Red Raspberries in the Heat Pt 2

Red Raspberries in the Heat Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The extreme heat felt across Western Washington last week took a toll on many crops, including Washington’s raspberries, mostly grown in Whatcom County.

Washington Red Raspberry Commission executive director, Henry Bierlink says the quality of the berries was damaged which changes what they could be used for …

BIERLINK … “The sunburned berries aren’t going to make IQF (Individually Quick Frozen). So, they have to hopefully they’re good enough to be pureed, but there’s some that I don’t even know there going to make juice because they just shriveled up completely. You see some of those berries, they were cooked.”

Cooked, Bierlink says was a mild term compared to those used by some growers…

BIERLINK … “One of our growers taught us to use the term “blow torch” and that really was not wrong, not an overstatement.”

I asked Bierlink if he, or any of his growers had ever seen anything like this? …

BIERLINK … “No, you know, and some of my cohorts,

like one of my friends said, in 47 years of doing this, growing berries, never, never seen anything like this.”

Bierlink says things are not exactly looking the best for this season …

BIERLINK … “That’d be fair to say. You know, we came into the year not thinking we were going to have a bumper crop, but a good, decent crop, and everything looked pretty good. And, to get hit with this was demoralizing. But, you know, you have to adapt and deal with it and that’s what we’re doing.”

Bierlink says harvest is underway in earnest now and they will all do what they can to make the best of it.

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