The ones are black, the others are red, they have a slightly sour teste and grow on bushes. We are talking about blackberries and raspberries, the small, delicious summer berries. Did you know they are part of the Melinda treasures too?
In this period in our Valleys we are approaching the final span of their harvest.
Let us leave the word to Damiano, a young fruit cultivator from Alta Val di Non, who is ready to unlock all of their secrets.
Interview to Damiano: everything about the harvest of black- and raspberries
Has ever happened to you, during a nice walk in the mountains, to find yourself in front of a long stretch of blackberries and raspberries? When you were little it was a moment of true joy, a wonderful discovery. To make you remember of those sweet times, here is an interview to Damiano, a real expert, who told us a lot of interesting curiosities about these fruits.
Here is our Q&A:
- Hello Damiano, today we are talking about berries. Tell us about your project about raspberries and blackberries!
The idea of starting to cultivate berries, and specifically raspberries and blackberries, came up about 5 years ago, as Melinda decided to market these products, in addition to apples. Our family business cultivated only apples until then, but my brother Giovanni and I have convinced our father in embarking this new adventure. Actually, we think it is important to diversify the productions in order to be able to assure us a future here, in our Valley. Moreover, the cultivation of the berries happens in the summer months, namely July and August, so in a moment in which the work for the apples is somehow lighter. This way you never get bored!! 😊
- Which is the secret for a perfect harvest of these berries?
The raspberry is a very delicate fruit and needs many attentions.
It has to be picked up every day, including Saturdays and Sundays, because its maturation is really fast: the raspberry goes from a white/rose, to a lively red colour from day to day. So, you need to be constant and pick up the fruits gradually, as soon as they are ready. But you need to pay attention not to wait too long: it just takes a single day to a raspberry to overripe, and so to be unsuitable for the selling. Moreover, it has to be picked up and treated very gently, so it won’t ger damaged. Luckily, my mother and my sister help me with this, as they do it surely better than me!
- How does the activity in the berries’ fields take place?
We place the raspberry plants in the grounds in spring, about the first days of April, when the days get longer, and the temperatures start to rise. Then it comes the time of flowering, and the raspberries get filled up with bees, who provide their essential pollination services. After about 3 months, around the beginning of July, the plants start to bear some fruits. The harvest of the berries lasts 40-50 days, during which our whole family wakes up very early in the morning (around 5 o’clock) to start harvesting the fruits in the morning coolness. The selection of the berries is made directly in the sales packages, and the product is taken to the cooperative every single day, in order to guarantee its freshness.
- How is it to work in family?
I work a lot with my brother Giovanni, as both of us have specialized on the production of berries and of apples, and we work the whole year for their cultivation. My father Giancarlo concentrates specifically on the apples, while my sister Gloria and my mother Nella help us all in the periods of harvest, which are the most important of the year. Sometimes there is some argument, even a bit lively, on the field’s management. The generational shift makes itself heard from time to time 😊 but eventually, thanks to the enthusiasm of the young generation and the experience of the parents, we are always able to find out the right resolution.trovare la giusta soluzione.I guess you are ready to make a feast of blackberries and raspberries! Thanks to people as Damiano, who take care of them working hard every day.