First Blackberry Harvest of the Year

First Blackberry Harvest of 2013

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year and blackberries are the reason.  I love blackberries.  I love the way they look, the way they smell, the way they feel when I pick them off the vine and the warm berries burst in my mouth with just the right mix of spring sweetness and tangy tartness. 

 

It also helps that I can fix around twenty different blackberry themed foods.  This year is an exceptionally good year for these little guys.  We've had a mild spring, with plenty of water to keep them plump and sweet.  My favorite part about blackberry picking is that I don't have to do a single thing to grow them.  Here in the South, blackberries grow wild in almost every patch of ground that has been cleared and disturbed in the past few years.  Roadsides are ideal for finding blackberries, so long as we don't pick on the edge of busy roads or roadsides that are sprayed with insecticides.  We choose to wild forage our berries on little-traveled country roads. 

 

In early spring, my firefighter and I don't drive anywhere without scoping out the best blackberry blossoms that will soon become large patches of ripe berries.  Then come early May, it is harvest time!  We lace up our snake boots (because snakes love blackberry brambles as much as we do,) grab buckets and pitchers and head out picking.  As long as the rain holds out, we have at least two months of harvest time because there is an early variety of ground-runners that we pick starting in May.  Then the tall, drooping canes are ready to harvest in June. 

 

So far this year, we've harvested enough to make a pie, several rounds of muffins, wash and freeze some for smoothies, and now enough to make jam!  I've never made blackberry jam before, but by this weekend I hope to post some pictures of the blackberry and honey jam I'm going to make.  As soon as this posts, we are headed out to pick some more.  Wish us luck!

 

 

 

Comments

I love blackberries, too. Grannie used to make the best blackberry cobblers. Doughy inside, and the top crust would be crunchy with sugar. 

My son was on the running team in high school (prior to graduating last year) and every morning during the Summers he'd have to meet the team at the park in town and they'd go running on the walk/run/bike trail. I'd load up my bike and a little bucket and ride along and pick blackberries along the trail. 

Last year I had to learn how to make bb jam real quick when my freezer failed and a couple of bags of frozen bb's thawed out. 
It was funny because I was freaking out, I'd never made jam/jelly, and I was afraid I was going to lose my berries, so I called up my Mom to ask her how to make jelly (jam) and she was like, "I follow the directions on the Sure-gel box". LOL

My Dad had a big blackberry "crop" at their place up in the mountains. All he did was let the wild ones grow into the yard. Something happened to them last year, they got a disease or something, I'm not sure. I was up a few months ago and saw the whole patch was gone. I called him up and said, You need to call the Police - someone stole your whole blackberry patch!! 

LOL, I could talk blackberries all day.

So you sound like you are as addicted to blackberries as I am!  I'm so glad someone understands, Melissa.  Haha!  My kids will get sick of me wanting to go pick blackberries, soon.  They will be happy for the end of blackberry season eventually, but even they love eating all the treats I can make with our pickings.  This year has been amazing so far.  We've harvested more in the past week and a half than we were able to get the last two years put together.  I'm pulling blackberry muffins out of the oven right now and I'm going to tackle blackberry jam this afternoon.  I've made tons of other types of jam, but not blackberry yet.  I'll let you know how it goes! 

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