This was last updated on 21 January 2007.
We had a moderately successful crop of raspberries in 2006, all sold from the farm.
Our red and black currants have had several setbacks over the past few years, so we don't expect to be selling them any time in the near future. See below for more info on currants.
Raspberries are a special summer treat. They have a surprising perfume almost like roses, and a sweet/tart flavor so concentrated that even a single berry makes your tongue take notice. Raspberries are delicate when they're ripe, and they don't keep well, so the way to get the best berries is to buy them fresh locally. You'll find that our berries are quite different from what you get in the supermarket--because ours don't have to survive shipping. Moreover, we don't spray them and we don't try to force them to over-produce by over-fertilizing and over-watering.
Where do I get them?
We often sell berries right here at the farm. Look for us down at 75th (by the old farm house) in late afternoon. In the past we've sold at local markets, but we don't know whether/when we'll do that again. We only do it when we've got a large crop.
When are berries available?
We have raspberries through July and August. Depending on the springtime weather, we may have berries as soon as mid-June. Late snow and cold will delay the berries. Similarly, if we don't get an early hard freeze, we may have berries on into September. Our plants are "everbearing", so we have berries from when they first start to ripen until the plants are frozen back.
How much do they cost?
The current price is $3 for a berry basket, which is what the trade calls a "dry half-pint." A basket usually weighs about 6 oz, but that's approximate. We sell by the "basket", not by specific weight or volume.
Hey! Isn't that awfully expensive?
Have you ever tried to pick raspberries?!?
I'm quite serious. Raspberries grow like weeds; they need very little care and they're resistant to most pests. The cost of raspberries is almost entirely based on what it takes to pick them. A single basket typically contains 150-200 berries, each one picked by hand. Oh, and they do have thorns, you know. In order to get the best berries, we pick every two or three days through the entire season (close to 3 months). We don't pick and sell raspberries to make money! We do it because we love raspberries ourselves, so we know other folks love raspberries. We charge enough to cover the time it costs us to pick the berries. I used to make about 6 times as much money writing software as picking berries, and software doesn't tear up my hands.
If you want raspberries but don't like the price, grow your own. They don't take much space; they're easy and rewarding. If you catch me at the right time in the late spring, I'll be thinning plants and I'll be glad to give you some. (Now, will you believe I'm not gouging you on the price if I'm willing to help you compete with me?:-)
We have tried to produce enough currants (red and black) to be able to sell them roadside, but we've had problems with pests killing the plants, drought, and winter die-back. At this point we don't know when/if we'll have enough healthy bushes to have enough currants to sell. The following notes are about the varieties we prefer.
Our red currants are the "Red Lake" variety. These make excellent jellies and sauces, as well as a melomel To Die For. (Melomel is a wine-like fermented beverage made from honey and fruit. See our mead information.)
Our black currants are the "Consort" variety. Black currants in general, and this style in particular, will be more familiar to folks in touch with European food and customs. These black currants have a strong, slightly musky character which requires some careful consideration in cooking with them. However, they are the first choice for the berry flavor in a sauce for good game meat such as elk.
In late summer and fall we may have apples for sale, of varieties you may not have heard of before. Most of our apple trees are grown for cider production, but we have a handful which are good for eating or cooking. If we get a good crop on those we may sell some. Most likely are Cortland, Haralson, and Twenty-Ounce Pippin.
We try to produce a small assortment of interesting vegetables.
Our standard vegetables include English runner beans, patty-pan squash, yellow summer squash, multi-colored chard, a zesty salad mix, fresh basil, perhaps snow peas. All of these are variable depending on the time of year, the weather, what the bugs will leave alone, and so on. From year to year we will add other veggies. The only way you'll know is to pay us a visit in summertime. Look for us on Sunday afternoons and occasionally through the week.
We also often have flowers for the table for sale.