July 30, 2012
You Can Never Have Too Many Blackberries is the title of a recent NPR piece. I agree. However, this season and the previous two harvests have been diminished by the Botrytis fungus. The summers of 2010 and 2011 were much cooler and foggier than usual, likely encouraging the fungus.
We continue to pick our marionberries, but an increasing proportion are affected by the disease. This is so disappointing because the crop is abundant and we’ve had marionberries for three months now.
Lately we’ve picked more of them partially ripe and frozen for use in desserts like the Summer Fruit Crisp.
The progression from partially ripe to rotten seems to occur in a day. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (GrowOrganic.com) tells me Serenade is a biofungicide that can control Bortrytis. We plan to spray.
Meanwhile I’m hoping my sister in Oregon will trade my apricot jam for her marionberry.