[BUMP from 9/13. UPDATE: The berries are still rockin'! Over a quart a day from 60 feet of bushes.]
Berries grow best for me of anything, so I grow the most of them. I also think they're WAY tasty. So it's win-win. (Toms grow fine, too---lots of stuff does---but berries rock the best.) I like letting nature do the work.
[10/2 UPDATE: I bet that raspberries are one of the subtlest fruits. Thus they are probably at their LOWest quality when bought at a store or when trucked in from a non-local source. Why? It's because they are "just right" only for ONE DAY. If you pick them a day early or a day late, BLECH. A day early and they're not sweet, a day late and they're too soft and rotty. Then, after picking they only store well chilled for a couple days. Fragile! You want to pick them when they're dark red, but not too dark. A bold, bright, even strong red berry might tempt you to pick it---but leave it for one more day, or a few more hours, let it darken a shade more. Caution: any spot of mold or black on them---on even ONE kernel---means they're shot, dead, flavorless.]
[Half'n'half cream poured over room temperature berries seems to be the best way to bring out their flavor. When I eat them raw, like while picking, the flavor often doesn't come out very much. They need cream to draw them out. But every now and then, as I snack while picking, I hit a real stand-alone winner. Amazing.]
[I'm going to double my rows next year, via transplanting. This will create a commercial size patch that the kids can pick and sell. I wonder what such a high grade of fruit can sell for? People will become addicts!]
[The experts say to keep wild berries away from cultivars, due to viruses. My tame rows have wild ones on 3 sides. Hmmm. I do notice some variation in my tame plants/berries---they're not all great, especially as the season wears on. Blame it on the wild ones? But these same wild ones have been there for 15 years. Are they truly bad neighbors?]
[To store for some other (sub-optimal) use, spread berries on a tray and freeze for one hour then pour into a freezer bag and store. The pre-freeze prevents clumping. But limit un-bagged freezing to one hour to avoid imparting freezer-flavor.]
I tried a new pruning method this year for my everbearing seedless reds---just cut 'em all down in the spring. EB's have 2 crops a year but if you use the "mow down" method you only get one BIG crop in late summer. That's what I'm getting now. The method worked great. But I guess you risk a freeze cutting short the crop. These berries keep producing every day during this period. In the past they've lasted up to the freeze. We'll see how it plays this year. So far my crop has been ROCKIN'. I have three 20 foot rows and I've been getting a couple quarts a day.
It's been raining the past 2 days so today I wondered if there was a new ripe batch again. I thought maybe the sun helps them ripen and so maybe they wouldn't be ripe. Well, I went out in a raincoat and, dang, there was a ton of berries. I picked the most ever, due to skipping yesterday in part. I got a half gallon. It was fun picking in the warm rain. I mean, it feels like Portland or something around here. Then I went and worked for an hour on my gutters. In the rain. I haven't worked for hours in a raincoat in YEARS. Then I took a swim! That was cold, but it made the rain feel that much warmer. Then I did some exercises in the yard. We're not used to days of rain around here. It's a lush feel---gotta run with it.