A loganberry is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry. Loganberries appear to have been produced by accident in Oregon in the 1800s, and they quickly spread all the way South to Mexico. In the Pacific Northwest, loganberries are a very popular berry, and many people like to cultivate them at home. Commercial loganberries tend to be expensive, because the plants are difficult to manage commercially and the berries are very hard to harvest.
Credit for the development of the loganberry usually goes to James Harvey Logan, a judge who lived in Oregon in the 1800s. He had a casual interest in gardening, and in the late 1800s, he set about cross breeding various blackberry cultivars in an effort to develop the perfect berry. According to popular legend, he planted some blackberry canes close to some raspberries, and the loganberry was born.
When ripe, loganberries are a rich purple red color, and they are very juicy. They tend to hide underneath the leaves of their parent plant, which can make them hard to harvest. Loganberries also have notoriously thorny canes, and they can savage unwary berry fans as a result. However, they are also extremely hardy, making them a popular choice for gardens in cooler regions of the Pacific Northwest; as long as loganberries are in a reasonably sunny, sheltered area, they will take off in the garden.
Like blackberries and raspberries, loganberries can be eaten fresh out of hand and they can also be used raw in things like fruit salad. They are also superb in pies, cakes, and other baked goods, and they can be turned into jams, preserves, compotes, and syrup as well. Loganberry muffins are a popular offering at bakeries in the Pacific Northwest, and some cooks freeze the berries to have access to them year round.
If you're interested in growing loganberries, your local gardening store may be able to order in some starter cane for you. Plant the canes in loamy soil in a sheltered area of your garden with some sun exposure, and support them with sturdy stakes or a trellis. Once the canes establish themselves, trim them back to encourage even branches which will bear easily accessible fruit. After canes fruit, cut them back to the ground so that they will sprout and fruit again in a year. The canes also appreciate rich, well composted soil, and they will flourish if they are regularly fertilized.