Berries and books.

I love that I have grown and changed.
Maybe thats absurd, cliche or contrived to say—but it’s also true and I like it.

Case in point: I didn’t like pie, or most berries, until I was out of college.

So when I sit down to write about growing berries, I think about how I didn’t like pie for 25 years of my life.  I went from liking only 2 kinds berries—to wanting to grow ALLTHEBERRIES.

So. Seriously, I would grow a shit.ton of berries on my farm.

One of the most important things to consider when selecting cultivars is—Why you want to grow them? Snacking? Canning? Pies? Different varietals fruit at different times—some all at once, some throughout the season, early or late.

What I would grow

Blueberries: I would plant several bushes intended only for snacking—3 or 4 bushes of berries that would produce throughout a summer, early-mid-late. I’d look at Patriot, Hardiblue, Chandler and Brigitta for these. All good flavors noted.

I would also plant another row of berries intended only for canning, maybe Rubel or Reka. Once summer gets going, there are so many things that need your attention, if you can get a damn fine blue out of the way early on—why not?

Currants. I tried to grow currants once, but I didn’t try very hard (i.e., plant the plants). I’ve always wanted to and given enough space I would. 3 plants each, black, red and white.

  • Black: Ben Lamond. “A very heavy producer, traditional strong pungent flavor.”
  • Red: Rovada. “Loads of large, dark fruit that is excellent quality.”
  • White: Primus. “Sweet flavor and heavy production of this compact bush. Very high in Vitamin C.”

Rasberries: Black. Black raspberries are decadent. Thorny as all get out, so maybe a security fence? But oh, the flavor. That said, I would also grow a long row of red raspberries: Tumaleen.”Enormous, light red, aromatic fruit with a wonderful flavor.” July through August. And, well, screw yellow. They are just a novelty.

Blackberries. I would cross my fingers that I had some wild blackberries on the property. And maybe I would set up a little set of marionberries too.

Books.

My go-to berry tome is: Pacific Northwest Guide to Home Gardening.
Not berry specific by any means. But I just seriously respect their instructions. Very no-nonsense.
“This book is not for the casual gardener but is written for the dedicated, dirt-under-the-fingernails person who is ready to learn how to use the land and climate and his or her abilities to produce food.”

The StrawberryCanefruits, and Bushfruits chapters include sketches explaining growth habits, pruning needs, and ideas for trellising. The rest of the book

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