Don Johnson knows his berries, but he should because he has been picking wild berries for about 30 years.

Don Johnson knows his berries, but he should because he has been picking wild berries for about 30 years.
"God knew what he was doing because He made the raspberries bloom ahead of the blackberries," Johnson said. "If the blackberries came first, people wouldn't bother with the raspberries."
Blackberries are bigger than raspberries so Johnson thinks people would not pick raspberries after the easy picking of blackberries.
Raspberries are ripe in early June and blackberries usually come in July. "If you haven't picked your blackberries by the third week in July, it's too late," Johnson said. "If there are any left, they are just mushy."
Although there are gooseberries around, Johnson says they are too small for him. "You can pick an hour and not have any gooseberries. But my mother-in-law likes to make a gooseberry pie, so I pick enough each year for her pie," he said.
The blackberries and raspberries are for Johnson's wife to make cobblers. He freezes them, and they have cobblers all year long.
"I have picked a lot of blackberries but didn't know about raspberries, because they were gone when I got to the berry patches. Then I met a guy at the donut shop, and he told me about black raspberries," Johnson said.
Each year, Johnson gets an average of 40-50 quarts of berries. "One year, I got a hundred quarts. It was a good year," he grinned.
This year is also a good year as the rains came at the right time.
Johnson said he enjoys his trips to the berry patch. "Of course, I enjoy the berries, and it's good for me to get out and walk in the woods. I need to do more walking," he said.
Johnson said there are enough berries around for all of Neosho, "…if only they would come and get them," he said.
Asked why people no longer pick berries as they once did, Johnson says he believes they are afraid of the ticks, bugs and snakes. "I have picked for 30 years and have seen a total of four snakes, and ticks don't seem to like me," he said.
Maybe ticks don't like Don Johnson, but his wife and mother-in-law do, and so for that reason alone, he is this week's good neighbor.