CHASING THE MAP

Pick Your Own NH Raspberries

I love summertime in New Hampshire! One of my biggest sources of joy are the local fruit and vegetables farms you’ll find dotting the entire state, especially in the area where I live. I avoid the supermarket at all costs during this time, and instead locally source all the produce that I can from local farm stands.

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I have been picking my own raspberries since I was a kid. It all started years ago when I’d spend summers on Spofford Lake. My grandmother had her own vegetable garden. She never grew any fruit, but that was okay because we’d always venture down the road a bit and visit the local fruit farm. Pick your own strawberries, blueberries, and of course raspberries were always on the menu.

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Every year now, we carry on the tradition in my own house and visit Smith Farm Stand in Gilford, New Hampshire to pick our own raspberries. It’s something that we look forward to each July as the season rolls around.

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Pick your own farms are a fantastic way to spend a pleasant summer’s day with your children at a relatively low cost. I look forward to the fresh air activity, where my kids have to unplug for a little while and have the opportunity to reconnect with nature. My daughter wasn’t able to join us this year, but my son Graeme and I spent an hour in the sunlight picking juicy, ripe raspberries.

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Photo Credit: Graeme Bradley

Photo Credit: Graeme Bradley

Smith Farm asks you to bring your own picking containers, which can really be anything without a large hole! In our case, it was Rubbermaid containers. Before you start picking, they weigh your empty containers and write the amount on an index card so that they can deduct their weight from your price once they are filled with berries. $4.75 per pound for freshly picked raspberries, even if we had to provide the labor, was well worth it in our book.

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After being pointed in the right direction, off we went to the small field of raspberry bushes to begin collecting! The season had officially started just a week before, and it was clear to see that the bushes were bursting with tons of ripe fruit. Before we even began to fill up our containers, we were filling up our bellies!

You really only need a few basic instructions for picking your own raspberries.

  • Pinch the raspberry and then remove gently from the stem. If it’s not ripe, it will be hard to pull off, and should be left on the bush to ripen.
  • Don’t pinch too tightly or you’re likely to damage the fruit.
  • Carefully place the fruit into your container. Raspberries are particularly easy to squish, and release quite a bit of juice when you do so.
  • Don’t over pack your container, which again causes the fruit to become damaged.
Photo Credit: Graeme Bradley

Photo Credit: Graeme Bradley

 

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Sometimes the simplest activities can be the most memory-worthy. Raspberry picking definitely falls into that category. It’s fun, affordable, and leads to really good eating! That night my daughter Bella and I baked a Raspberry Crisp that was absolutely scrumptious! I’d be lying if I said there was still any left in the ‘fridge.

Raspberry Crisp

Raspberry Crisp

 

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