5 tips for picking raspberries

November 3, 2015

Five tips for picking raspberries

Picking raspberries is a fun activity that yields the most delicious and fresh berries possible. Here are five great tips for picking raspberries in Canada.

5 tips for picking raspberries

Plenty of berries

Wild raspberries are native to Canada. The best months are July and August, a time when you'll find plenty of juicy raspberries regardless of whether you want to pick wild raspberries or farm-cultivated berries.

There are also "U-Pick" farms throughout Canada where some of the most delicious raspberries in the world are grown if you don't want to bother trekking to find your berries.

How to find them

Raspberries love the sunlight and can be found on the sides of paths, roads, and near meadows and fields. Raspberries grow like a weed, so you can often find them all around you once you start to get an eye for them.

Wild raspberry plants feature leaflets with serrated edges, usually with three to eight leaves per stem. Raspberry canes tend to grow in dense bramble thickets with long curled vines that can grow up to five feet long. Once you have an eye for them, the red berries and characteristic canes usually stick out. These canes also happen to be covered in prickly thorns, so be careful while you're picking.

How to pick

Raspberries start as pale green flowers that quickly transform into the berry you're used to seeing. Only pick raspberries that have a dark red colour. They should be juicy, full and plump. Avoid picking any raspberries that don't look ripe, as they will not ripen after you pick them. Place them in a bucket or other open container, taking care not to cover them. Once home, place the berries immediately in your refrigerator and don't wash them until you're ready to eat them.

Practise safety

Wild raspberries aren't easily mistaken for other berries, but that doesn't mean you should just go out and pick raspberries without any experience. Try to find someone with raspberry picking knowledge in your area for tips on where to look and how to properly identify a raspberry, or use a field guide to help identify raspberries. Some berries can make humans seriously ill if you eat the wrong one. For those who want to do their picking on a farm, you thankfully won't have to worry about picking the wrong berry.

What to wear

One of the smartest things a raspberry picker can wear is a good pair of durable work gloves. This can protect your hands from being pierced by any thorns. At the same time, many ambitious raspberry pickers like to get deep into a raspberry thicket to get the juiciest berries, which means wearing long sleeves, long pants and a good pair of boots. At the same time, you'll want to bring plenty of water, sunscreen and food for those hot summer days.

With these tips, you should have a great raspberry picking experience. Ultimately, it's an excellent way to enjoy Canada's summer months and walk away with a special treat at the end of the day.

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