The sun is shining and the berries are ripe. It's berry-picking time in New York. I picked 7 pounds. Now how do you pick the best berries and what do you do with them afterwards?
Here are five little tricks to achieve the best results in berry picking.
1. Sample the Berries
First thing and right off, you want to know that those berries are sweet and ripe and worth your money. So sample one or two...handfuls, just to be certain.
2. Know What Ripe Looks Like
Green or purple blueberries are not ripe. Neither are pink raspberries. Blackberries that are red are also not ready for picking. Ripe blueberries are blue with no purple or green near the stem. Ripe raspberries are red or cranberry in color. Ripe blackberries have no hint of green or red.
3. Don't pick over-ripe fruit
If the fruit is soggy or smooshy when picked, it is over ripe and will not transport well. Worse still, if you see beetles or bugs eating your pick, leave that one for them.
4. Ripe Fruit is Easy to Pick!
When you tug at the berry, it should drop off the plant or vine with very minimal effort. Fruit that requires tugging is not ripe and will not be sweet. So, easy does it.
5. Have a Plan for that Fruit
A quick check of the recipes you'll be preparing will help you judge how much fruit you will need to gather. The cost of pick-your-own fruit can add up quickly. Plan to pick a bit more than needed for baking for some fresh fruit feasting and then stick to a plan. Pies take three generous cups so a pint of berries will make a lovely pie.
I hope you have a chance to get out in the sunshine and pick some fresh berries because there is nothing sweeter that a ripe berry fresh from the plant.