Flavor was our most important consideration when we chose to offer “Sweety Pie” at our U-Pick blackberry farm in Northwest Georgia. We were expanding and needed to find some additional varieties to offer. We looked around for varieties that would be hardy and do well in our climate, but we focused mostly on flavor. After all, if you want flavorless, dull berries, you’ll go the grocery store and save yourself the trouble of picking them at all, right?
Blackberries for the Supermarket
Blackberries varieties have been developed, over time, to enhance different traits that make them more marketable in different ways. Some berries are designed specifically to keep well, transport well, and stay looking nice, longer, on the store shelves. These blackberries have to be lower in natural sugar, to keep their shape and color longer. That makes them perfect for supermarket production. It does NOT make them all that ideal for flavor!
Northwest Georgia Blackberries
We grow five varieties of berries, here at Grassy Mountain Blackberries. Each one was selected with an eye toward great flavor. However, the kind of berry that has us the most excited are the “Sweety Pie,” and not just because it has such an awesome name! Sweety Pie blackberries are 10 – 12% sugar, the highest sugar content and best-rated flavor of any blackberry available. Because of their high sugar content, Sweety Pie doesn’t make a good berry for grocery store markets, or even Farmer’s Markets that don’t sell within a few days of picking.
But, we are not a supermarket! When you pick the berries, you take them directly home and use or eat them as you wish. While Sweety Pie may not keep as long in the refrigerator as some varieties, we’re betting they won’t have to! Berries this sweet will be eaten up right away!
On top of being the sweetest blackberry available, Sweety Pies have the added bonus of blooming pink, instead of white. They have been so much fun to watch this spring, as last year’s planting leafs and blooms.
Sweety Pies are a floricane bearing plant, meaning that they bear fruit on last year’s growth. The berries that we’ll be harvesting this summer are the product of the first-year growth from what we planted last year. This is why the 2017 crop of Sweety Pie won’t be as big as it will be in years to come. But, whatever we get out of them, it’s going to be delicious. They should bear around the middle of June. So, don’t wait too long to get out and pick your share of the Sweetest Blackberries in Northwest Georgia!