Friday, July 4, 2008

Moist, cool berries

I harvested about a cup of raspberries today. I got about a cup on the first of July, also, with only a handful earlier than that. There is probably another pint or so still ripening. Which is odd: these are June-bearing raspberries. In 2006, I harvested two cups on the twentieth of June; in 2007 we had a late frost and our total crop for the year was about a cup - almost all harvested by the seventeenth of June.

I suppose that's what happens when it rains so much (my state broke a record for most precipitation in the first six months of a year). Lack of sunlight, perhaps? Lack of high temperatures, maybe, too: to date, we haven't had a single high above 89ºF.

There is a lot of new growth in the bramble patches, however. Our plants bear on two-year-old canes, so next year (if we don't have a last frost, or a drought) might be a repeat of the bumper crop in 2006: I think we harvested over a gallon of berries.

What a blessing the previous owner gave us when they planted the original raspberry plants here. I doubt they knew these plants would establish so well and produce so abundantly with so little care.

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