June and July are my favorite months for berries. There are a lot that you can pick your self to use immediately or freeze to use later. I love to pick olallieberries for jam and strawberries for pie. I will also freeze a bunch to use in smoothies and pies throughout the year.
Olallieberries (June): An olallieberry is a cross between a youngberry and a loganberry. Each of these is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry and a dewberry respectively. It looks like a blackberry but it has a great sweet and tart taste that makes it great for jams and pies. Olallieberry vodka is also awesome!
Strawberries (June-July): Strawberries have been around for a looong time and were even mentioned in ancient Roman literature. Technically strawberry season starts in May but I don’t like to pick them until June. I could eat my weight in raw strawberries but they are great in pies and mashed up on top of angel food cake with some whipped cream.
Raspberries (Mid June – July): Raspberries always remind me of my childhood. We had a couple of bushes in our backyard and my sisters and I would pick the ripe ones everyday. Pies and jams need a lot of fruit and since raspberries tend to be a little more expensive, I like to eat them raw.
Tips for picking your own:
- Call ahead to see what time they open, what is available to pick and how much everything is per pound.
- Bring cash and your own containers. Most places will have something you can buy if you don’t have anything at home to bring.
- Think about what you are picking. If the bushes have thorns it is a good idea to bring some gardening gloves or you will be picking thorns out of your skin for weeks.
- It is best to go when they open. Most places designate a certain area for picking each day. When the berries are gone they’re gone. It will also get really hot when noon rolls around.
My favorite summer flowers are Gladiolus, Hydrangea and Iris.