruit of the earth, these wild black raspberries that taste of sweet summertime in Minnesota.

Wild black raspberries have overtaken a corner of my backyard and I'm just fine with that.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


2 Responses to “The sweet taste of summer in Minnesota”

  1. ytaba36 Says:


    I had just posted about raspberries (and the love of them), when your blog came up as a possibility to look at. I’m drooling!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I wish I had some of those wild raspberries from my backyard about now. But they are buried under several feet of snow. One can only dream about warm summer days ahead and sunshine-warmed berries plucked right from the brambles.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by Minnesota Prairie Roots and checking out the raspberries in this part of the world.

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