Bloom Where You're Planted Farm

  (Avoca, Nebraska)
A family-owned educational farm & pumpkin patch near Avoca, Nebraska
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Berries, anyone? (Feedback needed, a.k.a. HELP!!)

Late last week, Terry and I attended a class put on by the University of NE extension.  It was all about growing berries in your home garden.  We've been considering planting some small fruits in the hopes that we could grow enough to make our own jams & jellies to sell in our gift shop.

The three main fruits we covered in class were raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.  We also touched on currants, aronia berries and gooseberries.  Strawberries are a given; hopefully we'll plant enough to have leftovers after we eat our fill--they're our favorite!  We're planning to build some raised beds and start some plants this spring.

But what else to plant??  Red raspberries are another favorite of mine, and it seems like they're a necessity in any berry patch.  And, we like the idea of blackberries (especially the thornless type)!  One of our Facebook fans suggested gooseberries.  I've heard that gooseberries and currants both like partial sun, which may work perfectly in the part of our garden that gets shady in the hot afternoons.

We'd love to hear your feedback -- if you're currently growing berries, what do you recommend we plant and/or stay away from?  (We're on the line between Zone 4 & 5).  How many plants (of each fruit) to we need to can a few dozen jars of jam?  If you don't grow berries but love to buy and/or make jams, jellies or preserves, what are your favorites?

Thanks for your input!  Stay tuned to hear how it all turns out for this couple of newbies!  :-)


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