Monday, August 8, 2011


As we prepared to leave the farm for a few days on Friday, July 22, I could see that over the weekend the cherries and raspberries would ripen. Grandson Jack helped me swath the little pie cherry tree in netting to protect the fruit from the birds. I also tried to protect the raspberries, but I couldn’t see that the birds were very interested in them.

So, all the following week – July 25-31, I picked both cherries and raspberries every day. The little cherry tree is quite young (planted in the spring of 2010), so I was delighted that this year’s yield was enough for a pie. Each day I cleaned and pitted the cherries, then added them to a freezer box. The last picking was Wednesday, August 3 – just the remaining few cherries – and I tallied 7 cups. The birds didn’t bother the cherries badly. Perhaps I picked them a bit on the under-ripe side.

Now the raspberries were wonderful. I picked about two cups a day and some of the berries were huge and beautiful. In past seasons, I’ve picked about half a cup a day during the peak. Last fall, Hallie helped me prune the bushes and at her encouragement I added some fertilizer this spring. I also think the brambles liked the cool, wet spring.

Each day I gently washed my picked raspberries and dried them on a towel. Then I spread them on a cookie sheets in a single layer and put them on the “quick freeze” shelf for an hour. Then I measured two or three cups into bags for the freezer, eventually accumulating seven bags. And of course, that doesn’t count what we (especially I) devoured. Mike says he doesn’t care for the seeds, so we’ll have to see how we use them -- perhaps a sauce or pie filling. The patch is still yielding up a few berries.

In the raised bed, I’m picking zucchini and yellow squash. In the tires, I have saucer squash, carrots, and acorn squash. Frankly, I’m not hopeful they will bear due to late planting, but they look pretty anyway. 

And the iris bed was so packed I just had to dig them this year. Iris anyone? These are the kind you see on country roads rather than the kind you see in catalogs with big, fancy heads. And it’s hot by 10:00 a.m. now, so I’m not really enjoying that work, but it has to be done. I’m finding I have more work to do in the cool of the morning than I can accomplish. Oh well -- we complained when it was cold. KW


Chris said...

Wow, your sincere little cherry tree is doing great!! Give it a "well done" from Aunt Chris. :-)

Mmmm, do I miss having raspberries! Somehow we've never gotten around to planting any here. Maybe next year.

Hallie said...

I am SO proud of the fruit. GOOOOO FRUIT! It feels so good to see that our efforts improved the crop. I don't think it was just the cool spring--I really think it was the pruning and fertilizing. Science SAYS it was the pruning and fertilizing.

I bought some strawberries at the store and enjoyed delicious vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries and granola this morning. It's like dessert for breakfast.

In other great news, the Safeway near my house that was leveled last fall for renovation is having its grand opening this weekend. The stars and planets are aligning. YAY!

Kathy said...

Yes, I am very proud of my little crop of fruit. Today's picking of raspberries was lackluster, however. I guess it's over. It was a good run while it lasted.

Berries are very good for you -- all of them. So enjoy your dessert for breakfast.

Ooooo! a Grand Opening! I wish I could go.

drMolly, the BeanQueen said...

Oh I envy you cherries - my tree only had 4 fruits (that's right 4!) this year. The rain & cold just came at the wrong time here.

Now, if one does not like seeds in raspberries I have a solution. I don't mind them & neither does my hubby, but when I have had LOTS of fruit in the past I have run the berries through my "Squeezo Strainer" and made fruit pulp without seeds. I make seedless jam from this and one can "cut it" with water and make a lovely beverage or add it to lemonade.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the tip, Dr. M. Squeezo Strainer? Is that a brand name? I saw a strainer in the canning department of a hardware store yesterday, but they wanted $35 for it -- seemed a little steep. And I have a food foley -- maybe that would work.

I'm just a little protective of my raspberry crop yet. I certainly don't want to do something that might ruin a couple of cups of berries.

My mother made "raspberry shrub" and froze the juice. Our Christmas Eve punch was made from the juice. Hmmmm. I hadn't thought of doing it for myself. I have her recipe . . .

Leah said...

Well done little cherry tree! Growing your own food satisfies like nothing else. There is no comparison to eating fruit/produce seconds after picking. No farmer's market can top that.

Talk of raspberry seeds reminds me of my grandmother's mulberry pies. In Missouri, mulberries are prolific. One drawback is the just comes with the berry. If you try to pick a mulberry and pinch off at the stem, well, it isn't a pretty sight. Mulberries are very soft delicate little things. So my grandmother made mulberry pies and the stems were still attached.