Landa International Teen Blogger: History and Folklore of Raspberries

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[Before we begin, teen blogger, Ale, wrote this post, out on the Landa lawn, in sunglasses. How cool is that! -Bea Canales, Teen Services Liaison]

The information on most of our fruits and vegetables hold all kinds of ties to folklore, mythology and just general history. Any kind of red berry is thought to symbolize the life and blood of mythical creatures. Raspberries in particular represent kindness and fragility through their delicate nature and dark red color. All in all, through this blog post, you’ll have all kinds of pointless historical information to share the next time you see a raspberry or strawberry.

Raspberries:

The Greek mythology associated with raspberries with the nursemaid of Zeus, Ida. It is said she was picking pure white berries when she pricked her finger on the branch and the berry was stained red forever. In a similar story of Greek mythology the Olympian gods were searching Mouth Ida, Crete’s highest peak, for berries and discovered the raspberry.

Significance:

Kindness: their red color is comparable with blood from the heart, which is the source of kindness.

Fragility: as mentioned in introduction, is due to its delicate structure.

Today, raspberries are found on five continents and essentially all over the world. In the arctic, there is even a type of raspberry called rubus arcticus that finds its home in North America, Finland, Siberia, and Sweden. Interestingly enough this berry is also called the nagoon berry from its origins in the Tlingit language spoken in parts of Alaska and Canada.

 Strawberries (just a couple interesting bits):

It’s thought that if you break a double strawberry and share it with someone, you’ll fall in love with them.

Louis the VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, was thought to have been a witch because of a strawberry shaped birthmark on her neck.

Significance: Perfection and righteousness

One of the main reasons I chose, of all things, raspberries to write about is a recent challenge from my mother to grow some type of berry in our balcony. I figured before I start, I’d learn some information on berry folklore so I’d know at least some history on what I was growing.

Thank you for reading!

http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/berry/production/pdfs/berryfolklore.pdf

http://www.thepracticalherbalist.com/herbal-library/magical-herbs/raspberry-myth-and-magic/

http://www.indepthinfo.com/raspberries/history.htm

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ruar

Ale, 16 years, Landa Teen Blogger

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