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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