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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Berry Picking at Bedford

Martha Stewart
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July is the peak berry season at my farm and, of course, that means we are busy picking! Quickly ripening berries are apt to fall to the ground or be eaten by birds, so daily picking is necessary. I’ve been growing red, white, and black currants and gooseberries for many years. I love their tart flavor, juiciness and all the ways they can used. I also have an assortment of red raspberries, golden raspberries and back raspberries. My berries are turned into delicious jams and jellies, tarts and meringues, and are candied as a garnish. I also grow an assortment of blueberries, both high bush and medium bush varieties. They make excellent jams and jellies and are perfect for all sorts of baked goods. Amazing blueberries contain high levels of antioxidants, which help to fight aging, cancer and heart disease. I also make sure to freeze a good amount of berries for use throughout the year. Here’s a look at how all of this gets done.  

With all this rain and hot weather, it’s turning out to be a very abundant berry season. I think we will be harvesting more than we can eat, but that’s ok because berries can be preserved in a multitude of ways (they freeze very well).


Rarely available in shops, the fruit of pink currant ‘Gloire de Sablon’ is wonderful for making desserts or summer puddings jams and jellies. The remarkable soft, translucent pink currants have a delightful fragrance and a juicy, sweet flavor.


This is a ‘Ben Sarek’ black currant just beginning to ripen. This variety is ideal for a home garden as it attains a very manageable size of only 3 feet at maturity. The large black fruits have wonderful flavor for eating fresh or making into jams, jellies, syrup, juice and wine. Gram for gram, black currants have almost 3 1/2 times the vitamin C of fresh oranges.


The Bristol raspberry is the best tasting black raspberry. The berries are large and firm making them very easy to pick and handle without bleeding. These great all-purpose raspberries are perfect for eating fresh, freezing or whipping up into preserves.


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