Catch the end of the harvest this week in Vershire
Raspberry season is the shortest of the three main berry harvests, falling in between and overlapping with the strawberries and blueberries, and I say it's well worth it to seize the moment and fill a few pints or quarts before they're gone. It doesn't take long, and there's nothing like a fresh taste of summer during the long months of stored squash, apple sauce and imported citrus. It took me about ten minutes per pint to gather a small surplus to freeze. We have enough wild raspberries to pick and eat daily, just at the edge of our driveway. But Vershire's own Jen, Kevin and Emily Ricker have an abundance of these tiny treats, and are happy to share them at their pick-your-own patch.
The Rickers have been selling raspberries for about fifteen years. Most of their business is pick-your-own, though they also sell them at Crossroad Farm in Post Mills and Farmer Hodges in Fairlee. They also keep a hive of bees, and feel that the symbiosis is beneficial for the berry patch.
In case you're new to raspberry picking, I recommend selecting the ones that are bright red and hang boldly on the stem. Those that look a little wilty and darker red are overly ripe, and while they're still delicious for immediate eating or pies they're not ideal for storing in the freezer. A nice ripe berry will easily be plucked off its stem, leaving the pith behind, or require just a little gentle coaxing between your finger and thumb.
The season starts usually between July 15 and 18, according to Jen, and lasts just about a month, so this week should see the harvest winding down. But there are still plenty of berries to pick, so give the Rickers a call at 802-685-3252 before you head over, just to make sure the picking is good and they'll be home to welcome you.
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