Our mild obsession with fresh fruit has led to the planting of various fruit bearing plants on our small farm; runners, canes, bushes and trees – they’re all here!
As I watch the cane fruit and the strawberries waken to spring temperatures I can all but hold myself back from planting more of them. But as time has taught me…if I plant it I have to pick it, or, at the very least, find and invite fruit barren friends and neighbours to enjoy the picking and eating with me.
Whether fresh throughout the season, frozen for the winter, or turned into some delectable condiment or pie, cane and runner producing berries pack a good flavor punch and offer up vitamins (C and K) and minerals (magnesium and manganese).
Both the early season, and ever bearing or day neutral varieties are welcomed in our edible gardens. Since I spend most of my waking hours out doors during the gardening and growing season, a constant supply of healthy grazing food is essential!
Some of my favorite canes and runners are:
Black Satin Thornless Blackberry – Thornless and vigorous, blackberry establishes itself quickly with heavy yields, excellent for home gardens. It has a semi–erect growth habit, but requires trelising or supports, or can be planted along a fence. Very disease resistant. These black, medium-large berries hold a lot of flavor when fully ripe. Harvest August – frost
Thornless Boysenberry – Huge juicy, deep purple berries with outstanding flavor. They are delicious when eaten fresh and can be used to make a fabulous jam. Harvest August – frost.
Boyne Raspberry – is an attractive red raspberry with a delicious sweet flavor, making it an excellent choice for fresh eating, canning, freezing and desserts. This very productive and extremely hardy plant produces a large crop of huge juicy berries in early July. It is an old favorite that is a good performer.
Fall Gold Raspberry – The Fall Gold Raspberry is an ever bearing variety which produces crops of gold-colored raspberries that are excellent fresh off the plant, for canning and for preserves. Fall harvest – August – frost.
Tristar Strawberry – These strawberries are strong dayneutrals because they flower profusely and runner sparsely during the summer. They are some of the best strawberries that we have planted out, and provide early and late season treats.
NOTE: Cane berries prefer a deep, well–drained, fertile soil and typically bear fruit on 2–year old wood with everbearers producing on first–year wood. They thrive in most soil types. Cane berries are versatile and hardy in the coldest climates where other fruits fail. Plant late winter to early spring. Space 2’–3’ in a row with 8’–10’ between rows.