The strawberries are just about over. After a frantic month of picking every other day, we have about sixty pounds in the freezer, oh joy!
But yesterday's picking only yielded about three pints of strawberries, just enough for fresh eating. However now the raspberries are ripe.
As with the strawberries, I spent years fussing over the raspberries and not getting anywhere. I looked at other peoples' raspberry beds with wonder and envy. The funny thing about raspberries is they're almost literally weeds. They will send out runners and propagate all over the place if allowed. They grow wild (thought admittedly not very productive) at the drop of a hat. Yet getting them established in the garden was more challenging than I thought. What ended up working was raised beds and deer protection. And now, oh my goodness, our raspberries are exploding.
The branches were so heavy with fruit they were leaning over, and we despaired of picking everything.
We managed about an hour's solid picking before the hot sun drove us back inside.
We weren't the only ones picking fruit.
After an hour, we came away with about two gallons of raspberries. (We opted to user more bowls rather than filling fewer bowls to capacity so the berries wouldn't get crushed.)
Once they were picked over, these filled four cookie sheets to capacity.
I put the cookie sheets into the freezer. Once the berries are frozen, I'll bag them up and store them frozen. I've made raspberry jam in the past, but the truth is none of us are big jam-eaters, so I prefer to keep the raspberries frozen. That way I can use them in a variety of desserts instead.
This was just the first pick. The way it's looking, we might end up with fifteen or twenty gallons of raspberries in the freezer. God bless summer's bounty!