Today we planted a fifty foot row of raspberry canes. This is the time of year for thinning the herd, so if you have a neighbor or family member with a raspberry patch (we got ours from my mother-in-law), you can just ask if they have any explorers pushing out beyond the boundaries of their bed. Given half a chance, raspberries are vigorous and spread through the roots, so we planted them at the top of the orchard, where they are hemmed in at one side by the woods, and they can take over a nice swath of sunny meadow before interfering with anything. We staked a rotten log into the grass to form a bit of a terrace in the long run, dug over the uphill edge, tossed some compost from the chicken run into the holes and planted the bare root plants, watering them in with buckets from the spring.
There are two types of raspberries: early bearing ones that you prune each spring by removing the canes that bore fruit the previous season, and fall bearing ones that you cut to the ground each spring and that bear fruit on first year canes. These are the second ones, which are vigorous and tasty (believe it or not, there are many varieties of raspberries, not all of them that tasty). We will probably get a small crop of them this year, and hopefully in two or three years we will have an abundance. This is a great example of a group of plants that you should be sourcing now from your neighborhood. Berries, comfrey, nettles, mint, all manner of spreading plants.
Go get em.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.