At The Apple Farm we produce a range of delicious raspberries. Our most popular varieties are Glen Moy, Tullameen and Polka; we call them our trio of Tipperary raspberries. However, Glen Moy was bred in Scotland, where native wild raspberries grow in the woodlands. It is the earliest to ripen, usually being ready in late June. Next comes Tullameen, which was bred in Canada in 1980, coming from parent raspberries known as the European red raspberry, the North-American red raspberry, and the black raspberry. This complex parentage gives a range of traits that growers and customers like, including excellent flavour. For gardeners it is also good, as it is resistant to some important pests and diseases. But is it an Irish raspberry or a Canadian one?
Polka is the latest variety, and is actually a primocane type, which means that you cut back its canes to ground level each year, and it grows up and fruits all in a single season. This is different to standard varieties, which grow canes in the first year, and produce fruit on those canes in the following year.
Because primocane types like Polka must do all their growing before fruiting in a single season, their harvest tends to be in autumn. For this reason, on our farm we grow our Polka in a plastic tunnel for the second half of the summer. The extra heat means that the fruit ripen a bit sooner, and the tunnel also protects the fruits from rain damage, which can be very damaging in late summer and autumn.
With this selection of varieties, we have raspberries from June until early October, and this tender and succulent fruit is one of the most popular in our farm shop. While most people use them for eating fresh or freezing, they also make excellent jam, thanks to their natural pectin which ensures that the jams set well.
We harvest our raspberries fresh daily, to make sure you always get the tastiest and ripest fruits.