Welcome to my Sustainable Urban Garden

My garden is a work in progress, always growing and changing within itself.

My gardens include many herbal beds, raised vegetable beds, raised "citrus heights" citrus tree bed, berry beds, fruit trees, grape arbor, rose beds and many perennial flower beds with annuals too. My greenhouse is still in the transformation stage,
as well as some planting areas.
Enjoy your journey through my gardens, I do!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wonderful Wonderful Raspberries and More!

Raspberries and Boysenberries
It is that time of the year when fresh raspberries are available from early summer to fall when you grow them yourself.  Raspberries are easy to grow in most places. At this time I just grow the red raspberries, but plan on planting some black raspberries (which are firmer than the red) in the future. 

A year ago I attempted to transplant many of my raspberry plants to a bit shadier bed that I created under the edge of my grape arbor. The transplanted plants are growing okay (especially if I keep up the watering), but they are not producing this year. I was planning on moving some boysenberries into the old raspberry bed this year. These boysenberries where bred over a number of years for this area - in fact for my very neighborhood. Oh, and I forgot to mention that they are thornless.  

The old raspberry bed is producing lots of berries everyday (Yumm!), so I will leave them alone until the end of the season.  I have been eating them for breakfast on a little cottage cheese. Here was today's bowl of raspberries and a couple boysenberries. So wonderful as they melt in my mouth. And of course it is hard not to graze when picking a basket of them. They have such a rich delicate flavor. Raspberries are so easy to harvest and the tiny tiny thorns/stickers are almost indiscernible. The only time I feel them is when I am breaking/snapping out old dead canes. Yet, I have solved this problem by buying a new raspberry cane cutter. It is a very cool tool with a curved blade that makes it easy to snap/cut out old canes. It was a Christmas present to myself this last year. 

According to an October/November 2002 Mother Earth article, "Raspberries are high in fiber and vitamin C, and are a rich source of the anticancer compound ellagic acid. Black raspberries are especially fruitful in antioxidant and cancer preventive agents. Fresh raspberries are highly perishable and are best used within one to two days for peak quality, flavor and nutrient content. Rinse berries with cold water just before using."

This is my first year for getting a good crop from the boysenberries. I have only had them for a little over a year. I have been freezing them to bake a boysenberry pie. I am sure I have enough now, but they keep coming on, which is a wonderful surprise.

My blackberries will start later in the summer, which is nice. I have had these plants for many many years and they are thornless too! I freeze lots of blackberries every year.

I use my frozen berries in pies, cobblers and muffins. Sprinkle over cottage cheese, ice cream or pancakes and they make for a real treat.  Or one can make a quick raspberry (or any one of these berries) berry spread by mixing 2 tablespoons crushed berries with 1/3 cup soft butter and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

So, the main question I am currently pondering is what kind of berry (other than blueberries - which I have 2 plants already) will I plant next and where in my very intensively planted backyard city farm/garden will they live?

I hope you seriously entertain the idea of growing berries. They are so easy to grow and offer wonderful rewards.

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