Wednesday, August 3, 2011

berries in the garden

 The red currents are ready to harvest in my garden, I'll make jelly with both the red and black currents. 
A yearly ritual on our farm is to make some black current juice at harvest time, it's a delicacy that only happens once a year, and is a highly nutritious energy drink.
We are in our abundant time of harvest, so many berries are ripening and need to be picked and processed.
Hinnomaki Red gooseberry bush, ready to harvest, I have 3 varieties of gooseberry, and love the taste of them all.  The skin is tart and the inside sweet. We're still getting a smallish harvest and may just eat out of hand this year. They are delicious cut up in salads too.

Above is an Autumn Brilliance service berry, there won't be enough berries this year to do very much with, so I'll most likely use them in a small pint of juice.

I have 2 different types of strawberry bushes, Benton is a June bearing strawberry, that starts getting ripe around mid July.  With Benton, we have have 3 to 4 weeks of strawberry abundance, not a day goes by that we're not out there picking.   The other variety I have is Tri-Star, an everberring type, that will go on after the July harvest, and then produce the rest of the way through summer and Fall and to the first frost.

We have many bushes of raspberries that I've been spreading throughout the garden over the years.  They are finally getting big enough for a great harvest.  The blueberries won't be ripe until the end of the month, we're higher up than the valley, so most things ripen two or three weeks later.  We usually have blueberries in late August, September and October. We have 15 blueberry bushes, 9 of the bushes are very old, that I  have spent 5 years bringing back into good production.  Some are early, mid and late blueberries, so we have them all the way to the first frost.
I'm also growing a few other berries, Aronia, Pinapple strawberry, and several more varieties of gooseberries and service berry bushes.  I took cuttings in the Spring, and will multiply the berry bushes through propagation, that way we'll have more plants to get a good harvest from each berry variety. 

Berry bushes take a couple years to get into great production, but they will still produce a little even the first year, more the second year, and the third year on you will have a good harvest.  They should be one of the first fruits planted on a new homestead.  Be sure to add some compost every year, and  protect them from the deer, and you will have years of fresh organic fruit to eat, can and freeze.

2 comments:

bluetick said...

Julie,

Your berries look great...must be all that rain you get! My blue berries and raspberries died so we have to re-plant them but this time they are going closer to a water source.

Your pictures are so clear it looks like you could reach through the computer and pick them. I love picking berries...my kids, however growing up hated that job. They are the first ones now looking for jam handouts when its berry season.

Have fun picking!
Tracy

Shonya said...

Beautiful--I guess I'll wipe away the drool now! :) http://homestead-for-sale.blogspot.com/