I'm no glutton for punishment. Now I know that may sound disingenuous given my choice of vocation, hobby, and decision to sire children, but believe it or not it's mostly true. That's why I'm not about to look askance at the obscene bounty drooping along every roadside ditch this time of year just because it didn't come from my own garden.
Make no mistake, given the choice, I would much rather avail myself of existing produce rather than spend all that time and energy growing it myself. Trust me, if, say, tomatoes just popped up every Summer along sidewalks everywhere—to such ridiculous convenience that one must actually go out of one's way to not be assailed by a fruit that would normally flirt at $5.99 a pound from a farmer's market table—then I would immediately rededicate their prime Fencebroke real-estate to a new pickleball court. As it is though, there remains, to date, only one crop so brash as to defy cultivation by mere fact of its ubiquity.
|C'mon, Nature, this is too easy.|
I'm talking, of course, about blackberries, which—sure they're a noxious ecological disaster and all that—but jeez, if mother nature has a cheat code, this is certainly it. A rampant weed that gives you buckets of delicious fruit; it's like a thief who steals your car but takes you out to a fancy dinner several times a year (although to complete the metaphor, said thief would probably jab you with his steak knife at regular intervals throughout the meal). I always feel vaguely guilty when picking a good berry patch, like someone's going to jump out of the briar and close this blackberry loophole once and for all.
I suppose it's a good thing for my career and pastime that more produce doesn't flail at you from every vacant lot and fence-line the land over. If morning glory vines dropped hazelnuts and horsetails sported Brussels sprouts; if dandelion roots were baby carrots and knotweed could be pressed for a passable apple cider—the backyard gardener might soon go the way of the Walkman.
You know what? That's okay. I'd take one for the team and find a new path through life if it meant broccoli could be picked from sidewalk cracks. Now, who's going to get on that and make it happen? Anyone? Monsanto—I'm looking at you. Come on, don't let me down; I really want that pickleball court.