A very special and delicious time of year - the first Berry crops are ripe for the picking in our home garden. This year with the warm weather we have three different fruits ripening at the same time. During the heat wave the vegetable garden was well watered although some plants were a little burnt. Highly recommend you plant a few berries in your own home garden.
The Juicy Blueberry - healthy & tasty
We usually bulk purchase chemical-free blueberries from our local farmer each summer. We have three mature bushes growing in our own garden as the plump berries are a family favourite. They are easy to freeze, can or juice and are so tasty when just picked fresh. They take very little care and for us the most time consuming task is the fruit picking! There is an abundance of fruit this year and its our Number One small berry at home so here's "How to Grow a Super Food Blueberry Bush"
Sweet Juicy Raspberrries are No. 2 Favourite
Commercial raspberries are also grown commercially where we live in the Fraser Valley, and again we enjoy the super taste of "just picked" berries. Raspberry canes do need a little pruning and a good mulch of compost but are a bountiful producer. These berries, if you have a surplus, also freeze very well and maintain their delicious taste. So find some garden space to have your own "Juicy Red Raspberries from Your Garden"
“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose
I would always greet it in a garden.”
Sweet Treat Strawberries
These super sweet berries have already provided us with an abundant first crop and as most of the strawberry plants are everbearing they keep producing until the snow flies! I like strawberry plants as they also produce baby "runners" (new plants) which normally fruit the following year. Highly recommended by our grandchildren! "How to Grow Your Own Strawberry Plants"
Strawberries are fun to grow and a good cash crop.
Most gardeners would agree with the remark
"Doubtless God could have made a better berry
but doubtless God didn't"
- John Seymour "The Self Sufficient Gardener"
This & That - Tips
- It is not quite yet time for Wild Blackberries and due to lack of rain and our extended warm weather the fruit size and crop this summer might be questionable. Keep checking your picking area as they are excellent, either for freezing or canning. Again, unmatched taste when picked and eaten just off the bramble. "Why you Should be Wild about Blackberries"
A Few More Notes:
- All these fruits are very easy to grow, require minimal care and have produced well for us each season
- The garden soil has been heavily fertilized over the years with organic (home grown) compost
- In the Fall much of the garden also receives a mulch of leaves (chopped).
- No chemicals are used on the garden. Hint: Beer traps work very well for slugs
A most unusual Summer: We are fortunate that most of our gardens are not in full sun all day. During the recent heat wave some plants and fruit were scorched by the sun on our mid 40 celsius days. For example the tops of the tomato plants wilted and several of the non-native plants and even some of the green apples were literally burnt black or brown in part. I eventually placed a beach umbrella over one lot of tomato plants!
Hope these ideas have inspired you to try a little first hand gardening yourself. These berries are all healthy food choices for you and your family. All the best and Happy Gardening!
Cheers ~ Liz
Links & References
- Berry Pruning Basics, Oregon State University
- Lots of blueberry information here : "Blueberries and the Science Behind Them", Michigan State University.
- "A single serving of raspberries packs a lot of health benefits", Oregon State University
- "Promising Health Benefits of the Strawberry", US National Library of Medicine
Caramel and Parsley articles:
- If you have the home "gardening bug" here are more ideas for some veggies to grow
- "Strawberries are Good for Your Health"
- "12 Reasons to Grow Your Own Food"
- Check out many more gardening articles in the Caramel &Parsley "Gardening" category
- Summer Reminder to put out a pan of water, etc for wild birds, insects during extremely hot weather
... there will be few gardens in Middle-earth that will bloom like your garden !
~ J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring)