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Freezing Wild Black Raspberries

July 9th, 2009

My mom has a nice area in her back yard where a lot of wild black raspberries grow. She’s had a bumper crop this year, so she invited me over to pick the extra berries she didn’t want.
I went over several days last week and one day this week and I spent about an hour each time. So far I’ve been able to pick 10.5 pounds of wild black raspberries for our freezer! I’m heading over again today so I should be able to add another 2-3 pounds to that total. That means I won’t have to go to the local blueberry farm to buy blueberries this year since I have so many raspberries.
I freeze the berries on a cookie sheet so that they don’t freeze together in the bags. When they’re frozen, I scoop them up and put them in a freezer bag.
This way I can easily measure out what I need for a recipe from the bags and I don’t have to pre-measure into smaller freezer bags. I prefer freezing my berries and dealing with them later when I have more time and when the weather’s cooler outside.
I’m looking forward to making some jam this winter and perhaps some cobbler or some black raspberry scones.

How do you preserve berries for those long winter months?

38 Comments to “Freezing Wild Black Raspberries”
  1. warren on July 9, 2009 at 8:50 am

    We freeze blackberries and raspberries exactly as you describe. We also make jam/jelly, syrup and I plan to make some wine this year. We pick blackberries every 3 days for a month and end up with tons…we’re well stocked all season!
    .-= warren´s last blog ..Swarm in Kanawha City =-.

    Reply to warren's comment

  2. C Aultman on July 9, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Do you know how jealous this Arizonian is. I would do anything to be able to grow berries.
    .-= C Aultman´s last blog ..Welcome to the Good Ole USA……… =-.

    Reply to C Aultman's comment

  3. farm mom on July 9, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Oh, I love wild “black caps” as we call them here. In fact, I think they’re more flavorful than the domesticated red ones. I actually have a small patch growing in my yard and today we’ll be going over to my parents wild patch as well. Yummy!
    .-= farm mom´s last blog ..A Simple Observation =-.

    Reply to farm mom's comment

  4. Sue on July 9, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    So happy to have found you! I have a bumper crop this year and with my dh out of work free food looks awfully good!
    .-= Sue´s last blog ..My Husband is Laid Off =-.

    Reply to Sue's comment

  5. Pampered Mom on July 9, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    We typically pick from a couple of different ways to preserve our berries…freezing, dehydrating (whole/halved/quartered or as fruit leather), or jams. I’m jealous of your totals. Last year we made jam and had lots of frozen and dried berries. This year I got the jam made, but didn’t get a chance to go back to pick more strawberries for drying/freezing until it was too late.

    We’ve got our own berry bushes/plants, but they won’t be producing or producing anything of significant quantity until as least next year. Since I missed out on the strawberries, I’m hoping I can take advantage of other later bearing fruits – it’s too expensive to buy these types of things at the store the rate my kids go through them for snacks!
    .-= Pampered Mom´s last blog ..Car Free – An Update on our Discoveries =-.

    Reply to Pampered Mom's comment

    • Eileen Thomas on June 26, 2010 at 10:44 am

      can you tell me if I should wash the black raspberries before I freeze them? Thank you

      Reply to Eileen Thomas's comment

      • Barbara on June 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm

        I rinse my black raspberries twice in cold water and gently…scooping them out of the water with my hands, lay them on a long area of paper towels. I let them drain awhile then freeze them as mentioned by the writer of this blog.

        to Barbara's comment

  6. Lexa on July 10, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I didn’t know that there were wild raspberries. Here in Oreogn, its the non-native wild blackberry that will be coming into season by the end of the month. And then it’s one month solid of picking and eating or freezing, just like you descibed. There is nothing better than , on a cold winter day, pouring out a few cups of frozen berries to make a desert. It’s like we capture a bit of summer in the freezer.
    .-= Lexa´s last blog ..New Kid on the Block =-.

    Reply to Lexa's comment

    • Mary Stirrett on July 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm

      They are probably near the mountains in Oregon. At least that is where they are here in Washington.

      We are in the foothills below Mt. Rainier and have them all over our property.

      What I’d like to know is how to move them all to one place on our property so it is easier to take care of them.

      Reply to Mary Stirrett's comment

      • Susy on July 12, 2009 at 12:40 am

        You could dig them up and move them, I’d try to dig up first year canes (since they fruit on 2nd year) then they’d probably still fruit the next year. That would be a lot of work, and since raspberries put out runners they’d probably be all over the place in no time again!

        to Susy's comment

  7. Allie on July 10, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I like to freeze berries too. I like keeping my options open in terms of using them later. And most of the time, I’m happy to just serve them defrosted over ice cream or pancakes or mix them up in a smoothie anyway.
    .-= Allie´s last blog ..A/V Fridays – Eco Trip – Cotton =-.

    Reply to Allie's comment

    • Eileen Thomas on June 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

      can you tell me if I should wash the lack raspberries before I freeze them. Thank you

      Reply to Eileen Thomas's comment

      • Susy on June 26, 2010 at 11:00 am

        I don’t usually wash mine. I pick over them and remove any fruit that looks questionable or really dirty and I was those for use right away. I find that washing prevents them from freezing well.

        to Susy's comment

  8. Mrs. Meyer on July 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I went to the store yesterday and found blueberries (produced in USA) for .99 per pint. I got 10 pints and have been freezing them:)

    Shannon Meyer
    .-= Mrs. Meyer´s last blog ..New life =-.

    Reply to Mrs. Meyer's comment

  9. Iyan on July 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    We have lots of shiny, sticky, wild red raspberries growing in our yard. They are delicious fresh, but when I froze some last year they had a very chemical taste. Has anyone else experienced this, and what can I do to freeze them and not get that terrible taste?

    Reply to Iyan's comment

    • Susy on July 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm

      That’s quite odd, I’ve never heard of this problem. Mine taste just like fresh when I thaw them, hopefully someone knows the answer to your question.

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Anne Dorley on October 12, 2009 at 3:48 am

      Sounds like there was something wrong when you picked them. They should never be sticky.

      Reply to Anne Dorley's comment

    • Jessica on July 2, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Did you wash them before you froze them? I have been picking wild black raspberries for 14 years. When you pick them and eat them, they kind of have that taste. If you give them a good wash, they will taste alot better. They shouldn’t be sticky. Maybe you picked them a little late in the season or even a little too early. Next time you pick, try them and see if they taste right before you pick anymore. They might not be done yet or they can be ready to fall off and rot.

      Reply to Jessica's comment

  10. carol Vander Zanden on August 4, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    I have a few black raspberries growing around my house. When they have berries there’s only a clump of 4 or 5 on the whole bush. How can I get more fruit? Should they be cut back or fertilized or what do I do to get more berries?

    Reply to carol Vander Zanden's comment

    • Dan Dixon on May 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Take pruners when you go to pick. Prune the first year canes (the ones without the berries on them when you’re picking )to 3-4 feet – chest level unless you’re a midget or a giant. Next year they’ll put out a lot of shoots that will bear fruit. If you’re not getting much fruit, make sure they’re getting sun and try throwing some manure or compost onto them late in the season. At that time you should also prune out all of the dead second year canes and thin the ones that are left to a couple of strong canes per square foot.

      Reply to Dan Dixon's comment

      • Susy on May 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        Great tip!

        to Susy's comment

  11. Yummy Girl on October 28, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I really like black raspberries “Yummy” ! But I want to know how it’s good for you and why?

    Reply to Yummy Girl's comment

  12. Toni on December 25, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Does anyone sell black raspberries? Trying to find some to make a special dessert for my in-laws. They used to make a black raspberry steamroll back in PA and haven’t been able to make it since moving to AZ. Thanks!

    Reply to Toni's comment

    • Susy on December 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm

      I think I’ve seen them in the stores occasionally. They’ll probably be expensive since they’re so delicate. Make sure you check the frozen section as well, they might be there. I do see them at my local farmer’s markets when they’re ins season.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Homemade Blueberry Muffin Cake | Chiot's Run on January 11, 2010 at 4:46 am

    […] spend some time each summer gathering sun ripened berries and stowing them away in the freezer. They’re a delightful reminder of summer during these cold dark winter months. Our freezer is […]

    Reply to Homemade Blueberry Muffin Cake | Chiot’s Run's comment

  14. […] 13, 2010 by chiotsrun We spend some time each summer gathering sun ripened berries and stowing them away in the freezer. They’re a delightful reminder of summer during these cold dark winter months. Our freezer is […]

    Reply to Blueberry Skillet Cake (or muffins) « Not Dabbling In Normal's comment

  15. Suzanne on June 28, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    There are so many this year. Does anyone have any good recipes using black raspberries? I am freezing them, making jam and now syrup.

    Reply to Suzanne's comment

  16. Wild Purple Scones « local kitchen on August 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    […] single blackberry from our wild front yard vines. Despite this bummer-of-a-berry summer, however, berries freeze well, especially the wild ones which tend to be smaller, sturdier and more firm than their commercial […]

    Reply to Wild Purple Scones « local kitchen's comment

  17. Marlene Webb on June 19, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Do you know a source for organic wild red raspberries and/or juice, jams, or puree?


    Reply to Marlene Webb's comment

    • Susy on June 19, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Not really – I’ve seen them at our local farmer’s market before. You could try searching on as it’s a great resource for finding things like that.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. trish on October 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    I am interested in buying frozen black raspberries- preferably from Maryland. DO you know of anyone selling them? I need enough to make 100 4 oz jars of jam as my wedding favors;-)

    Reply to trish's comment

  19. akirk on June 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    I discovered this cookie sheet freezing method with blueberries. Works well with strawberries too. I have another piece of advice:
    Don’t wash the berries before you freeze them on the cookie sheet! Freeze them right fresh from picking. Getting them wet makes them mushy and defeats the “single freezing” method.
    -A K-

    Reply to akirk's comment

    • Susy on June 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      So true, I never rinse any berries.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. Gail on June 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’ve been picking cherries and strawberries today. I think my cherry trees may have a disease. Many of them are dried looking and have something that looks like bug bites on them. Actually we have only owned the trees for four years and last year was the only year the cherries were perfect. The hardest part was to wait until they were plump and dark and sweet!

    Reply to Gail's comment

  21. Osiris on July 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    why don’t you eat them right off the vine, you are missing out on all those nutrients from the sun you won’t get anywhere else because all the berries in the store are power-washed and chemically treated! they are delicious!

    Reply to Osiris's comment

    • Susy on July 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      We do, but we can’t eat all that we pick so we freeze the extra.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  22. carol smith on June 4, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    I am blessed to have wild blackcaps around our pasture lots and they
    produce a mass of the best berries. This year i pruned them down
    and made access to them easier…and it’s almost time to pick … it
    is a bumper crop. We love them and I’ll keep supporting the vines,
    and pruning them for the improved yield. What a treat !!!

    Reply to carol smith's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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