Hey guys! If you love berries as much as I do, then you know how flipping expensive they are to buy at the grocery store! What you might NOT know, is how easy they are to grow.
Our raspberry patch is just starting it’s third season and it is flourishing! We had so many berries last year that I can’t imagine how it will be this summer.
So first thing is how in the heck we started our raspberry patch for 8 dollars.
If you have spent money on raspberry plants then your gonna kick yourself when I tell you this part. Raspberry plants spread like weeds. Their roots go out in all different directions and send up shoots all around the “mother plant” growing new babies. So what does this mean for us? If you can find someone, ANYONE, that has a raspberry patch, then I guarantee they have raspberry starts all over the place every spring. Voila! Free plants! All you need is a shovel and a box to take them home in. Every single one of our plants (about 35 originally) was transported to our patch for free. $0.00
We also have poles in our patch to make it pretty, and to hold up the bird net (when we actually put it up) and the wires to guide the plants. I found those poles laying around on the farm along with the wire, all I had to do was go get them. $0.00
I used two different methods for weed control around our patch. One side is old hay tarp with wood chips on top. This is the “permanent side where I don’t want the raspberries growing into. And the other side is newspaper and grass clippings. This keeps the weeds down excellently for about two years, and I let the raspberries grow farther into this section. You can read more in depth about my newspaper and grass clippings method HERE. Both sides were laid with completely free material. $0.00
The only thing in my raspberry patch that I paid for is the DIY permanent drip pipe that I made specifically for my raspberries. I bought a few pieces of 3/4 inch PVC pipe and then a friend told me she had some at her house that she wanted gone. So I only ended up paying for three pieces and a few connectors. $8.00
That’s it! Oh and I make my own compost to put on it too. So I am out $8.00 on my entire raspberry patch. It is now the start of their third year and my patch extends 70 feet and has almost completely filled in.
Aside from transplanting them and setting up the drip irrigation system, the only things I do are weed them (sometimes) and put compost around them once a year. I also prune them in the fall and cut out the old canes.
Now for the part you REALLY care about…
I do quite a few different things with my raspberries. Mine only come on once a year for about three or four weeks so I have A LOT all at once.
First thing we do with them around here is EAT THEM of course! Now the only way I put a number on that is by comparing it to what the store charges for them. Around here, one of these little …. tiny …. one person sized helping …. of piddly raspberries ….costs $4.99!
When the raspberries are on, we are picking giant salad bowls full of huge, juicy, sweet berries. So if your comparing these straight across (which is an insult to my raspberries if you ask me) then the amount we eat out of our patch is at least $150.
Second thing we do with them is make jam. We eat an abnormally large amount of jam at the farmhouse. I make 40-50 jars of jam each year, and about 20 of them are raspberry or raspberry peach. A jar of jam from the store here (not nearly as delicious as homemade) runs about $5.00. Now we are up another $100
The next thing we do is freeze them. One of my favorite things growing up was jello with berries in it. Mmmmm I might have to go make some real quick for dinner tonight …. Frozen raspberries are perfect to toss in jello real quick or to add to smoothies. I freeze several trays every year. Compare to the store bought frozen bags and we end up with $50 to add to the total.
After I have all of these things done, and have given some away to friends, I do one more thing … I sell them to a local fruit stand. People beg for organic, local, fresh picked berries! The fruit stand pays me $3.00 for a small container of them. 40 of these x 3= $120
That’s a grand total of at least $420! And it all started with eight measley dollars. The best part is that with very little effort, our raspberry patch keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. These numbers are after only 2 growing seasons, so imagine what we will be getting in another year or two! I highly suggest growing this delicious berry, and who knows, maybe you can make even more then I do!
Interested in saving even more money from your garden? When you subscribe to The Real Farmhouse you get my list of which fruits and veggies save me the most money and the least. Tomatoes top the list at over $60 per plant!
Now go get some dirt in your toes!