Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions
If you have a question that could be included here, contact NARBA.
What's this I hear about a frozen berry mix making people sick?
Why do raspberries have little hairs on them?
Can I grow raspberries and blackberries in my garden?
How can I get berry stains out of clothing?
Are raspberries and blackberries pollinated by bees?
Can I grow raspberries and blackberries plants from seed?
How do you tell the difference between a blackberry and black raspberry?
Why don't raspberries grow well in the South?
What's this I hear about a frozen berry mix making people sick? In spring, 2013, a "Organic Antioxidant Blend" frozen berry mix sold by Townsend Farms, a berry company based in Oregon, was recalled by the company because more than 100 people had become sick from eating it with Hepatitis A. While Townsend Farms is a berry producer and processor in Oregon, the culprit in the product is apparently pomegranite seeds, imported from Turkey, and the strain of Hepatitis A identified is common in the Middle East but not found in North America. The product was sold by Costco and Harris Teeter stores, and has been removed from the shelves. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control.
Why do raspberries have little hairs on them? They are the remnants of the pistils, the female portion of the flower. They may help protect the fruit from insect damage. On some varieties these little hairs are more noticable than on others, and they are virtually nonexistent on blackberries.
Can I grow raspberries and blackberries in my garden? Yes, almost everywhere in North America, though not all kinds in all places. In general, raspberries require a cooler climate and blackberries a warmer one. Check with your local Extension office or other local experts for recommendations.
How can I get berry stains out of clothing? Try this: As soon as possible after the clothes are stained, and before washing, stretch the garment over the top of a large bowl or other container. Heat a kettle of water to boiling, then carefully and slowly pour the boiling water from a height of 2 to 3 feet over the stained places. Do not use this technique on clothing that is delicate or not color-fast.
Whirlpool's laundry guide recommends the following: Do not use a soap on fruit stains. It will set stains. Soak the garment immediately in cool water. Wash. If stain remains, cover area with a paste made of oxygen-type bleach, a few drops of hot water, and a few drops of ammonia. Wait 15 to 30 minutes. Wash. For old stains: sponge with white vinegar. Rinse. Repeat procedure for fresh stains.
You can also try a commercial stain remover.
Are raspberries and blackberries pollinated by bees? Most cultivars of blackberries, black raspberries, and raspberries are self-fruitful and do not require pollinizers, but honey bees are naturally attracted to brambles. Wind also aids pollination. Dewberries are self-incompatible, and must be inter-planted with other types for good fruit set.
Can I grow raspberries and blackberries plants from seed? Wild brambles often are, spread by birds which eat the fruit, but cultivated varieties are reproduced vegetatively by root cuttings, tip layering, or suckering. This insures that the exact same qualities of the parent plant are continued in the "daughter plants". Plants grown from seed are variable and unpredictable. Bramble breeders wanting to control the crosses put pollen of one type into flowers of another, grow new plants from seed that develops, and then choose the best of these for fnew cultivars or further breeding.
How do you tell the difference between a blackberry and black raspberry? The most obvious difference is that a black raspberry is hollow -- the core of the fruit stays on the plant when it is picked, while the core stays in a blackberry. Black raspberry fruit are also smaller, less shiny. and have a bluish waxy coating between the sections of the berry.
Why don't raspberries grow well in the South? They just don't tolerate the heat and the fluctuating winter temperatures.