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Great Reading

The Wonderful World of Staycations….And The Amazing New Variety of Berries We Found

Washington Berries

Staycation, All I Ever Wanted…

My sister and her husband are in town from St. Louis for the weekend. As we’ve been spending time with them, I realized this is really a vacation for Matt and I as well, even though we haven’t gone anywhere. We could call this a local get-away, or even a staycation or something else buzz-wordy.

Local Bean Farm

The general idea of a staycation is to vacation locally: avoiding excessive carbon emissions, high spending, and overall impact on the environment, while at the same time supporting the local economy.

Lori & Rob

Together the four of us have tackled our list of restaurants serving local, organic food, spent time walking through our garden, sat chatting over locally roasted organic coffee, and toured local berry farms. It has been a blast!

Mom Came To Get Berries, Too

Discovering The Tayberry

Far and above the most fruitful of discoveries this weekend has been the tayberry. Have you heard of it? I sure hadn’t!

The tayberry grows much like a raspberry, but has the leaves of a blackberry, and looks a lot like a boysenberry. But it tastes sweeter and more complex than any of those three berries.



Apparently the tayberry was first cultivated in Scotland 1962 (named after the Tay River), and is a cross between an Aurora blackberry and a black raspberry.

They grow beautifully, and can be trained in circles (to reduce overall growth space). Just like raspberries and blackberries, they produce berries on second-year cane growth, so they will not produce berries in the first year. But if you click on the photo below, you can see the amount of berries hanging on each cane – each bush produces around 14 pounds of tayberries! They are hardy to about -15F and aren’t particular about soil – they just don’t like wet feet (easily accounted for by planting them on a slight hill).

Tayberry Bushes

This morning we had yoghurt pancakes with tayberries on top (of course!!). And this afternoon Matt baked a tayberry cobbler for a potluck dinner we attended. Both were divine. These beauties will be going into our garden next year!

Further Reading

More about the origins of the tayberry

How to Make Tayberry Liquor

How to Grow Tayberries (PDF)

Farms that grow tayberries in Puget Sound and more in Washington and Oregon

More about cultivation

Growing Tayberries in the UK

Where To Find Tayberry Canes in The US

(Please feel free to share sources you know in the comments!)

Raintree Nursery (Thanks, Kristi!)

One Green World

Have You Vacationed This Summer?

What do you think about the idea of a staycation? Is it something you’d consider?

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14 comments to The Wonderful World of Staycations….And The Amazing New Variety of Berries We Found

  • Oh yes, Tayberry a very delicious sweet fruit. A super dessert fruit, but also good for freezing and jam making. It is also beneficial on our health rich in vitamin C and full of anti-oxidants. I really like this fruit and enjoy it preparing as puddings and jams as I mentioned a while ago.

  • I’ve never heard of a Tayberry, but it sounds interesting! My family and I have been doing staycations for three years now, visiting local state parks and other attractions. In my opinion, there’s no place like home!

  • My favorite northwest nursery, Raintree, carries tayberries.

    They specialize in edibles that do well in western Washington. I have never been disappointed with anything I’ve ordered from them. They have tayberries for fall planting. Or, in the past, you order their catalog, and if you order online before a certain date (Jan 1?) you get free plants to the amount of 20% of your order.

    This weekend was spent painting the house. Not exactly a vacation LOL! We’re headed to remote BC soon to a cabin with no running water, and a wood burning cook stove (I do have elect. and a fridge). We’re powering down (no phones, tv or internet) for a week.

  • Jennifer

    This year will be our first staycation. I think we’re going to pitch the tent in our yard this week, roast s’mores on the chiminea, and pretend we are somewhere else! I usually travel within a two hour radius of our home, and we can visit beautiful places like Santa Barbara, San Diego, Big Bear & Palm Springs, CA. Great post!

  • CT, I’m thinking about making jam from the few that are left after we have nibbled. ; ) I’ll post about it if I do!

    GO, If you have the chance, to have a taste. YUM. Very sweet, rich, and flavorful. Great idea to visit local state parks for a vacation!

    KRISTI, Thanks for that link – the nursery looks great! I look forward to perusing their rootstock in the fall… And free plants… drool…

    Your power-down getaway sounds fabulous!!

    JENNIFER, Camping in the yard – that sounds wonderful – wow. I love it!!

  • sing it belinda- WE LOVE YOU! (OH SORRY HAVING AN EIGHTIES FLASHBACK) Yes I like and am a big fan of the staycation! I also like and am a big fan of the tayberry(guess mayberry was already taken- damn you don knotts). I am also a big fan of the raintree nursery- that is where I got my chinese golden plum tree from.

  • ROB, Oh yeah, I’m there with ya. On skis, waving with one hand… And the two of you have convinced me about Raintree…. heh they live on Butts Road… I do wish they were organic, though – doesn’t look like it from the website.

  • I have to disagree with you on raintree- I think they are very organic. WHen I was htere did not see any signs of non-organic activity, but I guess one could call to find out for sure.

  • How very interesting! I don’t suppose they would grow in the hot, dry desert…

    Hm, I wonder if somebody there happened to make any tayberry jam? Somebody that expressed jealousy over the prickly pear jelly…

  • ROB, I’ll give em a call – or maybe they will say in their catalogue I ordered. (I know, I know – so bad.) Online, they don’t say anything about being organic, an usually places have it right up front because it’s an asset. So I’ll check it out!

    CHILE, probably wouldn’t grow there well. Um, I may have, um, eaten them all, um… BUT I hope to get more. And I am going to make raspberry and boysenberry jam, if you’re interested…

  • [...] berries, a mixture of fruits – and every time it has been divine. This time we made it with tayberries.  [...]

  • [...] garden – tayberries, blueberries, bamboo, grapes, tomatoes, and [...]

  • Thanks so much for the info on Raintree.
    I’ve been looking quite a while for a good berry site.

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