Ahhh, early July is definitely the height of berry season at our house, marked by little fingers and lips happily stained red and purple, and occasional scratches on arms and legs from the unruly vines. This year, we are enjoying a very strong harvest of our raspberries, blackberries, ollalieberries, and boysenberries. The vicious thorns on the ollalies are worth it. The berries are enormous and succulent, and filled with sweet-sour purple juice. So delicious!
This week our harvest included almost 5 cups of raspberries, 7 cups of ollalieberries and boysenberries (mixed), a half cup of blackberries, a handful of blueberries, and a small number of strawberries. Many of the berries were eaten as they were picked ("two for me, one for the basket, two for me…"), but amazingly, we also had enough to bring to the kitchen and eat as an after dinner treat with fresh whipped cream. Yum!
We also had a tiny nibble of red and green gooseberries from our small new bushes. Those bushes are growing well now, and I hope they will be productive next year.
The citrus crop is still going strong, too. We picked 9 more pounds of Meyer lemons, and a handful of limes and Kieffer lime leaves this week. I used many of the lemons to make a delicious Meyer lemon sorbet for our 4th of July celebration. The sorbet was creamy and refreshing, with a deep lemony flavor enriched by grated zest.
Garden growth report: This week, I noticed the ground cherry plants are beginning to develop green fruit. The papery green, "lantern-shaped" husks look a lot like tomatillos now, and will ripen later this summer into tangy, bright orange fruit covered by beautiful, dry, brown husks. One of our passion vines (yellow variety) is also starting to produce flowers and its first green fruits. The purple passion fruit variety has not flowered yet. I think it is waiting for the warmer August weather to appear. Our plums are nearly ready now, and are starting to get a pinkish glow. A handful of green cherry tomatoes have also begun to develop on some of our larger tomato plants.