At the Market: Raspberries

Photo Credit: ripe, red raspberries / Boulder County Farmers Markets

Boulder Farmers Market

13th Street and Canyon Boulevard

4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 2

8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23

Lafayette Farmers Market

400 Block of East Simpson St.

4 p.m. – 8p.m. Thursdays through Sep. 26

Longmont Farmers Market 

Boulder County Fairgrounds

8 a.m. – 1p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 23

Union Station Farmers Market 

Denver’s Union Station

9 a.m. – 2p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26

In season now:  Freshly harvested apples, basil, bell peppers, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans kale, lettuce, melon, mint, onions, peaches, peppers, plums, potatoes, radicchio, spicy greens, sweet corn, Swiss chard, summer squash and tomatoes. You will also find honey, baked goods, eggs, beef, lamb, goat, pork, chicken, cheeses, ferments, preserves and mushrooms.

Lots of this, please: mouth-watering, tart, red and golden raspberries with a touch a fall sweetness.

The farmer says: Erin Dreistadt, co-owner and farmer of Aspen Moon Farm, says now is the time for fall raspberries. They are a little sweeter than their summer counterparts – taking longer to mature and spending more time absorbing all of nature’s sugars.

Berries are in limited supply at the market so coming early is key. Choose from gold and red varieties, and a few secret pints of black.

Dreistadt says, “There are only a few black raspberry pints a market, and it’s like a treasure hunt when someone finds the very few we have.”

The gold variety is also pretty special, taking the longest to mature of all their gold and red varieties, therefore, have the shortest availability. Dreistadt says everybody has different opinions about their taste, but she describes them as like a red with a citrus accent.

Part of their scarcity at the market can be attributed to their laborious harvesting. Each berry is individually picked by Aspen Moon’s attentive crew. Dreistadt said the berry harvest had them in the field well after 7:30 pm last Friday night before market.

In order to keep these labor-intensive crops at the market, Aspen Moon Farm is asking for support from the community by way of raspberry picking volunteers. Choose from two shifts (morning or afternoon) every Monday or Friday through September. Volunteers must email in advance their interest to [email protected] to receive all volunteer details and logistics before your scheduled day.

Previous volunteers have likened their experience to that of heaven on earth – gratifying work with mountain views and pasturing cows an arms-length way. Beats a days work at the office any day.

Expect raspberries to be available at Aspen Moon Farm through September and early October depending on early frost. Heavy weather events can also cause a gap in harvesting.

How to prepare: We eat them simple and fresh – our favorite is a la Amelie, one berry per finger. You can also freeze them simply by popping in a freezer bag and into the freezer. No fuss, and the makings for future smoothies.

Goes with: honey, goat cheese, dark chocolate, mint, apricot, greens, cinnamon

How to store it: Store your raspberries in the refrigerator in the ventilated pint you buy them in. Don’t wash them until you are ready to eat as the water will start to break the fruit down.

Good to know: This list represents a general overview of the week’s harvest, not every item that is being produced locally. Some farms do not grow or have ready some items on the list.

Raspberry Sunflower Chutney

Makes about 2 cups

 

4 pint of raspberries

2 cups fresh peaches (about 3 large or 1 pound)

1/2 cup sunflower petals

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

3 tablespoons honey

1 jalepeño pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

Directions: Toss everything except the vinegar in a big pot and cook them over medium heat for about five minutes while the berries burst and leak their juices in the pot.  Remember to stir every once in a while and add salt and pepper if you need. When the berries have completely broken down, about 6 to 8 minutes, add the vinegar and let the mix simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes while the chutney thickens.

Source: Chef Miche Bacher, owner of Niche Confections. www.nicheconfections.com