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Monday, July 24, 2017

Berry Picking Report

Fresh gooseberries!
Last summer, I planted a whole row of berry bushes, partly to see what grew well, and mostly because I have a thing for berries. We already had a few raspberries in the yard, so I didn't need to add those. I put in red currants, black currants, elderberries, gooseberries, sand cherries, and blueberries. We got a few currants and raspberries last summer, but not much else. These bushes take some time to get established and start producing.

So far this summer, I noticed I planted most of them too close together. These bushes can get huge. I shall have to keep pruning them into small trees and short, wide bushes so they all fit in the space. The elderberry is supposed to become a small tree and so is the sand cherry, so they're okay. The others will need regular pruning to keep them smaller.

We have already harvested loads of raspberries. They are spreading like crazy. Some of the canes are eight feet tall. I have no idea what variety of raspberries these are, but they are mostly thornless with huge red berries that are delicious. It looks like they're producing all summer, too, so they're everbearing. They are also spreading under the fence into the neighbor's yard and he's not to happy about it, so we'll have to keep an eye on that situation. But I have seven pints of raspberry jam already tucked away in the pantry. RazBarb is one of my favorites - half raspberry and half rhubarb (which is gigantic!).

I picked the red currants last week. They made some tasty jelly. Only three pints, but the bush is small still. It was loaded.

The blueberry bushes are still really small. One of them has a few berries on it. I ate the two ripe ones last night. Absolutely delicious. I can't wait for more to get ripe. I'm not telling my kids or hubby about that bush. Those are MY berries.

I picked gooseberries this morning. They are so good. Not very many, so I think we're just going to eat these. Not quite enough for one small batch of jelly.

The black currants will be ripe in a week or two. I can't wait. They were my favorite last year. The bush isn't too loaded but I should have enough for some jelly.

The elderberries won't be ripe for a couple of months still. We have some nice clusters, hopefully enough to make more jelly. But we can always head to the mountains to pick wild elderberries to go with them.

This weekend we're hoping to get out to the mountains to pick huckleberries. I can't wait!

What's your favorite berry?