Monday, July 23, 2012

Raspberry riches

We got a phone call a couple days ago from a dear and elderly lady who lives a short distance away. This woman has a green thumb that is the envy of the neighborhood. She is blessed with a raspberry patch that's simply enormous, far too many berries for her to use, so every year she invites people to come help themselves.

She practically begged me to pick some berries, as they were ripe and she was falling behind in picking them. We were slammed with work at home, but found a spare hour. So armed with buckets, Younger Daughter and I spent that hour picking.

These vines were huge, and often stretched well over our heads.

It's easy to see why commercial raspberries are so expensive. They're a fragile fruit, and must be individually hand-picked. It would be a tough job if I were doing this for a living.

But there is something so irresistibly beautiful about a cluster of ripe berries.

Between us, we picked about a gallon of berries in an hour.

I picked through and sorted everything out.

We just put these in the fridge for fresh eating. Raspberries and cream, yum!

The next evening both girls and I went to pick berries, along with a neighbor and her adult daughter.

This photo turned out wrong -- the camera focused on the fencing rather than the people -- but in a weird artistic sense I thought it was kinda neat.

While we picked, two half-grown kittens romped and played. They were great entertainment to watch.

Anyway, we ended up with fewer raspberries this time, because we had more people picking and also because Younger Daughter and I did a fairly good job picking them over the day before. Nonetheless we got about five pints of cleaned berries, which I froze rather than making jam.

We'll pick more berries next week after I get back from Portland. Fresh frozen berries will be a wonderful treat during the winter.


  1. Wonderful pictures!!! Reminds me of my late mother-in-law's raspberry bushes in her back yard.

    the North Country
    (that's what they call this part of NY and I like the description!)...formerly of Germany

  2. Two jobs ago, I had access to a huge blackberry patch-nothin' like fresh berries>

  3. MMMmmm. I think that I drooled on my keyboard. Ha Ha

    Miss the berry patches back home in Ohio. Berries and a bowl. What else do you need?

    Have a most blessed day.

  4. What a wonderful friend to have, the berries are beautiful

  5. Patrice,

    Raspberries are just fabulous. I remember this wild raspberry patch across the dirt road from my Grandma's house. We would go over there and pick.
    One night while in Grandma's livingroom we kept seeing these two small circles move up and down in the raspberry bushes (it was dark). We shined a flash light over and realized it was a bear enjoying our wild raspberries. He eyes were shining bright because of the full moon. From that point on as a kid, I realized we had bear all around our Grandma's house and we needed to be careful.


  6. I read in you previous post how you cut blueberry branches and how they grew. I was wondering if you could do that with raspberries?

    1. I don't see why not -- give it a try.

      Though I should add that raspberries are like weeds -- they'll propagate vegetatively very quickly.

      - Patrice

  7. i have my own raspberry patch-and count myself lucky that it is productive. store bought berries are just not in our budget ever. freezing the berries is what we do can always eat them as they are, use for garnishing, or make jam and jelly later on when the kitchen does not get so hot with cooking and canning. i have lots of other berries growing on my homestead, but the raspberry is the crown jewel of all berries (in my humble opinion). :)

  8. Oh, those berrys look so good! What a wonderful neighbor to have. I'd love to put in raspberries next. This year our blackberries we a bit skimpy with the heat but oh so good. I picked the last tonight

  9. That is fantastic. Congratulations and have a great week!

  10. I remember a trip to Everett, WA to visit my brother and his family. Everett is a north suburb of Seattle and is all "city." He lived in an apartment within sight of the giant Boeing factory. Getting into town in the afternoon we checked in at the hotel and headed to my brother's for dinner. We called and said we were stopping at a store, could we could bring anything. They suggested vanilla ice cream. When we arrived my brother wasn't home. His wife explained that he had gone to get some blackberries. Incredulous, we said, "Why didn't you say something, we were just AT the store." Before she could explain my brother walked in with a bucket and scratches on both arms. Light dawned. Having spent three decades in the desert, where you can barely get things to grow ON PURPOSE, being able to walk to a nearby vacant lot IN THE CITY and pick blackberries from wild bushes was completely alien in our experience.

    Jeff - Tucson

  11. Patrice,
    Glad you were able to pick all those yummy raspberries! I have a suggestion for the freezing (next time). We take the berries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc. that we are going to freeze and put them on wax paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheets. We put them in a single layer on the trays and put the trays in the freezer. Then, the next do or so, we take out the trays and put the now frozen berries into ziplock bags and back into the freezer they go. No more clumped up masses of berries! You can actually take out what you need to make smoothies or pancakes, etc. and put the rest back. Just a thought from the Paintedmoose.

    1. you are right on with the freezing trays for the berries..i do this with other fruits and veggies as well..

    2. Oops, that should be, "Then, the next day or so,...." I guess I should do a better job of proofreading.