Monday, June 4, 2012

Red, black, purple & yellow raspberries ripe now

  We have four different kinds of raspberries ripe now: red, black, purple and yellow.  Each has its own distinct flavor, which you can taste if you come out to pick them. 

'Reveille' red raspberries are still plentiful and flavorful.
  Purple raspberries are hybrids of red raspberries and black raspberries, and yellow raspberries are a single-gene variation of red raspberries. Red and black raspberries should continue to bear well until about June 15 this year.  Purple and yellow raspberry harvest has just started, and they will continue until about June 30 this year.
'Royalty' purple raspberries have hybrid vigor, giving them larger fruit and higher yields, so pick faster than red or black raspberries.
'Anne' yellow raspberrries have just started ripening, and will bear until about June 30 and again in late summer to fall.
  Black raspberries have the highest levels of cancer-preventing antioxidants of any temperate-zone fruits--far higher than blueberries which come in at #6 after black raspberries, blackberries, black currants, black grapes, and purple raspberries.  The darker the fruit, the higher the level of anthocyanins and antioxidants.  Black raspberries are the only raspberries native to southeast Kansas, and have the most intense flavor of the raspberries, though they also have larger spines which makes them a bit harder to pick.  Black raspberries make wonderful jam and juice, and I picked some today for my husband to make into jam.
'Jewel' black raspberries have the highest levels of cancer-preventing antioxidants of any temperate-zone fruits and make wonderful jam and juice.
  Our 'Natchez' thornless blackberries are also still bearing well, and customers have just started picking our second thornless blackberry variety, 'Ouachita'.  Both these varieties came from the University of Arkansas breeding program and are named after Native American tribes, since blackberries are a native American fruit.
Even young children enjoy picking 'Natchez' thornless blackberries.