Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘produce’

If you haven’t already received your stack of seed catalogs, get online and order yourself a bunch!! I have a bunch gathering dust as I am *gulp* not buying seeds this year. I might get around to reading some just for recreation later in the season.

So, yeah. I’m not buying new seed, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be trying any  new varieties. I’ve got a couple newbies waiting in the wings, don’t worry. The reason? With a new baby I’ve got to streamline my life. That means working with what I’ve got and just growing the basics. And only growing what I can handle, which is a lot less than I’d like probably.

But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean less produce. In fact, we’ll be rolling in produce cause I just bought our family a CSA subscription! Wheeee! This is the first year I can afford it, and luckily I remembered before they were sold out. In case you don’t know what a CSA is, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture and basically means you prepay for a share of veggies (and sometimes fruit, eggs and poultry), grown by a local farmer and pick up your said produce weekly. Sound good? Look here for one near you.

I’ve signed us up for this one. It is a great farm that I’ve been ogling for 1 or 2 years already. It’s about a half-hour away but I can pick up my share of goodies at our local farmer’s market. Bring on the variety! They grow tons of stuff I have had no luck with like broccoli and carrots. Plus I’ll be able to make delicious organic vegetable purees for my baby in lots of different non-store flavors like parsnip, eggplant, and kohlrabi. And try lots of new recipes!

This farm also does fun farm activities too, which are included in the cost of the share. So Corin’s birthday will be spent having a fun hayride! They also do canning classes and bonfires/camping. And the farm owners have a baby boy only a few months older than my daughter. They could have farm related play dates 😉

CSAs mean everyone wins! It helps the farmer financially, and gives the client the benefits of gardening without the work. And it’s organic. 🙂

A friend's CSA share from mid-season.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

A decent sized handful of berries for the first harvest of Year 3.

Official Description:

Raspberry, Killarney Standard, Red raspberry. Ideal for canning or making jams and preserves. The hardiest raspberry we know of, disease-resistant and bears medium-sized, very bright red berries. Good flavor and freezing qualities. Ripens early and bears for 4-5 weeks. Recommended for colder climates.

Appearance:
These are raspberries. Traditional red raspberries.

Taste:
They taste like raspberries! Seriously, there’s nothing special or distinct about this variety. But they’re good, of course!

Growth & Health:
This type of plant has dark thorns like hairs on a light green stem, making identification very easy when a stray shoot pops up in an unexpected place.

All four types of raspberries I planted in Year 1 (2009) were slow to start. Now in Year 3, this is the second healthiest of my 4 varieties. It is also putting out new shoots away from the original planting,which I will transplant elsewhere.

The thorns on these are much finer, and more hair-like than Jewel. Of course, I still wear gloves to harvest the berries. I’m not a masochist!

Grow Again?
Yeah, sure. It’s nice to have traditional red raspberries even though production isn’t very good yet.

End-of-Year Stats (3rd year Harvest):
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield____Yield per Plant
__2_________late June_________-_________1 cup_______1/2 cup

Read Full Post »

You're lucky to see a picture at all. They usually don't make it into the house.

Official Description:

The Fall Gold Raspberry has a sweet berry, with a large yellow-gold color. The bush is everbearing, and its very winter hardy, making it an excellent choice for northern gardeners who want to taste delicious raspberries. The Fall Gold Raspberry plant ripens in July and September in the warmer areas, and late spring and July through August, up to a hard frost, in the colder areas.

Appearance:
The shoots of this plant are a lighter green than the standard red raspberries. The leaves are quite soft, but the thorns are pretty managable. I don’t know if it’s just the location I picked for this plant or the plant itself, but the plant is very short and frankly, not very healthy. The berries start out white and ripen to a golden yellow.

Taste:
These are my favorite berry! The few I find that are ripe go right into my mouth. My hubby is lucky to get 5 or 6 in a season. They have a much milder taste than standard red raspberries, and taste less tart, more sweet, and juicier. These might be a good variety to try for people who don’t like red raspberries. I love them!

Growth & Health:
All four types of raspberries I planted in Year 1 (2009) were slow to start. These were the second to last slowest. Their 2nd year shoots almost got to knee high. The 3rd year shoots are finally starting to get taller and more robust looking. I am pumped that they are still surviving year to year and making a berry here and there.

A total downside is that this is the only variety of 4 that gets these tiny inch worms that eat the leaves. Luckily they leave the berries alone. I don’t use sprays, so the plant will just have to get stronger and heartier to survive the minor bug attacks. I’ve heard of “Red Raspberry Leaf” tea, but never “Yellow Raspberry Leaf” tea–maybe the worms know something we humans don’t! Maybe someday I’ll actually try and brew some.

Grow Again?
Of course! I would love to have a full row of these. I can’t wait for fall so I can do some proper maintenance on all my berry plants–mainly adding compost and manure and mulching heavily. Plus the usual trimming of last year’s shoots. That should be a great boost for the health of this plant.

End-of-Year Stats (2nd year Harvest):
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield____Yield per Plant
__1_________July and Sep_________-________-_____(too small to measure)
3rd year Harvest:
Just started.

Read Full Post »

Official Description:

Standard, black raspberry. Ideal for canning or making jams and preserves. Vigorous, erect plants produce large, firm berries with good flavor. Ripens early and resistant to anthracnose. Hardy in Zones 5-8.

Appearance:
These are raspberries that look and grow more like blackberries. They are a deep purple color, the vines are even purple. They are also more vigorous than standard raspberries. The shoots they put out are healthy and large and they make lovely clusters of berries in the Spring, with 7 to 10 large berries per cluster. The berries start out pinkish red that ripen to dark purple (berry-black or aubergine).

Taste:
They taste like raspberries but with a juicier mouth-feel. You know how regular raspberries can make your mouth feel dry? It might be an effect of their sour, mouth-puckering taste. Well, Jewel raspberries don’t do that. Therefore they taste sweeter than the red type.

Growth & Health:
All four types of raspberries I planted in Year 1 (2009) were slow to start. Jewel was the only one of 4 to actually put out a full-sized shoot for Year 2. This is testament again to its vigorous (invasive) growth habit. Now in Year 3, this is the healthiest of my 4 varieties. It is also putting out shoots further away from the original planting, good for starting new plants elsewhere.

Downside: the thorns!

Grow Again?
Unlikely. These are hardy, vigorous, and put out a lot of fruit. But the vines have many thorns. In hindsight, I’d get more yellow raspberries and instead of black raspberries, choose a thornless, non-suckering blackberry.

End-of-Year Stats (2nd year Harvest):
# of Plants___Days to Maturity___Days Off____Yield____Yield per Plant
__2_________late June_________-_________1 cup_______1 cup
3rd year Harvest:
Just started, but have harvested about 1/2 cup already.  

Read Full Post »