Uncle Ted’s raspberries
IT’S the end of our busy bedding plant season and I don’t know if I’m coming or going. Luckily my cousin dropped in with a delivery of her freshly picked raspberries grown in Langley and has inspired me for this month’s article (I’m tucking into them as we speak…)! ‘Uncle Ted’s’ raspberries are now selling alongside his award-winning honey in our farm shop in Stoke Poges.
It is amazing what they have achieved in the last 12 months. My cousin, Jenny’s return from the dizzy lights of London has injected a new energy in to the farm. They have expanded it by buying a neighbouring farm and researched new varieties of raspberries to keep ahead of the market, stronger plants, sweeter tastes (if that’s possible). Originally tomato growers like ourselves, while we moved in to ornamental pot plants, they moved in to growing raspberries.
Raspberries need ample sun and water for optimum development which puts their two acre glasshouse to good use. They can be grown outside too (which Ted also does) and you can do this at home – they even do well in a pot. Raspberries thrive in well-drained soil mixed with ample organic matter (such as manure) to help with water retention. Jenny’s top tip for growing raspberries is to think about sun protection as the fruit can get sunburnt and turn white. If you’re lucky enough to be growing in a greenhouse then spray the roof white or if the plants are planted in pots move them in to the shade during heat waves… and water… all the time!
Raspberries have the highest fibre content of any whole fruit and only 4% sugar, making them a very low glycaemic index food! Recent research is suggesting that this may have the potential to reduce obesity, packed full of vitamin C and antibiotics along with antiinflammatory benefits!
Apart from grazing on them whole, they can be thrown into smoothies or simply mixed up in yoghurt.
For a simple raspberry coulis gently heat half a cup of water and half a cup of caster sugar in a saucepan to form a syrup and then add 3 cups of raspberries, stir and heat for another minute. You can either strain through sieve or put in a food processor to get a less lumpy consistency. Similarly you can freeze a delicious raspberry sorbet with 175g granulated sugar, 250 ml water, juice of half a lemon and 450g raspberries. Raspberries also freeze really well on their own so if you do have a bumper crop pop them in the freezer.
Our home-reared Pinewood Pork will also be available this weekend so we hope to see you at Pinewood Farm Shop soon!