Blackberry/Raspberry

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Scientific Name: Rubus fruticosus

Family: Agavaceae

Common Name: Blackberry / Raspberry

General Description

Blackberry/Raspberry is the edible fruit produced by any type of plants of the genus Rubus which belongs to the Agavaceae family. It includes numerous species and hybrids of short and spiny shrubs, widely spread throughout the world and especially in the northern regions. It is being cultivated in many European countries for its delicious fruit, which can be canned, made jam and aromatic liqueur. The cultivation requirements are low and it has the ability to adapt very well to the most extreme weather conditions. It can be planted even in poor soils, but it has to be irrigated.

Health Benefits

Blackberries are rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A , C, E and beta- carotene,fibers, but also in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, etc. However, there are not high in fat and calories. They have antioxidant and anti-aging, cardiovascular and anti-cancer properties. They are helpful to maintain health vision and are benefitial to the urinary system.

Raspberry Nutrition Value

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Raspberry Health Benefits

Has anticancer and anti-aging properties.

Helps maintain body weight.

Helps the body to renew its cells.

Has antioxidant properties.

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Blackberry Nutrition Value

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Blackberry Health Benefits

Used against anemia and diarrhea.

Used as hemostatic.

Fights sore throat.

The Blackberry tea improves glandular function and helps in the maintenance of normal weight.

Protects the eyes.

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Varieties

Each variety of blackberry/raspberry has different morphological characteristics affecting the fruit. Below are presented some varieties such as:

1. Navaho – Blackberry

navaho

A variety without thorns harvested in late summer. It produces delicious, succulent and large fruits. This variety is resistant and with large production. The harvest lasts 1 month.

2. Hull Thornless – Raspberry

Hull Thornless

It is semi-early variety. The strain has no thorns and the fruit is sweet, crisp and relatively large.The production of this variety is moderate. It is sensitive to sunlight.
Only a small percentage of the fruits are intended for fresh consumption. The bulk of production is getting frozen or processed. The frozen fruits are used in confectionery, for ice creams, in pies, as additives in yogurt,for jams, syrups, in beverages and to produce natural colors and fragrances.

Cultivation techniques

It can be either a perennial shrub or a climbing deciduous plant. It is rejuvenated with offshoots every year and goes into full flowering in the 2nd year after planting. It is planted in lines and each plant is supported by rods and wires. Blackberry/Raspberry is adaptable to a variety of terrains. The ideal ph value is 6 to 6.5. The blackberries are found mainly in forested areas, hedges, shrublands, on the banks of streams even at the side of the roads . They grow plenty of offshoots which form long and flexible arcuate shoots with strong spines. The leaves have dark green color. The flowers have whitish petals and the fruit is edible, succulent and delicious. At first they have green color, then yellow-red and finally turn black and shiny. They are hardy plants that can withstand frost.

The plants are cultivated in spring and have 30 to 45 cm height. The planting distances are 1.5 to 3.0 meters between the plants on the same line and 3.0 meters between the lines. The planting distance between the lines can reach 4 meters in the case of mechanical harvesting. The estimated number of plants that are planted is 200 to 220 plants per acre. Before planting, the appropriate fertilization for the cultivation is added, as well as an amount of organic matter. A limiting factor in the growth and expansion of cultivation is that the fruits can’t be kept at room temperature for more than 24 hours. After harvesting they must be precooled at 5 °C and must be maintained for a few days at 0 °C. The transfer must be carried out at 0 ° C and in a controlled atmosphere with a high content of carbon dioxide.

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Harvest

Harvesting is done when the color turns from red to purple. At first, only a few blackberries ripen. The shrubs should be renewed by cutting the low stems immediately after harvesting. The plant can give fruits for 12 to 13 years, starting from the 2nd year of planting.

Production

The average production is 500 to 1.000 kg per acre, while it can reach 2.000 to 3.000 kilos per acre by applying the best cultivation techniques. It needs 35 to 45 days for the fruit to be ripened. The sales of fresh blackberries and raspberries increase steadily.