Whether you're looking for freshly picked raspberries to turn into your own special raspberry jam, or you just want some raspberry fresh flavor, New Mexico has what you need, and Albuquerque is a good place to start your search.
Raspberries are one of the jewels of the fall harvest season, so plan on a road trip to the Salman Ranch in Mora, New Mexico to pick some yourself, or find some local berries condensed into a jar of flavor with Heidi's jam products.
Either way, you can't go wrong, because raspberries from New Mexico are delicious.
Updated for 2015.
New Mexico Raspberry U-Picks:
Heidi's Raspberry Ranch
Heidi's U-Pick usually begins in late August and happens every weekend, Saturdays and Sundays. Containers are provided. There will also be pre-picked berries for sale, and Heidi's jam products.
Heidi's offers a full line of raspberry vinegars and jams, each one special. In New Mexico, the chile runs rampant, so it makes sense that Heidi's paired their raspberries up with some chile flavor. Look for the red chile raspberry jam for a bit more of a sweet kick, or add in some ginger with the red chile ginger jam, one of my favorites for its bite. The raspberry ginger jam is also good. In 2015, they introduced a lavender raspberry jam as well. They can all be ordered online or found in stores and at farmer's markets. All Heidi's products are certified organic.
Hours: Weekends in summer from August 30 until first frost, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Where: Corner of Sun Valley Road and Edeal Road in Los Lunas.
Tome Berry Farm
The farm lies along Route 47, south of Los Lunas, in Tome. Heading south, pass the Tome community center and church, and look for the farm on the east side of the street.
Early in the summer, they have blackberries, and in the later summer, three varieties of raspberries. You can u-pick or buy by the pound. Tome's berries are huge, gorgeous and completely free of pesticides.
Hours: Sunday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in summer, and until harvest is done. Call (505) 866-1967 for information.
Where: 2847 Hwy. 47
Mrs. Boots' Berries
Mrs. Boots's Berries is in the historic village of Chimayo, north of Santa Fe. Mrs. Boots has five varieties of raspberries, as well as thornless blackberries, flowers, orchard produce and fresh vegetables for sale. The farm is open late summer to October 15 (around first hard frost) by appointment only. Mrs. Boots uses all-natural practices, so they're organic without the official certification. Contact Mrs. Boots at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (505) 351-4412.
Hours: By appointment.
For 2015: Plans are to open the U-pick fields on Saturday, August 22, and to close in mid October, when the first killing frosts come. The berries are ripening quickly this year. Raspberries from the field cost $6 per pound.
There will be raspberry sundaes and raspberry pie in the Cafe, and possibly some berries in the store.
They're hoping for more bountiful berries after Labor Day.
The store has raspberry jam and chile berry jars, raspberry fudge sauce and more products.
For anyone who loves raspberries and being outdoors, the trip to Salman Ranch in northern New Mexico to get raspberries is a great way to spend a day. Enjoy picking your own pints of berries at the six acre field in Mora. The ranch grows five different varieties, each with its own distinct flavor, and all ripening at different times. Usually if it isn't hit by frosts, the ranch is open as late as Halloween.
Children love this outing. The berries are easily taken from the bush, and eating along the way is part of the u pick experience. After picking your raspberries, head to the cafe for a bite to eat (closed Mondays.) Or visit the ranch store and pick up some raspberry vinegar and other items for early Christmas gifts.
What You'll Get
- As many raspberries as you can pick
- Containers for picked berries
- Recipes for raspberries
- Instructions on how to freeze berries
- La Cueva "currency" good for discounts in the Salman Ranch store
From Albuquerque, take I-25 north to Las Vegas. Take exit 343 and out of Las Vegas, take 518 north 25 miles to La Cueva. Look for the Salman Ranch signs.
The U-pick season normally begins mid August and last until mid to late October. It is sometimes open as early as July. Check the webpage for updates to be sure they're open. For current field conditions, check the Salman Ranch website, or call toll free, 866-281-1515. Raspberries from the field cost $5 per pound, cash and check only.
Hours: Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.