Monday, June 13, 2016

Four Types of Raspberries Ripe Now

   Red raspberries are now ripening in huge quantity, and have excellent quality.  Black raspberries just started on June 8, and have now gotten numerous.  Purple raspberries just started on June 10, and will be most plentiful from June 15 to July 5 or so.  A few yellow raspberries have started ripening, and more will ripen over the next few weeks.
Many customers like to pick 'Royalty' purple raspberries as plants are more upright and have larger fruit than red raspberries.  They're just getting started and will continue to ripen until July 8 or so.
   Each kind of raspberry has its own unique flavor.  We let customers taste each kind to find out which ones they want to pick.  They all make wonderful jam.  I like using several different colors of raspberries with our apples in Berry Apple Salad.  The recipe is posted as a note on our Facebook page, Brendas Berries. 
Carolyn Cassidy and her granddaughter Kennedy picked these red raspberries (lower two rows), purple raspberries (top left) and black raspberries (top right).
   Our earliest thornless blackberry variety, 'Natchez', is just starting.  'Natchez' produces very large crops of huge blackberries, so there are many to pick already.  'Natchez' will continue ripening for the next 4 weeks, plus we grow 3 other thornless blackberry varieties that will produce many large berries over the whole month of July and the first few days of August.
   Raspberries and blackberries are high in anti-oxidants that can help prevent some types of cancers.  Black raspberries have the highest levels of anti-oxidants of any temperate-zone fruits, and blackberries have the second-highest levels.  Next highest are black currants, then purple raspberries, then black grapes, then blueberries, then red raspberries.  The blueberry industry has good public relations so everyone thinks of them when they hear anti-oxidants, but actually black raspberries, blackberries and purple raspberries have much higher levels. The darker the fruit, the higher the amounts of color-producing anthocyanins, which are anti-oxidants. 
Black raspberries have the highest levels of anti-oxidants of any temperate-zone fruits. They will be most plentiful from June 14 to about June 28.
    As always, raspberries and blackberries are sold pick-your-own only.  Raspberries are still just $1.85 per pint + tax pick-your-own, and blackberries are $2.55 per quart + tax pick-your-own.  We provide containers, and just ask that you return them for reuse if you make another trip to Brenda's Berries & Orchards.
   Please also bring back any peach boxes you may have from last year.  We also appreciate donations of cardboard trays such as those from canned foods or 6-packs of energy drinks.  Chetopa Foods saves them for us, which we greatly appreciate, but we run through thousands of cardboard trays each summer, so we can always use more.
   We will have about 30% of a full peach crop for sale this year, mainly from about July 20 to Aug. 20.  We will have only a few peaches for sale before July 20 and after Aug. 20, as the early and late peach varieties were greatly hurt by 6 frosts during bloom. 
   We still have many 'Enterprise' apples for sale.  These apples taste much better than any sold in grocery stores, and are great for baking as well as fresh eating.  I give taste samples.  We also still have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale.  Scroll down 3 posts for prices.
   From June 1 to Aug. 31, as the sidebar at left shows, we're open Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon & 7-9 p.m., and Sun. 7-9 p.m. only.  We're closed Sun. mornings for church, and closed every afternoon from 12 noon to 7 p.m. due to high summer heat.