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On the lookout for the berries

Last summer was a disappointing season for Michigan fruits in many ways. We had a early warm spell followed by a killing frost that wiped out most of our Michigan apples. Our own teenage apple tree might have been ready to come into its own and produce a crop, but the weather made sure that didn’t happen.

To add insult to injury, in our gardens, our berries were also disappointing. The lovely Serviceberry (Saskatoon, Juneberry) tree next door was picked clean by the birds. We got nary a berry.

Our black raspberries also met with a too-similar fate. There weren’t many berry and they didn’t last long. The harvest was our smallest ever.

This year, I am full of hope that the fruit season will be much better for us humans. Although we had a frost night on Mother’s Day, May 11, sources say that there was no damage to the state’s apple crop. That’s great news– Michigan is the third largest apple-producing state in the US, and apples are a big part of our agricultural economy. Also, I love baking with Michigan apples.

I’m planning to be wilier about our small fruits too. I’m doing a daily check when I walk in the garden to chart the ripening process. The berry patches need some weeding, and I’ll be on standby to do some watering, depending on the weather. It may be a battle, but we will get some of the serviceberries and black raspberries this year. I hope to make pies with both of them, and I’ll post recipes and pictures too.

Posted in • Growing.