Eckert's has new, rare 'thimbleberries' ready to be picked this week

Black raspberry
Photo credit (Eckert's Farm)

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – Eckert's Farm announced a new, rare crop is ready to be picked, but they're only available for a very limited time.

The family farm and county store in Belleville, known for its apple picking, pumpkin patch and more, says it has a black raspberries – also known as black caps or thimbleberries ready to be picked. It's the first time they've successfully cultivated the fruit in two years of planting.

Although often confused with it the similar-looking blackberries, these have a less tart taste and are known to be one of the healthiest berries on the planet.

“Black raspberries are incredibly rare in the Midwest, so this is the first time we have been able to offer a small crop at Eckert’s. We’ve been growing them for two years and had a surprise ripening over the weekend,” says Chris Eckert, president of Eckert’s Inc. “We’ve only dedicated a small area to this new crop, so the availability is limited, but we wanted our guests to taste this delicious fruit while it’s on the farm!”

The fruit is extremely difficult to find at grocery stores and typically only grows in the wild in the Northeastern parts of the country.

The exclusive opportunity to pick-your-own black raspberries will be on Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Unlike other pick-your-own offerings, field access is free and black raspberries will be charged by the container in advance at $10 per pint. Guests will still need to reserve their spot and can do so now through Eckert’s website.

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