Eat those berries! The wonders of our modern food system mean that raspberries and blackberries are available in the store virtually year-round — both in the produce department and as frozen berries. This makes it possible to enjoy their flavor and health benefits every day of the year.
Did you know:
- California is the biggest producer of fresh raspberries in the U.S.
- Washington state is the largest producer of raspberries for freezing, as Oregon is for blackberries
- More than 75% of fresh blackberries consumed in the U.S. are grown in Mexico
- There is increasing fresh market blackberry production in California and the Southeast
In addition to these large centers of production, there are lots of farms selling locally in season. You can seek them out — whether you pick your own at the farm, pick some up at a roadside stand, or get them at the store. Consumer requests for local berries help encourage stores to stock them.
Read the labels. Pay attention to the season, to the weather. Learn when local produce is ripe and where you can get local raspberries and blackberries (and strawberries, blueberries, sweet corn, tomatoes…). Grow a garden of your own. There are so many benefits to becoming an educated consumer who understands the interplay of plants, weather, climate, geography, economics, and all the other factors that make up our food system.
You can find NARBA member growers through our “Find a Farm” directory. Other sources with information about local farms and farm products are cooperative extension and many other online directories. For more information about picking your own berries, nutrition benefits, and growing your own, click here.