Let’a be honest: Cottage Life is pretty soft. That’s the point, I believe, but... There Are Enemies. Chief among them are blackberries, not mobile devices I mean but vicious resourceful adaptive bloodthirsty vegetables. This story has a happy ending: we beat ’em and we eat ’em. In this lifetime, anyhow.
The enemy flora are invasive and aggressive and full of slum vigor; given space and sunshine they swarm open space, sending strong slender stems vaulting over anything mineral or vegetable to occupy new ground, digging deep in soft forest loam, launching new roots from any fragment that touches down, crowding out the native flora.
Not to mention piercing the flesh of any foolish fauna, for example me, who seek to root them out. Woe betide the cottager who seeks to remove them unequipped with industrial work gloves. And I must say: Workgloves are a human triumphs. You can spend your weekdays, soft-fingered, hacking Web templates and social-media campaigns, but (with workgloves) accomplish carpentry and forestry and all-out bushwhacking. I recommend these.
There is no part of a Pacific Northwest blackberry that you can touch (sans gloves) without getting hurt: leaves or stems.
It’s like this: People crave sunshine so they cut trees, and then the blackberries come. And it’s not just me; Tom Robbins’ rather good Still Life with Woodpecker speaks to the war between Homo sapiens and Rubus fruticosus with considerable eloquence.
Anyhow, in the four years since acquiring the cabin we’ve staged a slow-paced but relentless extermination campaign and a pleasing portion of the property has been ethnically cleansed, botanically speaking.
We’ll never get rid of all of them, and the ones that survive do, at summer’s end, provide berries. Lauren bought an ice-cream maker and made this:
The color is 100% natural, and the taste ravishing; our rustic fabrication process leaves the dish a bit excessively crunchy with seeds, but that’s a small failing. And unlike birds, since the cabin has reasonable plumbing we will not excrete them anywhere they can grow.