Fresh Pick of the Week: Raspberries
Raspberries are now at your farmers' market. They come in both red and golden varieties, each with its own distinct flavor. They're full of nutrition with 44% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, tons of fiber, plus other important nutrients like folate, iron, and calcium. Raspberries, as with all berry and nut crops, are a water-intensive plant to grow and, with the drought in California, it has been a tough time for berry farmers. Most berry farmers have decreased their acreage in order to provide water for the remaining crop. This comes at a time when, over the past 10 years, more and more farmers were planting berries and nuts because they are a more valuable crop than other products. There are 80% more raspberries grown in California than in 2003. Now farmers are having to cut back.*
There has been a slight increase or no increase at all in the price of berries at the farmers' market, as farmers find ways to keep their berries watered without waste. Drip feed and soaker hoses are what's being used now. Hoop houses provide cover to lessen evaporation as well. Talk with some of the raspberry farmers at your farmers' market and find out how they are surviving the drought, but be sure to pick up some sweet raspberries while you're there. Support your farmers while we're all going through the drought.
*Source: California Dept. of Food & Agriculture