Sunday, July 7, 2013

Berries, Berries, and More Berries

The time has arrived, and things are crazy in the Berry Patch. Every single day raspberries need to be picked. Thankfully the currants seem to ripen all at once, although the three bushes next to the Vegetable Garden ripened before the three in the Berry Patch. Now I need to focus on moving bulbs out of the center area and get all of the new strawberry plants in the ground, as well as make room for the lone gooseberry that still needs to be planted. So much to do! 

Thankfully it's only July!

The Red Lake currants ripened fatter and were much more plentiful than ever before.


And the golden raspberries have never produced more than a handful of berries. Now it's a little over a handful a day for the past week or so. Still not a huge amount, but a great amount for a little backyard Berry Patch!


The 'Cumberland' black raspberries, planted years and years ago, have rebounded this year after a rather poor harvest last summer due to the drought. The berries are big and juicy!

The red raspberries are still a bit slow to produce. 'Heritage' is the first to ripen, and either myself or Junior tend to eat what we pick instantly. Maybe next year we will have an actual harvest.


One day's worth of berries. The currants are off of two of the six bushes. 


I ate these while I was picking the currants off their stems.

These were frozen and added to the others already in their freezer bags.
Ruby red and plump!


The berries form on stems called racemes, and usually hold 3 to 10 berries.

Once removed from the racemes, they are spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and frozen. 


After they are frozen solid, into freezer bags they go! Now they are ready to be used all year in jelly or tarts or maybe to muddle with sugar in a vodka soda.

Next up? The gooseberries...