A Thought About Growing Red Raspberries


How Growing Red Raspberries Reminds Me of The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares [Tares is a word for Weeds]

Although they are no longer blooming, I have also planted in my garden Red Raspberries. Like many people, I do not have very much sunshine in my yard. In its natural, woodsy shadiness, most of the space is almost camp-like. Because of the lack of light, the raspberries have not produced a lot of fruit; but I do get a few berries in late spring. I do plan to move the plants to an area with more sunshine; but in the meantime, I want to share a thought that intrigues me.

While most of my yard is not great for producing raspberries, it is wonderful for growing several different weeds that seem to love the low-light, natural, scrubbiness of my lot. One of my weeds [I think that it is called Lamb’s Quarters] looks almost identical to a raspberry plant. The only obvious difference is that the weed has a lack of the raspberry’s bristly [almost thorny] stem. [The fact that the “good” plant has thorns, i.e. the rose, and the inferior does not is a paradox, in itself].

Keeping in mind that raspberries are weed-like, almost brambly in their growth habit. It becomes very difficult to discern the tares from the raspberries. For a while I have been thinking about how camouflage protects many species in nature; and indeed, where the berries have been planted, the look-alike weed tends to grow very large,

This reminds me of the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat, as cited in Matthew 13:24-30. In this parable, weeds that looked like wheat were growing amidst the wheat and the sowers asked whether they should rid the tares immediately. The master responded that in doing so, some of the wheat may also mistakenly be pulled. I presume that the point of the parable is that we should not quickly judge–even ourselves. [Most of us do consider ourselves unworthy]. What appears to be just a weed may indeed be a jewel–a diamond in the rough.

I am not sure what greater message that my raspberry-like weeds have to relate. I think that, in their case, a wise gardener should just yank them as quickly as he can. But the message is not the point of this story. I just find it interesting that raspberries have twin weeds–and that the two of them live side by side. Ebony and Ivory.


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