Friday, May 25, 2012

Raspberry & Early Blackberry Harvest

   Red raspberries continue to bear well.  Harvest will probably last until about June 14 this year.  Black raspberry harvest has just started, and will also continue until about June 14 this year.
Kids have fun picking our 'Reveille' red raspberries.
   Purple raspberry harvest has also just started, and should continue until about June 30 this year.  Purple raspberries are hybrids between red raspberries and black raspberries, so the flavor is a mix of both.  Purple raspberries have hybrid vigor, so have larger fruit and higher yields than either red raspberries or black raspberries.  We grow 'Royalty' purple raspberry, which is actually a hybrid between a red raspberry and a purple raspberry, so it is 3/4 red raspberry and 1/4 black raspberry.
'Royalty' purple raspberries have just started ripening, and will continue until about June 30 this year.
   Our earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez', has just started ripening also, 3 weeks ahead of its ripening time most years.  This newest variety from the University of Arkansas breeding program has huge fruit, and customers love it.  It will keep ripening until about June 20, and by then we'll have lots of 'Ouachita' blackberries ripe, followed by 'Apache' and 'Triple Crown'.  We should have blackberries ripe for over 2 months this year, until about Aug. 1.
'Natchez' blackberries have huge fruit and ripen early, making for quick picking.
It takes only about 5 minutes to pick each quart of 'Natchez' blackberries.