How many berries can you get from a small garden?

My children and I pick berries from the garden EVERY day beginning in June and ending in late September. We have a relatively small garden and a lot of "issues" like heavy clay soil, deer, chipmunks, and this year...caterpillars. But still, we are able to pick handfuls of berries every single day.

Today I went out to the garden to grab some lettuce for burgers, and I realized that we had been busy all day and hadn't picked berries yet. And for the first time in my life, I was annoyed that I "had to" pick berries. It made me smile.

I've always wanted to have so many berries that it became a chore. That I had to start giving them away. We're aren't quite at giveaway status yet, but if I had a little more land....

Anyway, check out how many berries I brought in today:

It's not even berry season yet. It's only June 16th! Well, technically it's strawberry season, but raspberries and blueberries won't start going crazy for a few weeks. There are 3 blueberries on this plate. ;)

I'm sharing this picture because 99% of the time, our berries do not make it in the house. They are eaten by me and the children, right off the branches. But this is a usual haul. It's not huge, but it is DAILY and berries can be very forgiving.

I take that back. Blueberries are prissy. Strawberries and Raspberries are very forgiving. All of my strawberries are grown in pure clay - on boulders! It's most likely the fish fertilizing that makes them so plentiful. I'm still working on their size, but as I add more and more leaves/compost/fish the ground is s-l-o-w-l-y getting more fertile.

The black raspberries only really exist because I started fertilizing them with fish. I tip layered wild black raspberries and they really didn't start giving many berries until I started feeding them fish.

I'm crossing my fingers that this will be my best red raspberry year EVER. You can see their progress here. And next year, my purple and golden raspberries will be ready to take off. They both started as one plant and have doubled themselves this year. I'm anticipating a lot of growth the 2nd and 3rd year.

I realize that this is just one plate of berries, but these are organic berries. Do you know how much even this small amount would cost at the store? And these are all quality berries - no hidden mushies. I chuck all unacceptables into the forest.

From now until late September, we will have about this many berries every day. The mix will change as raspberries and blueberries start to ripen and the strawberries go dormant, but the berry eating will remain the same.

That's why I love summer - for the berries (and the tomatoes and beets and swiss chard!) If you're thinking of starting a garden, I recommend adding berries. They are easy to grow, so tasty fresh, and tremendously expensive at the store. You'll be heavily rewarded for even a small patch. Happy growing!

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Stephanie Ann said...

JEALOUS. Those black raspberries look delicious. That is awesome!

jakiesmom said...

they look awesome! said...

Love it!! Your post made me smile. I asked for blueberry bushes for Christmas this year. My husband planted five. Our dog dug one out and has eaten the berries off the rest. Still, I'm excited about the prospect of having nice full bushes in a year or two!! I plan to add more berry plants in the next couple of years. Tonight's supper was homegrown organic squash & zucchini with pasta....delish!

Jessica-MomForHim said...

We have harvested about 12 blueberries so far this year! I am so excited! We've gotten probably 25 raspberries so far (hard to track since they are eaten by kids outside as well!). We probably got 10 strawberries, but they started while we were on vacation, so I think we missed some there, plus my strawberry patch was transplanted this year, so I am hoping next year will be better.

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