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The Humble Raspberry

08.06.11

I had to add a ‘category’ for raspberries, as apparently, after 600+ posts, I’ve never written about them. That’s odd.

Yesterday was a bit of raspberry hell. I had agreed to pick a raspberry patch. Sweet. It was going to yield a lot. Great. I could use lots of raspberries as my kids love it. But what I didn’t know is that it takes about 1 hr to pick a 4L pail of berries, and this patch had been yielding roughly 7 4L pails every few days. That’s a whopping 7 hours + of raspberry picking. Not fun. I picked about 25 lbs – imagine a 5 gal pail full or so – and had to call it quits. I proceeded to enjoy much beer.

What many hours in a berry patch allowed me to consider was the productivity of such a small area – maybe 40′ long by 10′ wide, for a ball-park. Raspberries do not fruit once, give you a pile of fruit, and stop. They are relentless. I picked my first round in the morning, and swear by the evening pick some of the spots I had already tackled had new ripe berries. Every few days for many weeks, they crank out the produce. This past week, that patch has produced about 50L of fruit. That’s a lot of fruit. Think 50 quart jars full of berries. Every week. As far as yard fruit goes in the non-tree realm, they’ve got to be up there for most productive.

So cold-hardy, high yielding, self propagating, perennial, relatively compact, tasty, widely appreciated fruit. That list should result in some kind of ribbon award. Maybe a red ribbon.

I will never, ever, ever, never, never sign up for a full day of raspberry picking again. Ever.

11 Responses

  1. I will!
    Oh, probably not – but have in my youth – many times – and I know how you feel… but look at the berries you got!
    Then you start to understand why they are so expensive in the stores, too.
    And there are so many different kinds around here… and flavours, really. And you ARE right. I pick at 6 am and at 6 pm there are berries that were not ripe in the morning that are really ready 12 hours later – it all depends upon the sun. It seems everything does. Sure hope we get some of those for our Canning day! YUM!
    GOOD JOB!
    :)
    V

  2. Those do look like a smaller varietal. The Bourne is my favourite as it is mammoth and yummy!
    :)
    V

  3. I’ve done a few days of berry picking and it can be grueling. An hour or two, though and you are in good shape to jam or freeze. We have a small and young patch and I have been surprised at how many berries crop up every few days. They are a lovely winter treat.

  4. CourtJ says:

    My raspberry patch is a lot smaller, so I still love the huge yeild for weeks. I’m hoping to do sorbet with them this year because my little one refuses berries, but loves ice cream, so I am hoping to fool her :-) I’m sure you will make tons of good stuff with them.

  5. Judy Z says:

    Oh but they are so good!!!!. I would agree that I would not necessarily want to pick for seven hours straight. An hour a day after work is more my style which requires that the patch be in your own back yard and not as big as the one you described. The secret for a patch like that is to have a big family and get everyone in on the picking or recruit friends to help with the promise of beer or supper or a share of the berries.

  6. Greg says:

    It’s definitely a raspberry year in this province / area too. We picked for a bit this evening and will be hitting two big patches again tomorrow. Gotta get while the gettin’s good…

  7. Sherri says:

    Oh my word, I nearly spewed my tea! I am in the EXACT same position just having received a call that “The Patch” is ready ONCE AGAIN for picking. I’ve been picking every 2-3 days for what seems like weeks and it takes FOREVER each time, but heck, the fruit is so versatile, I can’t pass it up. Especially when it’s free. I’m totally DONE with jamming it, and have plans to freeze it all the rest of it for winter pottering in the kitchen. Off I go tomorrow to the berry patch! :)

  8. Evelyn says:

    Like others, I just pick for small amounts of time in my own patch. My berries tend to break up into bits, so I usually just make a bit of jam (10 jars or so), and freeze the rest for smoothies and in oatmeal. It’s an easy way to process all of it quickly. Has anyone tried dehydrating them? Is there anything left after the water is gone?

  9. Barry says:

    Looks like you should make some raspberry wine, cider, mead, etc etc… :-)

  10. I got some wild raspberries from the pasture across the road (unused) and stretched with a few store bought apples, was able to make several jars of jam. Yum. :) Apples (or crabapples, if you have access to them) make a marvellous ‘jam stretcher’!

  11. Jealous and sad I missed it! I will still be up for a day’s picking, if you ever want to invite me ;) I am so subtle.
    I am amazed that my small patch has handfuls for the kids daily! The key to planting a patch is to make it long and narrow, so you can reach all the berries in. Patches that are 4-5 bushes thick become inpenetrable, literally.
    Make jam! Nothing is better than homemade raspberry jam!

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