The gift of the raspberry bush

Do you and your children enjoy the fresh red raspberries summer brings?  We do AND enjoy picking our own – in our back yard! This is the time of the year that we bring a plastic dish outside and the youngest tends to hold it.  The first time I picked with our oldest (thinking maybe he was 2?), he ate the berries as I picked them!  We got our berry bush start from my father.  You see, red raspberry bushes grow like weeds – there is always a start one can share.

Berry safety: We have taught our boys never to pick a berry without asking us for permission.  The berries are tempting, but this teaches the kids that not all berries are edible!

Raspberry bush facts: If you are able to come across a start, plant it in full sun. We grow everbearing berries – they produce fruit mid-June and in September. We trim back the bush by cutting out the old branches late in the fall. Yes, the bush spreads like a weed, so when I tame it (pulling out the new growth) I am aware the more I pull, less berries we may have the following year.  You see, the berries come about on the new growth.

How do I prepare my red raspberries?  Wash the berries only before eating.  They can keep in your refrigerator otherwise for a couple days.  If you cannot finish your berries in time, freeze them! Enjoy fresh, in a pie, smoothie or with dark chocolate!

How to freeze berries: Wash berries, place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze.  After frozen, pour the berries into a gallon bag, squeeze back to remove air and then seal.  Enjoy with low fat Greek style yogurt or in a smoothie (or later in a homemade pie).

Are red raspberries nutritious? Did you know 1 cup of red raspberries provides up to 7 grams of dietary fiber??  Dietitians applaud this!  Also, these berries give us a Vitamin C boost!  Love these little berries!

Our berry bush section thrives in a spot of our flower garden.  My Dad’s now takes up one side of his house.  I think we all have a berry start from Dad – or did he get his from a sister??  No matter, if you know me, ask for a start.  Otherwise, ask a gardening friend, they may have one!  It is fun to pass on the gift of the berry bush!

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We have created this blog as a way to communicate key childrens' health and safety issues to parents and other child advocates. It is managed by Dayton Children's department of marketing communications. Comments can be sent to rodneyg@childrensdayton.org.

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