The challenges in growing raspberries
All our raspberries are grown in soil beds, believing this gives them a fuller flavour, and a far better eating experience.
Growing raspberries for retail sale is extremely challenging. The raspberry has very little storage capacity and reserves due to the very small nature and size of each drupelet which make up the raspberry in total. Think for example of an apple or orange, how much larger they are and by size, have more reserves to draw on.
Issues we face
Mould or rot on the raspberry shows itself on an individual drupelet of the raspberry. Usually it does not spread past one or two drupelets and generally only a few raspberries per punnet can be affected. Hot days, high night time temperatures, humidity sees ideal conditions for development of a rot infection.
Soft raspberries can be a result of being over mature or having been over-watered. Over maturity is tricky as we pick our raspberries at just prior to their optimum peak. This allows for several days in retail and then onto the consumer. Sometimes delays in the retail section can cause a few extra days than what would otherwise be ideal. Raspberries do ripen in the punnet as well.
Over-watering also causes a soft raspberry. This can be more easily identified at picking time as usually the raspberry loses its flavour because of the raspberry having plus optimum levels of water. At Raspberries Tasmania, we are constantly adjusting our irrigation water to match the weather conditions, a tricky task.
Sunburn on the raspberry drupelet can also be of concern. It can lead to a small mould or rot. Unusually hot autumn weather can cause an incidence of this problem.
At picking time any raspberries deemed not suitable for fresh fruit sales are snap frozen for future use in jam, ice cream and many other things.