Sunday, June 14, 2009

Berry Sweet

Sweet Homegrown Boysenberries

My boysenberries are doing well this year. There are many berries and they are all of good size. They seem sweeter than they have in years past. I think it may be due to our extended cooler weather this year. We have had cooler days and nights during this late Spring than I have ever experienced up here. It is starting to warm up now, and it will do so very quickly. Reminds me that I have a bit of garden irrigation repair to complete before it gets really hot around here.

Well, my berries have been enjoying the weather. My harvest is bountiful. I picked two of those plastic green pint baskets full yesterday afternoon:

Berry Harvest ~ 2 pints!

Of course, I actually picked more berries than the 2 pints worth you see in the photo. Many berries never made it into the harvest basket. (oh my!) Many of them volunteered to go directly into my mouth and skip the basket experience altogether.

And they are sweeter and larger than last year's harvest. I've even been enjoying the redder ones which are tarter than the dark purple ones.

I grow both Boysenberries and Blackberries, but I like the boysenberries the best. Their vines are easier to train and grow. They offer their ripe harvest earlier in the season than the blackberries do. And their seeds are fewer, smaller and easier to chew and digest than the blackberry seeds. Oh, and their vines are thornless! That's a plus too.

Those two pints of berries filled my special berry bowl to the top:

Boysenberries in Berry Bowl

This was my Mom's special berry bowl that she loved. It was a gift from me to her. Now it is mine to cherish. I think of her every time I use it.

Read more about this special berry bowl and last year's berry harvest by clicking HERE.

Have a berry good day!

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Oh, Farmer Jen, I had a berry good time reading your blog. I didn't know boysenberries were thorn-less! I'm envious in that area because up here in Oregon, we have acres of blackberries, and lots of thorns. No luxury of no thorns. Now I must go read about your mom's bowl. Enjoy every berry you pick — and some are always supposed to end up in your mouth — that's just the rule!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Sweet reminiscing about your momma's bowl. This year's picking covers up the drain holes, so in reading the story of the bowl, I captured the whole idea of it being a berry bowl. I, too, have a berry bowl. I'll have to fill it when the blackberries ripen and tell its story on a blog post. Thanks for the idea.

Hardware Bob said...

Fabulous closeup photo and a great beginning harvest of juicy, plump berries.

I believe you are correct,the cooler weather and the many rain storms have affected just about everything this year.

I would imagine the berry bushes in the high country are heavy with all sorts of wild berries about now. A good deal for the bears and other critters.

Still don't like the seeds, but they do look delicious.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Wow - I did not know this much about boysenberries before reading this post. I think I would like to try maybe growing a few canes next year. I'm not fond of our (wild) blackberries and the thorns are nasty.
I can't believe how early those berries have ripened for you. Yum.
I'm anxiously awaiting my blueberry ripening and Jim, of course, is already talking about his beloved raspberries. :-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've never had boysenberries. They look and sound wonderful. I may have to plant some this fall. I wonder how long they would take to produce fruit?

What a berry special berry bowl, too.


Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
Thank you for reading about my Mom's berry bowl again. I'd love to see yours!

My boysenberry bushes are thornless, and actually so are my blackberries, but I am not sure that all boysenberries are thornless. I purchased these berry starts from my local nursery 10 winters ago (sounds very folksy, doesn't it?)and I chose the thornless varieties that they offered me then. Our wild mountain blackberries have thorns and are a lot more difficult to pick.

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the photo praise. My boysenberries have few and small seeds. Not like the big hard seeds in blackberries.

Hi Danni,
My boysenberries always ripen a couple of weeks before my blackberries, and they do have smaller, softer seeds. Boysenberries, as you probably already know, are a cross between blackberries, loganberries & raspberries named after Charles Rudolph Boysen, the guy who crossed them and told Walter Knott (of Knott's Berry Farm fame) about them. You can Google Boysen or Knott's Berry Farm to find out more if you are interested.

I prefer the flavor, the early ripening berries and the more manageable canes compared to the blackberry bushes. Boysenberry canes are thinner and more easily trained to a wire trellis than the thicker less pliable blackberry canes.

I am completely envious of your blueberries and raspberries. I have tried to grow both of those for ten years with ZERO success! Actually, I finally gave up on the raspberries, but I planted a few more blueberries this year with much optimism. I am persistent, if not stupid.

Hi Lisa,
Think of how a cross between a red raspberry and a blackberry would taste and you have an approximation of how boysenberries taste.

It took two summers to produce my first boysenberries. I planted the bare root starts in January of 2000, the canes grew through summer and had lots of leaves. Then the following January/February you prune them back to about 9 or 10 canes coming from the crown and tie them to a trellis (mine is a simple horizontal wire about 4 feet above the raised bed). In Spring flowers will form, get pollinated by bees and turn into berries.

I am still getting fruit from that one (maybe there were 2) boysenberry cane I started 10 winters ago.I really should have planted more of them.

I love my berry bowl because it was my Mom's.