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County Ag Report: Raspberry season is here!

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:10 PM EDT
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CARIBOU, Maine (WAGM) - It’s been a berry good year for raspberries.

“We’re getting the moisture, we’re getting the heat, we’re getting everything you need to make a good crop,” said Mark Goughan, co-owner of Goughans berry farm.

Raspberry season started in july and he says there’s a secret to picking a good one.

“The first thing you need to do, and I probably shouldn’t say it, is come out and test a few first”

If you’re going to freeze them, pick a few that are less ripe, but for snacking, go ahead and grab a bright red one. Different raspberry varieties grow at different rates, and Goughan says it takes five years to grow a good row

“raspberries will grow one year, produce fruit the second year, and the cane will die off after the second year. it’s a biannual crop... So we’re actually harvesting berries that were growing last summer”

Goughan says don’t be too generous with fertilizing raspberry crops

“Wild raspberries grow on rock piles”

But keep in mind that the harvested fruit is fragile.

Little girl: “it ripped again”

Goughan is currently in the process of moving his raspberry picking to a new field

“we’ve had these plants, I’ll betcha 25 years we’ve had these going, and it’s time to change. the varieties they have now don’t even compare to the varieties that these are; they’re bigger they’re more winter hardy they’re durable and a lot of the varieties now don’t even have thorns on them...So we’re in the process of transitioning to the other side of the farm and it’s rotation, it’s rotation every 25 years”

Goughan’s is mostly a u-pick establishment, but they do harvest their berries for jam and ice cream too. Goughan and his wife have been running the farm for 45 years, and Goughan says there are small farms all over that practice some type of agro-tourism and rely on the support of the community.

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