1 The best time to pick berries is early morning or evening, when fruits are not too warm.
2 In April, the raspberry patch, located on one side of my main greenhouse, was quite bare. The upright posts are made of granite and they have heavy gauge copper wire laced through them to support the berry bushes.
3 Pruning berry bushes when they're dormant is crucial. Pruning produces more and larger berries. It also helps to control diseases in the patch.
4 And, now - just a little more than two months later - the bushes are lush and full of delicious berries.
5 I have several rows of raspberries and grow black, red and golden raspberries in my patch.
6 My housekeepers, Laura Acuna and Sanu Sherpa, are picking some of the ripe berries. Summer-bearing raspberry bushes produce one crop each season. The fruits typically start ripening in late June into July with a crop that lasts about one month.
7 Botanically, the raspberry is a shrub belonging to the Rosaceae family, in the genus Rubus.
8 There are more than 200-species of raspberries. In the United States, about 90-percent of all raspberries sold come from the states of Washington, California and Oregon.
9 The raspberry is made up of small "drupe" fruits which are arranged in a circular fashion around a hollow central cavity. Each drupelet features a juicy pulp with a single seed.
10 Raspberries need full sun for the best berry production. They should be planted in rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil
that has been generously supplemented with compost and well rotted manure, which I call "black gold".
11 Once raspberries are picked, they stop ripening, so under-ripe berries that are harvested will never mature to the maximum sweetness. Only ripe raspberries will come right off the stem.
12 The taste of raspberries varies by cultivar, and ranges from sweet to acidic. They are great for use in pies and tarts, and other desserts. They can also be used in cereals, ice-creams, juices and herbal teas.
13 'Bristol' black raspberries are delicious. This all-purpose fruit is firm, sweet and full of flavor. It tastes great eaten fresh off the stem or made into preserves.
14 One plant can produce several hundred berries per season.
15 The berries will ripen gradually throughout the season, so it's important to check the crop every few days. Overripe berries will be mushy when harvested.
16 Ripe raspberries are rich in color, whether they are red, golden or black. The entire berry should be consistently colored also, and full in shape before picking.
17 This black raspberry plant is a high producing early variety whose upright growth makes it easy for picking.
18 Raspberries are low in calories and fats, but very high in dietary fiber and antioxidants.
19 Raspberries contain vitamins A and E, and are also rich in minerals, such as potassium, manganese, copper, iron and magnesium.
20 Fresh raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin-C. 100-grams of berries provides nearly 50-percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin-C. Consuming adequate amounts supports the immune system and helps fight infections.
21 Laura is very excited about this year's crop. Drop berries into a shallow bucket or basket. It’s okay to fill the container, but don’t pack them in or press them down. And, then keep them in the shade until they go into the fridge.
22 Look for berries with firm plumpness. Some of our red raspberries were also ready to pick.
23 It takes about two to three years for a new red raspberry plant to produce a significant crop of fruit.
24 Red raspberries must be picked and handled very carefully, and checked for insects and rot. This berry is perfect.
25 Raspberries are unique because their roots and crowns are perennial, while their stems or canes are biennial. A raspberry bush can produce fruit for many years.
27 It's hard to resist eating them right after picking but I can't wait to use these berries to make jams and desserts.
28 The berries are medium-size, tart, juicy, rose-red raspberries with small seeds - and so delicious.
29 My golden raspberries are not yet ready for picking, but when they are, there will be an abundance of golden fruit.
30 These berries need more time to mature.
31 Look how many trays of raspberries - I always place them in single layers on cookie sheets to prevent them from getting crushed.
32 To store raspberries, keep them uncovered in the refrigerator - and, don't rinse raspberries until shortly before eating or using. Over the weekend, I also got a tray of bright red currants.
33 To save berries for use at another time, freeze them - lay them out onto flat trays and freeze until solid. Here, Sanu is moving the trays from the refrigerator to the freezer.
34 Once frozen, transfer them to plastic bags or containers for easy storing.