Raspberry season is almost over. We pretty much missed it by going to Mexico for most of July. Although Whatcom county produces prodigious quantities of raspberries (I'm pretty sure it is the top raspberry producing county in the country) the season is quite short. For a few weeks everyone is drowning in beautifully fragrant ruby colored fruit, and then - BAM - it's all gone for another year. Lynden puts on a Raspberry Festival in the middle of July every year, and it's a quintessential small-town fair, with a raspberry queen, and all-you-can-eat raspberry sundaes, and a stage for the local kids to put on dance recitals and stuff like that. I was sorry to miss it this year - all-you-can-eat raspberry sundaes are totally my thing.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
In fact, raspberries are my favorite fruit. I absolutely adore raspberries, although I only like the good ones, and they can be hard to find. Most of the farms around here are large, commercial operations and they are monocultures of one variety, bred for shipping well (raspberries are the tenderest of fruits) and usually sprayed with some kind of crap, and unfortunately my work with the local Hispanic organizations has taught me way too much about how the agricultural workers are treated on the large farms.
I had to devote some serious research to finding an organic U-pick raspberry farm that was still open this week, but I found it! For you locals, it's AAA berries on the West Pole road. They use the honor system, and berries are $1.50 a pound. We've made it out there twice this week, and now I have six gallons of raspberries in the freezer, plus a quart of syrup, and also we have all gorged ourselves on fresh raspberries and cream. I'd like to make it out once more before the season is really and truly over because when you love raspberries like I love raspberries, six gallons is just not enough.
Of course, it's also blueberry season. I become an absolute slave-driver where blueberries are concerned. I'll pack a nice picnic lunch and bring the transistor radio and a few gallons of water and just flat-out tell the family "we aren't leaving until we have twenty pounds of blueberries, so get pickin'." Last year I had blueberries until well into January and I'd like to beat that record this year.
Then, of course, there's blackberries...