Late summer means blackberries. It’s amazing that fruit that good can come from a Class Four Noxious Weed. Perhaps that’s why those plants can cover so much ground so fast – birds can’t ignore the berries (and their seeds). Of course, having rhizomes that travel under the ground and the fact that they can live twenty five years doesn’t hurt either.
But, on the sunny side of things, you get lots of blackberries when you have blackberry plants. If you can pick them. Blackberry thorns are a deterrent but a good pair of gloves, some rolled down sleeves and jeans go a long way toward protecting from the pokes and scratches that come from reaching for that really good berry, just over your head.
There are different kinds of blackberries but most of us are familiar with Himalayan, which are the ones you typically see growing along the side of the road. True “wild blackberries” are smaller, have less seeds and, some folks think, a superior blackberriness to them. They are also a bit like finding Sasquatch in the woods.
But whether it is the common variety or a rarer species, the upcoming crop of berries holds all kinds of possibilities. Pies, cobblers, cocktails, barbecue sauce, muffins, cakes, smoothies, jam…oh the list is endless. Whatever you decide to make with the berries you bravely battle the stickers for, you’ll have to do it fast because these berries won’t last long once picked. Keep them dry – don’t wash them until you are ready to use them and keep them in the fridge too.
Summer might be on the way out (pout) but at least she’s putting on a good spread for her going-away party.