After making it through the hot months of July and August, it is always a relief to have the cooler nights and lower humidity of September. The sun is still brilliant, everything is growing, and we feel renewed in spirit! Good thing, because there is a lot of harvesting still to do.
Our fall raspberries are one of the great delights of the season. These plants keep giving us berries until there is a hard freeze, shrugging off the frosts as no big deal. That means raspberries are here to enchant our taste buds until…. Last year it was December 2! Yes, the weather is unpredictable. Might be October 20 this year. Unlikely, but we never know.
We grow several different types and colors of raspberries—black, red, and amber. Each has its own unique flavor and sweetness. The berries start green, then turn red and stay red, or red then black, or turn light yellow then golden amber. Since I feel compelled to taste each, I can tell you that they are all delicious.
Just to make it a little confusing, some varieties produce only in the spring, some only in the fall, and some have crops in both the spring and the fall. We grow all three types!
5 Fun facts about raspberries…
- The name “raspberry” comes from the French “raspise,” around 1450, meaning “a sweet rose-colored wine,” or Old English “rough berry,” or a combination of the two.
- Raspberries are not berries, but drupelets that grow around a core. I still call them berries.
- Raspberries are in the rose family (definitely similar thorns!).
- Raspberries were part of the cave dwellers’ diet. Scientists think raspberries came from Asia via the Bering Strait to North America about 2,000 years ago.
- Raspberries are an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and E, plus manganese, folate, copper and potassium, phytochemicals and salicylic acid (precursor to aspirin). Hmmm…take raspberries for a headache?
Although we appreciate all the great health benefits of eating raspberries, we grow them for their fabulous flavor. While you can make raspberry pie, raspberry jam, raspberry syrup, or raspberry cookies, eating fresh raspberries is still my favorite way of consuming these delectable berries.
However long we have raspberries this year, we are grateful for each delicious berry. Cross your fingers that we have another month or two of raspberries to harvest!