Friday, October 21, 2011

Growing raspberries

Raspberries are very easy to grow as they are tolerant to most types of soil. You can grow raspberries on open ground or in garden pots. Once you have planted your first raspberries there is very little to do but to water them. I usually just let mine thrive for themselves in the garden during autumn and winter and start pruning them in January. I have never applied any fertiliser to my raspberry orchard, it looks like just keeping the old branches and mulch of rotted leaves on the surface of the soil surrounding the bush is enough to keep them going. Once the warmer weather starts showing I just water my raspberry plants when necessary –which is not very often.

Once the fruit starts to show, that is when your work starts and you need to start watering regularly to slowly see your fruit swelling. Raspberries are very thirsty, so make sure that you keep them well watered.

Raspberries are best left to ripen on the tree. Only harvest your fruits when they are ready to eat. Pick individual berries carefully, preferably leaving the white “plug” on the plant -only if the fruit is ready it will detach easily from the white plug. Eat them on the same day or keep them in the fridge for eating the day after. Raspberries start to deteriorate very quickly once they are harvested.

Easy Raspberry Recipe:  Crowdie
This is an easy and delicious traditional mixture of oatmeal, raspberries and cream which I learnt to make from my Scottish period.
It only takes about 10 minutes to make and even less to eat! 
You will need:
  • 50g. medium oatmeal
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 25g icing sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of good whisky
  • 225g fresh raspberries
To prepare this delicious and easy to make raspberry dessert start lightly toasting the oatmeal under the grill.  Make sure it gets a golden colour and it doesn’t burn.  Once the oatmeal is toasted put aside to cool down.  
In a deep bowl, whip the cream until is firm and then add the icing sugar and whisky.  With a spoon slowly mix in the cream most of the raspberries and the oatmeal.  
To serve place in individual glasses and decorate with the remaining raspberries.  

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