Thursday, July 3, 2008

Berries, Berries and More Berries

If you are lucky enough to have brambles in your yard, you are probably aware that raspberry and black raspberry season is upon us. It seems to me like growing raspberries is the way to go. They grow very easily (too easily? they might takeover if you're not careful, I've heard), they are super, super expensive to buy (over $5.00 a pint is the average I've been quoted) and are so delicious in a variety of uses. That's my plan for next year, anyway.

For this year, I decided to try to pick some raspberries. I called around -- Kaelin's, Soergel's, Triple B's all had raspberries in their farm stores. Simmons' had some from another farm. Soergel's were not open for U-Pick yet, but check back later. Trax was $5.00 a pint. Triple B was $5.99, I believe. Kaelin's and Soergel's were somewhere in the middle. Reilly's Summer Seat Farm was open for pick it yourself at $4.00 a pint. I decided to go there and brave the thorns. I was the only one there and there were tons and tons of black raspberries. I filled up my peck container, but had to move everything into pint boxes in order to pay for them. I heard, after all that work, that Harvest Valley Farms is selling black raspberries for $4.00 a pint.

Reilly's also had lots and lots of blueberries just starting to be ready. It was a little difficult to pick them, though, because each bush is under a net. Last year I picked at Soergel's and Trax (who said theirs will be ready on Tuesday) and it was easier because the net was built onto a structure covering the entire blueberry area.

Blueberries are much easier to pick -- no thorns. Also, unlike strawberries, they grow at about kid arm-reach level. I recommend you take your whole family. I will be doing so sometime in the next couple of weeks.


Tiny Bunch said...

Another great source of berries is Sand Hill in Mount Pleasnat (but they show up at farmer's markets too)

Vicki Nebes said...

Paskorz's Berry Farm is selling pick your own red or black raspberries for $3.49 a pound. I picked 4 pints yesterday and they only charged $9.60. They are also selling pick your own blueberries for $2.69 a pound. They also sell a limited number of berries that are already picked at a higher price.
They are expecting a huge crop of blackberries this year around the first of August. They are located in Cheswick on the Orange Belt.

Mike Reilly said...

The fall red and golden raspberry season is expected to begin in the Pittsburgh area on or about August 20th. The season normally extends into early October, so the opportunity to pick is much better than spring season. The fall crop is a very heavy one, and that allows quick and easy picking Another advantage of picking red and golden raspberries is that they have fewer thorns than black berries or black raspberries.