Raspberries are a really popular summer fruit, second only to strawberries and they are a firm favourite with the Copas family.
There are two types of raspberry varieties –
- the summer fruiting varieties, which will produce fruit on the previous year’s canes (the wooden stem of the plant), and
- primo canes, which will produce a cane and fruit in the same season.
The summer fruiting varieties are planted into raised beds in May with trickle irrigation pipes running down the bed. For the first season the canes will be allowed to grow but they will not produce fruit. Then, over the winter period, the canes will be cut back to leave three or four canes per plant and they will be trained along a wire support system. This makes picking easier and prepares them for fruit production the following summer. The following winter the old cane will be removed and replaced with the new seasons growth and so on. Summer fruiting varieties will usually last for approximately six to eight years depending on conditions.
The primo cane varieties are similarly planted on a raised bed with trickle irrigation but they will fruit in the same year as the cane is grown and therefore do not require wire supports. At the end of the season they are pruned back to ground level. Similar to the summer fruiting varieties they have a six to eight year life span.
Due to a soil borne fungal disease called phytophtera Copas Farms will in the future be looking to grow raspberries in pots and we are currently experimenting with these new techniques.
VARIETIES GROWN AT COPAS FARMS PYO
- Summer Fruiting Early Varieties: Glen Clova and Glen Moy (both good firm berries which give good shelf life)
- Summer Fruiting Mid Season Varieties: Glen Ample (renowned for its excellent flavour and quality)
- Summer Fruiting Late Varieties: Octavia and Tadmore.
- Primo Cane (Autumn Fruiting): Autumn Bliss and Polka
PICKING AND STORING
- Choose plump, firm raspberries and pick carefully by pulling off the hulls.
- The best fruits are usually to be found nearer the end of the rows.
- Once picked keep the berries cool to extend shelf life. However, for the best flavour return to room temperature prior to consumption.
- To retain freshness do not wash until ready to eat.
- Raspberries freeze exceptionally well.
Raspberries are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fibre.
- Raspberries probably originated in Eastern Africa and it was not until the seventeenth century that the fruit became popular.
- By the eighteenth century cookery writers were devising recipes using the fruit for raspberry wine and vinegar, sweets and jams.
- Raspberries were also used as a cure for sore eyes and throats and to clean the teeth.
- Scotland is famous for its raspberry growing and in the late fifties raspberries were taken from Scotland to Covent Garden on a train known as the “Raspberry Special”.
COOKING AND EATING
Quick and Easy
- Take the hard work out of eating museli by adding raspberries, or other summer fruits of your choice, and serve with milk and a generous dollop of creamy yoghurt.
- Rasberries make a wonderful coulis for summer puds. Press the fruit through a sieve then sweeten to taste with caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Mix raspberries with melon balls and a little chopped mint, then serve with Parma ham or smoked halibut.