The Berries are Coming In

The berries are in and my back has never hurt so bad! Well, it's not all bad, the berries are doing well this year and there are tons! In my yard, I grow red raspberries, black raspberries and blueberries.. They are easy to grow as long as soil conditions are right, such as having a low soil pH, of which blueberries prefer.  I also try to keep them watered and mulched to prevent weeds from getting a foothold. Otherwise they require little work which  makes it easier on me. They are happy raising themselves, which is great because the grapes take most of my attention throughout the growing year..

Once I notice some color in the berries, I get
the nets on them immediately to reduce competition from the birds .  I also have competition from the boy, but a simple net wouldn't be enough (an armed guard maybe?) I just pay him in berries or
designate him his own plant. Netting my berries will be in a future post.  It's quick, easy and inexpensive. And can be taken down and stored once berries aren't being produced.  That way you're not looking at a pvc pipe net support all year.

The yearly goal I hope for as far as yield
goes is 30lbs of black raspberries, 30lbs of blue berries and at least 12lbs of red raspberries. This typically yields around 17 gallons of finished wine. Just last year I started kegging and carbonating the black and red to about 55psi to make a sparkling wine. It is most excellent! Please see my recipes page on how to make these wines.

Until I have enough for a batch of wine I freeze the berries. Recently I have been freezing the blue berries until grape harvest to be able to add some red grapes to the mix for added color.  Once the berries are all picked and ready to rock, I'll write about how to make the wine step by step.

The only hard part about growing berries is keeping up with all of the picking.  At this time of year I am picking all three berries and it won't let up for weeks ( not that I'm complaining. Am I complaining? Ok fine..) other than that, the berries are a pleasure to grow and really anyone can do it.

Another option if you can't grow plants at home is to keep an eye out around parks and other wooded areas for berries growing wild. This was how I did it before I planted. Typically you'll find blackberries and black raspberries growing here and there. I could pick up up 15lbs of each no problem! Please stop back to see how these wines are made, it's simple and requires little equipment.

Now get out there!

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