By Jocelyn Turner
[Amherst, NS] ‚Äď Blueberry growers may be begging for rain to help out with their crops, but raspberry growers (in Amherst, Nova Scotia) are picking their berries (July 23) already. The warm, dry weather has not affected the fruit. In fact, raspberry growers say their berries came two weeks early.
© (Photo: Jocelyn Turner/Amherst Daily News)
Dayle Wilson shows off her raspberries of the year at Friday's Farmer's Market in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
‚ÄúI was astounded by how many berries there were after the rain,‚ÄĚ said grower Debbie Lawless. ‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt think that we would have very many.‚ÄĚ
Lawless said her berries managed to survive the dry heat. But she said there were other factors that caused for concern.
‚ÄúThe blossoms, I felt, weren‚Äôt as many as there should have been and I don‚Äôt think they were fertilized as well as they should have been,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI think the bees were a little slower this year.‚ÄĚ
Dayle Wilson has been growing raspberries to sell at the Amherst Farmer‚Äôs Market for almost five years. She said her crop has been good this year, but she‚Äôs made sure to water her berries.
‚ÄúWe have blackberries too and I‚Äôve noticed that the upper branches are not as big as the branches down below where they got more shade,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúBut mine were two weeks early. Everything seems early.‚ÄĚ
Lawless said raspberries are easier to care for. She said berries like strawberries and blueberries need more attention.
‚ÄúRaspberries grow up nicely,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúFor some reason, for us, strawberries seem to be a little bit harder to grow on their own. It‚Äôs harder to keep the weeds down (we don‚Äôt use chemicals). But raspberries, you can leave them a little bit on their own.‚ÄĚ
Lawless said she‚Äôs noticed that raspberries are able to grow and ripen with less water than other berries.
‚ÄúThe berries are much smaller, that are not going to be big and plump like a strawberry,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúRaspberries seem to be more of a survivor but their season will run quicker when there‚Äôs not enough rain. But we do need more rain. Our garden is very dry.‚ÄĚ
Amherst Daily News