The red fruit is ripening on the vine much earlier than usual, according to local growers Matthew and Jennifer Compton. The first berries were picked this year on Wednesday, (July 18) compared to July 28 last year.
The couple has almost three acres of raspberries in production on their North Drive property in Summerside (Prince Edward Island).
“Last year was our first full year. This year will be our first year with our field up to full production,” said Matthew. “It usually takes three years before you have a proper crop of raspberries. This is the third year so every year from now on they’re going to be up to their full growth.”
The Comptons are expecting a good yield from their 21 rows of raspberry plants.
Dry weather and little rain has resulted in smaller berries.
“They faired out better than we thought they were going to,” said Matthew. “In terms of size, they’re not going to be as big. As far as the yield, it will probably be good.”
Raspberries thrive when there’s not too much wind or rain, he added.
“A windy day will knock all these berries on the ground.”
Matthew expects the growing season to last three to four weeks and demand for the berries to be high.
“It could be interesting because our strawberry crop was just average. People that wanted to make strawberry jam may want to make raspberry jam this year.”
Workers were out in the field Wednesday picking berries to sell at Comptons Vegetable Stand on the All Weather Highway.
Prices per pint, pre-picked, are set at $4 while U-pick prices will be $3.25, a slight increase over last year’s price.
The Comptons expect to have their U-pick operation open this weekend (July 21-22).