Berries and more Berries

It’s July, hot, humid, and it’s raspberry season here in New England. We’ve grown raspberries since we moved here in 2006, and we are experiencing a bumper crop this year.

We are picking two to three pints a day. We’ve put almost ten pounds in the freezer already. Raspberries in the freezer mean raspberry pie all winter long.

Raspberries are easy keepers. Plant, add a simple trellis system, prune the branches that fruited after the season ends, and start again next year.

Our row of plants is only about 12′ long, but it continues to keep us in fresh raspberries year after year.

Raspberries produce runners. I replant them within the confines of the row or pot them up and offer them to friends or fellow gardeners.

We’ve tried blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, Concord grapes, and kiwi. Raspberries are by far the easiest to grow, and a big plus is that deer, birds, chipmunks, and squirrels leave them alone.

The hoops in the photo are holding up netting to cover four small low bush blueberries. The birds pick them clean if I don’t cover them.

I have a long history picking berries. When I spent my summers on my grandparents’ farm up north, my grandpa and I would go berry picking several times a summer for raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

He knew all the farmers and the fields we could pick in. I’d wear a long sleeve shirt and overalls with a metal pail tied around my waist with a piece of rope. Glamorous visual, huh? But, those are great memories not only for spending time with my grandparents but also for the great berry eating. Let’s face it, if you are asked to wade chest high into thorny berry bushes the least that can happen is that you pick two for the bucket and one for yourself. Let’s just say, I was never too hungry when we got home. 🙂

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About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
This entry was posted in Gardening and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Berries and more Berries

  1. Joyce says:

    What a great harvest for you that will last all year long when you count the pies! I liked your memory of picking berries with grandpa. My maternal grandparents lived behind us and their yard was like a mini farm. Gooseberries, strawberries, and raspberries! – we’d just stroll over and eat whatever we wanted straight from the bushes. We didn’t even need those little roped on pails!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Murphy's Law says:

    I spent summers at my grandparents too. Grandma would take me berry picking for strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and currants. Our baskets were full, but my stomach was fuller!!

    Didn’t have a pail tied to me, but I was dressed like an Eskimo and had to wear gloves too big for my hands. 😜

    Those were good days, and oh boy, the pies! And bowls of ice cream smothered in fresh fruit.

    Considering what raspberries cost in the market, you should probably take out an insurance policy on your freezer!! Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your raspberries look yummy, but your berry-picking story is tempered by the memory of a day gathering wild blueberries that resulted in the worst case of chiggers EVER.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I knew there was a reason I wanted to live next door to you! Such beautiful berries!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dan Antion says:

    Those look wonderful, Judy. I remember picking raspberries at the house we moved to when I was 10. We had tons of them in the woods behind our house. I picked them every year for a few years, until I got poison ivy. After that, I only picked the ones I could reach from the end.

    So do you have to keep the blueberries covered the entire time?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poison ivy – now there is a topic I don’t hope to revisit. I am extremely allergic and it hits me hard. I avoid it at all costs. This is the first year, I’ve covered the blueberries, but I wasn’t going to let the birds have them again. I sunk some rebar in the ground, put the pvc pipes over, and stretched the netting over it all, security it with spring clamps. I only put it up when the berries started to turn. They are not ripe yet, but they’re getting there. There’s not a lot of them, but I’m planning to enjoy each and every one. Then, I’ll just take the hoops and rebar out and store them for next year. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wonderful, Judy! We love raspberries but don’t have any of our own. The ones at the farmer’s market are rather expensive, but I splurged Saturday on two heaping pints, which are almost gone now. When they’re on sale at the stores and look good, I get some to freeze, too. Perhaps when we have a house of our own again, berries might figure in the picture. In previous years, we’ve picked blueberries while I was in France but this year, although I was in time for strawberries, they’d been decimated by freezing, so no berries. 😦

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  7. pastpeter says:

    Raspberries are a favorite! Over the years in MA and NY we grew raspberries, strawberries, currants, gooseberries… Fruit picking is in our genes too – Marian grew up in the prime strawberry region in the U.K.; her mother’s yard had hundreds of feet of plants. As a high schooler I picked apples and plums at a nearby orchard as a summer job! Good Memories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, you do have a connection to fruit picking. My grandfather rented a field where he grew rows and rows of strawberries, I hulled them, and my grandmother put them up in their very large freezer. I grew strawberries for a couple of years here and did pretty good, but then the squirrel/chipmunk population exploded and they ate them all. Great summer job picking fruit, and I bet it served a purpose by showing you what you didn’t want to do the rest of your life. Hope you are getting some fresh berries down there in NY. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Almost Iowa says:

    I have enjoyed reading Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle for years. She write on economics, business, politics and food – but this one has got to be her best. See The Parable of the Purple Raspberry Pie

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am drooling! I love berries, especially blueberries. Especially blueberry pie.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nadezda says:

    Your raspberries look yummy Judy! They does not grow well on my garden soil but I have a bit of them for eating, my favorite is ice cream with raspberry. I liked reading your story of summer berry picking, as we say here: one to a bucket and one to a mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am SO jealous. I love raspberries. They are so expensive in the grocery i look at them, but never buy them. I guess I’ll have to keep eating watermelon. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. joey says:

    Nice! 😀 My raspberries are yielding quite a bit this year, too. Perhaps the most, hard to say. I prefer the blackberries, but don’t tell the raspberries. 😉 I do not, have never pruned back my fruited branches! I may have taken them for granted? I will now and see if I get a bumper crop as well!
    I want to try blueberries, but I think I need a new bed, or a good hole… I haven’t looked into it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, lets talk berries. 🙂 I like blackberries too, and have a friend who usually gives me a bucket full each summer. The raspberry canes that fruit turn kind of dark brown. If you cut those canes down to the ground sometime after the growing season, it thins them out a little and you are left with fruiting canes for next year. There are low bush and high bush blueberries depending upon your space. The high bush once they reach full height usually bear more fruit and are a little easier to pick. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful berries – and thank you for the growing tips. You seem to have figured it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. OMG your berries look mouth-watering! 🙂
    When the boys were little we had 3 raspberry plants in the backyard behind our garage and then an entire big field to go berry picking in up on a hill that was later destroyed for a stupid mall 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Those look yummy!
    When my Mom lived here she had a wild blackberry bush growing next to the creek next to her house. We’d pick berries, and eat berries by the big bowls full. I miss those!

    Raspberry pie in the Winter sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Eliza Waters says:

    10#! wow, impressive from a 12′ row. Ours are doing well this year, too. We thinned them earlier, so perhaps that is why. I adore raspberry pie, but ours get eaten so fast, they rarely make it to the freezer.
    Your tales of berry-picking mirror mine, esp. the bucket tied on with a belt. Ah, the good ol’ days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  17. germac4 says:

    Your raspberries look wonderful … I love your memory of picking berries with your grandparents .& yes you would probably be reported for sending a child into a thorny bush these days! .. I remember picking blackberries for an elderly neighbour & then eating her lovely blackberry pie .. Oh the joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Ah! Picking berries! Do many memories. My grandparents had a bush in their yard. No trellising. Just a big wild bush at the end of a fence. But my favourite berry memory has to be when my youngest son took his first step reaching for a high bush blueberry. Thanks for sending me back there.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Dawn says:

    Mmmmm! Your raspberries look so delicious, Judy! They are filled with such sweet memories, too! I love to put a dark chocolate chip into each raspberry and arrange them on a pretty plate for parties. So simple… and always a big hit at summer gatherings!
    Wishing you a wonderful week! ♡

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Raspberries my absolute favorite! a customer brought me a few plants from one her grandfather brought over from Germany. Along with pesto, I would choose to have a freezer full of raspberries!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oddment says:

    I know we’ve touched on this before, but it bears repeating that a garden grows memories, and it’s lovely to read yours and those of your blog friends. Your garden looks amazing, as do those ruby raspberries. And thanks for the laugh — I hooted when I got to your crack about calling child welfare.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Those look so delicious! Glad that you are getting a bumper crop this year. I remember going berry picking in the field / woods when the kids were young for black raspberries and then we had a few red raspberry bushes in the back. The kids picked them clean each day, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Rose says:

    I grew up picking blackberries from all over creation where I grew up in Tennessee…in pastures around home. I don’t care a thing about eating them, unless they are in a pie, or for their jelly, but I love picking blackberries better than about anything on earth. Blackberries are my favorite, but raspberries is right there. Then I worked 19 years at an apple orchard, and I LOVED picking apples, plus we had strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries for a few seasons. What a life! I think it almost is something from deep inside, preparing for the winter to come. all I know is a got a deep satisfaction from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. KerryCan says:

    I have to laugh–we planted two raspberry bushes last year–we got them on deep discount at a big-box hardware store. And so far we have harvested 3 berries! I am inordinately proud of us! I have no idea what I’m doing–are the bushes going to take over?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We’ve always kept ours in a row which can be the length of your choice. The row works for us because we can pick from both sides. They do send out runners which you can transplant into your row, pot up, or just pitch. We picked three and a half pints this morning. 🙂 I’ll keep an eye on your posts to see how you are doing. Hope you enjoyed those three juicy, warm, berries. 🙂

      Like

  25. How lovely. I tried growing a blueberry bush but it hasn’t really thrived. That’s probably due to a lack of TLC.😀

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I have delicious memories of picking wild raspberries and blackberries all summer long as a child. I swear they were as big as my fingers were. And simply delicious. What an amazing amount you have already in your freezer!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Best pick of the summer, although I’m partial the blueberries I pamper in our backyard.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Tina Schell says:

    LOL Judy – not a raspberry lover but happy to OD on strawberries and blueberries. Loved the visual 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Nice memories and good information….

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Annie says:

    Blackberry picking, chiggars, snakes… memories of summer growing up. We ate blackberries in cobblers topped with hard sauce. I’ve never cooked with raspberries. Do you make pies, jelly?

    Liked by 1 person

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