Clockwise, starting bottom left: Tulameen raspberries 1) in my garden mid-July, 2) swimming in homemade ice cream, 3) sharing counter space with a pint of golden raspberries and 4) calling me to breakfast in the company of cream and sugar.
It may be our ‘gift’ of cloudy skies or the loamy soil kindly left behind by thousand of years of glaciers not staying put, but whatever it is the Pacific Northwest is berry country–a region so well-suited to growing cane fruit, that my blackberry hedgerow is an impenetable wall, formidable enough to block deer and puncture tractor tires. On the kinder, gentler side of berry genetics is the raspberry, an upright cane tame enough for an urban garden and delicious enough that one berry is ample reward (every ten seconds).
What’s the best raspberry to plant? My favorite variety (hands down) is the Tulameen raspberry. It grows in a clumping fashion, has minimal thorns and produces berries the size of cherries that yield to a gentle pull when harvested. They keep and freeze well, but in my kitchen lack of willpower keeps them a stranger to cold storage. They seem just as delicious on ice cream as on whipped cream as on your palm awaiting to be plucked up and popped into your mouth. If your garden is missing Tulameen raspberries, you’re missing an opportunity for a juicy summer treat.