Next to strawberries, raspberries may be one of the most popular berries and they have a lot in common with strawberries.  Strawberries are usually either June bearing or everbearing while raspberries are very similar.  They come in the one crop variety, that which produces fruit on the plants that grew the previous year, or the two-crop or everbearing raspberries which produce some fruit at the top of the current season plants in the fall and then a second crop on the rest of the plant the following year.  
    While most people are familiar to red raspberries, they are available in a variety of colors, maybe not on the produce shelves, but these different varieties are available to the home grower and also in areas where you can find them at farmers markets, u-picks, etc.  With some luck, you can find purple, yellow and black fruits in addition to the standard red fruits.  
    Raspberries are not anywhere as widely consumed as perhaps they should be.  The major stumbling blocks to the success of raspberries is that they tend to be quite expensive.  The other major problem with marketing raspberries is their incredibly short shelf life.  They require a healthy markup to make up for excessive spoilage.
    Luckily, they are extremely easy to grow given the right climate.  They spread quickly.  I remember as a child that my parents had about 2 gallons of raspberries that needed to be picked every day during their peak, and I also remember eating as many as I could while I was out there.  My mother used to say that she didn't like that she didn't like eating them after they made it into the house, because they would inevitably end up getting squished, refrigerated and would become relatively unappealing.  I tended to side with her and at an early age,  and learned to appreciate the value of eating berries right off the vine.  
    Nutritionally, raspberries have a fairly even ratio of all the different vitamins and minerals.  With about 8% protein, they rate a little higher than most fruits.  Many different scientific studies within the last decade have linked raspberries as being high in antioxidants and cancer preventing properties.  Raspberries have been classed as "nutraceuticals", that is foods or parts of a foods that provide medical or health benefits beyond basic nutrition, including prevention and treatment of disease.
    Because raspberries can be easily grown almost everywhere, it seems that they will continue to grow in popularity, especially with backyard growers.
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