We got the first picking late last week. The second picking came yesterday. What a help it is to have my daughter here to help with the harvest. She picks the red raspberries while I cultivate and weed the vegetable garden. When she finishes she cleans the berries.
Weeding can seem like a passive activity to some, but, on the contrary, activity abounds. Birds sing and a few flies buzz around my head as the sun rises higher and hotter. Our mother cat purrs at my feet as she attempts to lie down in the very row I am cultivating. The humidity makes the temperature more oppressive as I work. The weeds are growing very well. I have worked hard this year to pull them. I find a good place to stop my work in the garden and go rest indoors to eat breakfast with my husband and daughter.
Berry bugs are not a big problem at this time of the harvest. At the end of the harvest we will need to be vigilant in ridding ourselves of the raspberry bugs. At this time we have only seen a few in the red raspberries as we clean them.
We have a black raspberry patch that is also ripening. They are a brambly bunch of plants. Even in the heat of the day, my daughter and I must wear long-sleeved shirts to protect ourselves from the thorns that seem to reach out for us as we pick berries. We took time to pick them today, too. Since the patch is small, we can not predict how many we will get. Yesterday we got 2 quarts of berries. That is enough for one batch of jam and lots of good sauce for shortcake. We have at least the same amount of berries still on the bushes for another batch of jam and maybe a pie.
Last year we planted a new small patch of yellow raspberries. The plants look healthy and have some berries ripening for us. We can only get a couple of handfuls this year. But it will be a treat to taste them. Maybe next year will give us enough to preserve or share.
photo credit: Wenda Grabau
photo credit: Bretta Grabau