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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It is a Berry Good Summer...

Warning - garden post below:

We've been fairly cool, and quite dry - since April - so my summer veggies are still languishing. But the berries have been very happy this year.

Strawberries are always the first to ripen. This past year I pulled out my older patch and replaced them all with Tri-star berries. They start early, and while not heavy bearers, they continue to consistently produce sweet, tasty berries up until it gets too cold for them to ripen (late October/early November)... I have strawberries on my Trader Joe's granola every morning for over four months. A happy thing...

Blueberries begin to ripen next. I have 6 different varieties - early, mid and late season - so again, I get berries from mid-June all the way through October. They all taste different. My favorites are the spicy-sweet-tart early bushes...

Right now, the gooseberries are waiting for me to pick them from their thorny branches. I have sweet, pink varieties - sweet enough to eat fresh (all the green ones I've had are too tart to eat uncooked). They are even better frozen.

This is my first year for red currants. This variety was sweeter than I'd expected. Beautiful, ruby globes. I cooked them with rhubarb, onion and spices for a fabulously tangy chutney.

These are jostaberries - a cross between black currants and gooseberries. They taste... dark, smoky and complex. The taste really grows on you. They are also terrific frozen. I put them in smoothies all year.

Oh, and the raspberries...

We get bowls and bowls of raspberries from my patch. Sweet, tart and tangy - for me, the very essence of summer.

There are fall berries still to come - seaberries, aronia berries, lingonberries, wintergreen, magnolia berries, goji berries, highbush cranberries, grapes, and new for me this year - minature kiwis! Much berry goodness to look forward to!

Now back to illustration...

16 comments:

Mahmood said...

Your blog is very nice. The photographs are very beautiful. Wish you all the best. God is Great.

http://home-jobs-4you.blogspot.com

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Woah, Tara! I had no idea you were such a Master Gardener. Do you ever give classes? I can't believe you grow all those berries. Yum! I would love to grow gooseberries.

Jennifer Rose said...

those raspberries look great *steals one* ;)

we only got about 10 strawberries this year but they were very good :)

Maren said...

Jealous, jealous, jealous. You are living my dream with this aspect of your life. I tried to bring it to fruition (haha) and we all know how that turned out. I wonder if I'll ever be able to (or really want to) try again--on a smaller scale, of course.

Sherry Rogers said...

Jeepers Tara! Just looking at these made my mouth salivate! I love berries!! How much property do you have?

The raspberries are particularly a favorite of mine and these look soooo yummy!

I need to refocus my yard. Currently all I have is an apple and cherry tree, tomatoes and yellow and red peppers. We are planning on putting in an asian pear and white nectarine this fall. Sure would like some berries though. . .Yummy!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

You are growing Gojis ? how is that going?

The Garden Ms. S said...

A berry, berry good post. Mmmmm...! :)

Karen said...

I love berries! What a wonderful assortment you have. My favourites are definitely strawberries and raspberries.Yum!

tlc illustration said...

Sherry - we have a typical suburban 1/5 of an acre. I'm trying to maximize the space I have, whilst working around the shade cast by 30 year old conifers that share the yard.

d. moll - gogi berries - are ramping up slowly (I started with a mere twig of a plant). I'm looking forward to discovering how easy or difficult it is to dry them.

andrea said...

Breakfast at your house!

tlc illustration said...

Andrea, you know you're invited if you *ever* make down here.... :-)

Ash said...

SOoooo impressed at all that berry goodness - and such a fantastically long season! Ours is over much quicker. I am growing my first blueberries this year, though I fear Ash and Midge have spotted them. I left you a recipe for strawberry curd over on Ash's blog!

The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin. Sheesh Tara, may I live in your back yard?

moreidlethoughts said...

I, too, am "berry" impressed. How can my sad old bananas possibly trump this!

natural attrill said...

great photos of the berries!!
I've never seen pink goosberries before. :)
Toby.

Lucille said...

Gorgeous, mouth-watering photos!