Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Summer Berry Picking: Raspberries

Red and gold raspberries are delicious right now, but blackberries aren't ripe enough yet at the u-pick farm The Extraordinary Berry.

Red raspberries

Photo: Sarah Ostaszewski

Baskets of red raspberries from The Extraordinary Berry

Nothing says summer like berry-picking. I visited farms throughout northwest Indiana and Michigan, picking (and tasting) the freshest strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. This post is devoted to raspberries.

If you are looking to find a wide variety of u-pick fruit, The Extraordinary Berry in Benton Harbor, Michigan is the place to be come mid-summer. The farm sells small baskets of fresh-picked fruits, but customers may also pick in-season items off the vine themselves.

Last summer my family and I visited this same farm in search of juicy berries and a great experience. We picked red raspberries and blackberries then, but this year we tried red and gold raspberries; the blackberries were still ripening, unfortunately.

Blackberries differ from red, black and gold raspberries. They are bigger, juicier and sweeter at their ripest.

Pro Tips

Raspberries, like strawberries, are tricky to pick.

The red and gold raspberry bushes grow to about waist-height, but much of the fruit is lower, hiding underneath dense leaves.

Blackberries (at least at The Extraordinary Berry) grow on taller, vine-like bushes and are easier to pick. They are also bigger in size and much sturdier. You have to be careful, though, as blackberry bushes have thorns. For proper picking technique, wrap two fingers around the stem and gently pull.

After collecting three baskets of red raspberries, we moved to the gold. These are more difficult to spot on the bushes and less acidic than their red counterparts. They were also tougher and sturdier on the vine. Having taste-tested a few gold raspberries, we decided the red ones would do for this trip.

We will return for those blackberries, though!

Sarah Ostaszewski

Sarah Ostaszewski is a student of anthropology and fine arts at Indiana University. She dreams of fresh summer tomatoes from her family's garden, and she loves tasting unique ingredients, learning culinary histories, and tracing foods back to their roots.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media