Raspberries growing in Edmonton, Alberta

It’s been quite a dry year, much to the relief of TV weather people all over the city. They’ve barely had to complain at all about their waterskiing getting interrupted just so the pesky ecosystem can get some water.

The dryness is one reason that I’m impressed by the raspberry harvest. The iconic prairie canes are chock full of fruit at my community garden. With little maintenance or water, no fertilizer, and no pesticides, raspberries are as close to a zero-carbon food as there is.

Plus, raspberries are delicious. We make freezer jam and pies with them every year, and I’m going to try juicing raspberries some day. Of course, fresh eating is always best; you can also try pouring cream and a bit of sugar from over them, a trick I learned from my French-Canadian parents.

Take advantage of the short raspberry season. I recommend finding a raspberry bush somewhere and getting some 100% local eats for yourself. Friends who are on vacation, neighbours who have bushes that aren’t getting picked, and parents houses are good places to seek out this ubiquitous fruit. We’ve even poached some that were hanging into the alley before when we needed another cup for jam.

A wonderful way to enjoy strawberries for months is freezer jam. You can pick up a package of pectin at any grocery store and just follow the directions, which amount to mashing the berries with sugar and the contents of the package. Also, you can cut way down on the sugar from what the directions recommend.

I’m grateful for the bountiful, delicious Edmonton raspberry.


My wife Rechel always makes sure that we are well-stocked with a year’s worth of freezer jam by the end of the summer.

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We don't have raspberries any more because they took over too much of the garden.  To compensate for their loss, we planted an Evans Cherry in the front yard.  That was about 7 years ago and, despite annual pruning, we have more cherries than we know what to do with.

Like Conrad, we make jam using the recipe that comes inside the Certo box.  My wife, the PhD microbiologist, likes making preserves with these because "their high acid content discourages microbial growth" (her exact words).

Above is the tree AFTER we picked two tubs of berries.

The Cherry Harvest


We were just eating Evans cherries off the tree in the community garden tonight, wondering if they were "jammable"! What a wonderful fruit, and it's truly amazing how big and fleshy the cherries are given our short growing season.

Does is take a long time to pit the cherries? Then you just mash and freeze? Or do you make real (non-freezer) jam?

Great pictures Ken.

The kids were really excited and helped with the picking AND the pitting - despite being stuck with overprotective parents.  All together 8 cups of pitted cherries - enough for two batches of jam - probably took us 30 minutes with two people at a time pitting.  We used Certo and boiled the cherries to make the jam.  We've never made freezer jam more out of ignorance than preference for dealing with boiling hot liquids.  I'll talk to my wife about the freezer option.

I am researching how to tend to the plant itself (pruning) as well as what is best for the plant. Such as is it better to: Leave a small amount of tall grasses around them to shelter the underside of the bush OR clean and weed the area? If anybody knows something, please post it?

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