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Martha's Berry Glossary: Get to Know Her Favorite Varieties

This is the closest we'll get to berry picking at Martha's farm!

berries
Photography by: Marcus Nilsson
Clockwise from top left: 1. Evangeline 2. Fraise des Bois 3. Eros 4. Pixwell 5. Red Start 6. Pink Champagne 7. Blanka 8. Invicta

From strawberries and currants to blueberries and raspberries, these gem-like fruits are the ultimate summer treat.

 

Early Season

Strawberries, which often set their flower buds the previous fall, get the picking season off the ground in May or June. Tart gooseberries and currants soon follow to round out the first half of the summer.

 

1. 'Evangeline' Strawberry

These early-season fruits bear the iconic heart shape we expect a strawberry to have. Plants are vigorous and resistant to leaf diseases.

 

Get our Strawberry Recipes

 

2. Fraise des Bois (Fragaria Vesca)

Though relatively unknown to many Americans, the slender fruit of this species is filled with flavor and grows from spring to fall.

 

3. 'Eros' Strawberry

This plump berry ripens midseason with bright flavor and a firm but juicy texture.

 

4. 'Pixwell' Gooseberry

A productive cultivar with smaller pale-green fruit that ripens to a plum red. The flavor is deeper and more berrylike than 'Invicta.'

 

5. 'Red Start' Currant

When eaten out of hand, red currants are very tart. But processed into jams, jellies, and desserts, their distinctive flavor comes into its own.

 

Get the Rote Grutze (Red Currant Pudding) Recipe

 

6. 'Pink Champagne' Currant

By crossing red and white currant varieties, hybridizers developed these blush-colored beauties, which are sweeter than red currants.

 

7. 'Blanka' Currant

This hybrid produces lots of pale translucent berries that look beautiful in the garden and on the plate.

 

8. 'Invicta' Gooseberry

Large pale-green fruit dangles from the heavily thorned branches of this hybrid. The plant is resistant to mildew and late-spring frosts.

 

Get the Gooseberry Custard Tartlets Recipe

msl-berries-2-mld107637.jpg
Photography by: Marcus Nilsson
Clockwise from top left: 1. Ben Sarek 2. Chandler 3. Kiwigold 4. Bristol 5. Reveille 6. Royalty

Late Season

The rich season for blueberries and bramble fruits, such as raspberries, begins in midsummer. Plan carefully to include varieties that will extend the season into fall.

1. 'Ben Sarek' Currant

Raw black currants need to be completely ripe to be palatable, and even then their strong flavor can be an acquired taste. But when made into jelly or sorbet, they are always delicious.

 

2. 'Chandler' Blueberry

This productive hybrid is self-pollinating (only one variety is required to set fruit), which comes in handy in a smaller garden.

 

Get our Blueberry Recipes

 

3. 'Kiwigold' Raspberry

Derived from red varieties, yellow raspberries are the result of a natural genetic mutation. They are grown as much for their novelty and unusual color as for their mild sweet flavor. 'Kiwigold' is an ever-bearing type, in fruit from midsummer to fall.

 

Get our Raspberry Recipes

 

4. 'Bristol' Raspberry

Black raspberries seem to have a richer flavor than some red varieties, but they can also be more susceptible to cold early in the season. The long canes need pruning to keep them in check.

 

5. 'Reveille' Raspberry

This cold-hardy cultivar starts the season off early with soft, flavorful fruit in a classic red-raspberry color.

 

6. 'Royalty' Raspberry

Purple raspberries are a cross between red and black hybrids. The large fruit is very sweet and soft.

 

Learn About the Berry Crops at Martha's Farm -- and Get Her Top Planting Tips