23 June 2013

About Our Blackberries

It has been uncharacteristically cool and wet this year. Usually at this time of year we are drowning in humidity, but get no rain so that we have to water regularly to keep our gardens from succumbing to the heat. But this year we have had a lot of rain, and the gardens have been drinking it up with relish. Our blackberries are starting to ripen and they are so juicy and sweet! We picked almost 10 pounds of berries the other day and I need to get out there and pick again if it will stop raining long enough that I can!

We planted several varieties of blackberries that we paid a pretty penny for, but the only cultivar that has thrived in our microcosm is one that we dug up from an old an abandoned homestead years ago. We would go there every year to pick the sumptuous, juicy berries that covered an embankment next to the road. One day we saw a sign that advertised that the land was being turned into a subdivision. We saw a bleak future for our summer berry picking and hated the idea of this wonderful, vintage variety of blackberry falling prey to land development. So when the bramble patch started putting up next years canes we took several buckets and dug some of them up, took them home and began the many year long process of multiplying what we saved from the bulldozer. Normally I would hesitate to dig since we didn't have permission, but they were going to bull doze them anyway, so we were pretty sure no one would care. Now when you drive by our favorite picking spot there is a nicely landscaped berm to a subdivision of McMansions... and  the only berry canes that remain from that particular hearty, disease free heirloom variety are in our berry patch.  We will be eating our weight in berries, freezing and sharing for a few weeks and then it will be time for our blueberries to come in. As I eat my fill of blackberries and have plenty to spread around, I recall the sunny days long ago when our family would go out picking, I will think about the homesteaders who lived off the land where the berries grew, and I will smile with satisfaction knowing that we did our part to save an heirloom variety from being wiped out.
These berries are from a heirloom variety  that thrives in our local weather conditions and produces the largest sweetest berries I have ever eaten!

1 comment:

  1. I have never seen such large berries! We ate warm berries picked along my grandmother's fence, through the pasture, and through the woods on our walks. We ate them with cream, milk and a little cinnamon and sugar, and even with salt, but the best was warm and a little dusty. LOL. I smell berries! I taste blackberry pie, jam . . .

    Birds gave us gifts a couple of years ago. I nurtured them and this year . . . Dang! I should put all this in a letter. :) I bought my neighbor a blackberry plant. The few berries on it were almost as large as yours. I encourage her to grow them for her grands. Next year I hope to have at least a pint from my own backyard. :) I'm leery about buying non-organic berry plants that bear un-naturally large berries. I'd have rescued those too. Good eating! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...