Do you ever have that problem, where the raspberries are ripening too fast to eat them all? It won’t last more than a few days more, but for now, we’re picking about a quart/day. I love raspberries. Definitely my favorite fruit. But I can’t eat more than a quart/day of them.
Now, the kids are definitely helping. Two years ago, we would lose our eldest daughter in the garden, only to find her through the shaking of the raspberry canes. She was only a year and a half at the time and she would climb between the vines and the wall of the house to pick all the low berries we adults couldn’t reach. Our youngest daughter is a year and a half now, and apparently this picking style is genetic. “Oh my god, where did she go?! Oh never mind, she’s behind the raspberries.”
I suppose we will freeze the extra. After all, frozen raspberries can go into smoothies, pancakes, and jam. I do adore raspberry jam. But there is nothing in this world like the fresh fruit itself, warmed by the sun and straight off the vine. So this weekend I eat raspberries in my cereal for breakfast, raspberries with yogurt in the afternoon, raspberries with leftover cake and ice cream for dessert, and perhaps another pint or so eaten out of hand as we pick or move about the house. For one week each year, I will gorge myself on raspberries, trying to sate myself for the 10 long months between the last fall raspberries in August and the first ones next June.
We grow many different kinds of raspberries at Paper Crane, chosen to ripen over a longer growing season. The summer bearing Prelude is the first to hit the table, but it’s only a few days ahead of Bristol. Bristol, one of the black raspberries, is our heavy hitter, accounting for the majority of our berries. It’s during Bristol’s peak weekend that we start to fall behind. If you’re thinking of branching out to raspberries, we have also planted Killarney, Jewel, Nova, Mac Black, Royalty, Anne, and Caroline. Anne and Caroline are fall bearing, meaning we get their fruit out of season, but we don’t get a lot of it. Jewel and Royalty are new plantings this year, so we’re not sure yet of what we’ve got with them. The Nova seems to produce a fair number of fruits, but not of as high quality as the Prelude. Killarney appears to be a complete waste of space. I suppose we should rip it out and replace it, but I hate doing that.
Mac Black is another one we would recommend though. It’s a black raspberry like Bristol, although not quite as sweet, juicy, or productive. I know, not a ringing endorsement. However, it sets more fruit than any of our red raspberries and is roughly two weeks behind Bristol. Mac Black is the only raspberry we will have for roughly two weeks this summer. Totally worth it.
Do you grow raspberries? Do you have favorite varieties? Or better yet, a favorite recipe? Given our current raspberry deluge, I’m particularly interested in hearing about your favorite recipes.