Varieties We Grow:
Atlantic Mid- to late-season variety. Because of
its habit of developing flavor after turning blue, the only
way to know when the berries are ready to be picked is to nibble
Berkeley Bears sizable
berries in big, loose clusters. Their taste develops as quickly
as they turn blue, unlike Atlantic, which needs to mature on
the bush to develop, so when they're blue, they're ready to
pick and eat.
Our most dependable and prolific producer, which is probably
why we ended up with five plants. The berries reach an unbelievable
size, many thumb-sized, and have a nice distribution on the
branches, unlike Blueray, which grows in grape-like clusters.
Blueray We've almost culled
this several times, if it wasn't for its abundant production.
Clusters need to be "thinned" to enable the remaining
berries to grow and ripen. They are actually square from being
squashed together. We sort out these first-picked "pinks"
and use them to cook up an early-season cobbler.
Herbert It is the smallest
and most flavorful berry, resembling the wild "huckleberries"
that grow on Spruce. Tedious to pick and susceptible to drying
up if adequate water is not provided, they nevertheless remain
our favorite eating and freezing berry.
Jersey This is a late-season
variety that is one of the oldest and most widely grown. The
berries are dark blue, medium in size and very sweet.
Nelson Nelson ripens late
mid-season along with Berkeley. The fruit is large, firm and
light blue with good flavor. We eat these along with Berkeley
but turn the other jumbos into juice or use them in baking adventures.
grew this variety for several years and finally cut it down,
heartbreaking as it was to destroy a full-grown bush. The berries,
though prolific, tasted watery and even after giving it several
seasons to get better, it never did.