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Monday, July 20, 2015

Mid-July, can hardly believe it but we went blackberry picking last week!

Wild blackberries are usually an August thing in our neck of the woods. But a week ago Saturday, my daughters and I took a very long walk around the area and found many of the blackberries were beginning to ripen.

As both daughters like to add fresh blackberries to yogurt for breakfast, I suggested we meet up at the bus stop one evening and do some picking. I brought containers for each of us, and in a half an hour, we picked 2 and a half quarts!

We used some of those fresh berries with dinner that night, topped with honey-vanilla yogurt. And the next morning, my 2 daughters did indeed add blackberries to their breakfast yogurt. Since they were already washed and drained, I froze the remaining berries in ziploc bags, to use in pies, cobblers, smoothies, syrups and jam, sometime in the future.

My daughters and I will be meeting up at their bus stop in Tuesday evening, this week, to pick another 3 or 4 quarts of blackberries. This early blackberry season is a real blessing to us. Our raspberries and blueberries are about done for the year, and there are very few early apples this year. These blackberries are our fresh fruit for the next couple of weeks (that's when the early pears will be ready).


  1. Sounds yummy! My kids and I braved the mosquitoes about a week ago to pick wild black raspberries on my mom's property (even with repellant, the skeeters were awful). We got a lot and they were tasty. They are smaller than raspberries, so picking them takes longer.

    1. Hi Kris,
      That sounds like a lot of fun -- minus the mosquitos! Mosquitos generally aren't the issue with picking the wild blackberries for us. Here, It's the thorns. Really nasty thorns, but you learn with practice, how to pick while avoiding thorns.

    2. These also have nasty thorns. There's something addictive about picking them, though--about when I decided it was time to quit, I'd see another clump and I'd pick "just a few more". They are pretty seedy so that's another downside, but they sure taste good.

      I heard somewhere that the wild varieties offer more nutrition--don't remember the details--probably something to Google sometime ...

    3. Kris, ours are pretty seedy as well. But we're used to that. As for nutrients -- the seeds contain a lot of nutrients, so bigger and more seeds in a wild blackberry would mean more nutrients, than it's cultivated counterpart. The seeds have omega-3s and 6s, plus ellagic acid and carotenoids, plus fiber and protein.

      I know what you mean, "oh look, there's another good cluster, can't stop now", and on and on.

    4. Interesting! Actually, the study I read (I looked it up) was specifically about blueberries--most of the nutritional content is in the skin. Since wild blueberries are smaller, you are eating more skin than you are with cultivated blueberries. Just another geeky moment from me ..... ;)

    5. That makes sense, Kris. And it's just another way that humans have managed to engineer a food into something less nutritious. But now I will be appreciating my smallish homegrown blueberries. I was always envious of those super large berries at the store.

      Good timing on this info Kris. I'll make sure to get out today and really pick those bushes, small berries and all.

  2. I remember visiting Victoria B.C ( in August) and I could not believe the amount of wild blackberries growing on public walking trails near where we stayed. I wanted to fill my suitcase to bring them back!! The size and amounts one could pick astounded me.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      I know, they are everywhere! I think we eat almost as much in weight of blackberries as we do apples (which is quite lot!) Frozen blackberries are our back-up plan for fruit in winter. If the apples, or long-keeping pears don't pan out, we try to freeze as many ziplocs of blackberries as we can.

  3. I love wild blackberries and when I was growing up, no summer would be complete without a blackberry cobbler. I have been enjoying some from my sister's cultivated vines, but they don't quite measure up to the taste of the wild ones.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I have wondered about cultivated blackberries and flavor. I have thought to plant some of the thornless canes, as picking would be so much easier. But maybe the flavor is not so intensely rich as the wild ones all around us.

      Doesn't a blackberry cobbler smell so yummy, while baking? When I make blackberry jam, or pie or cobbler, or syrup, the aroma takes me back to visits to Knott's Berry Farm when I was small. Knott's Berry Farm was primarily a restaurant, with a few amusements and a good-sized shop selling boysenberry jam that Mrs. Knott made. Now, of course, it's a major theme park in So. California, and I doubt if any shop there smells like the one I remember from my childhood.

    2. You were talking about seeds with Kris. I find the bigger cultivated blackberries have bigger seeds also. They can be annoying at times but I barely notice the seeds in the wild ones.

    3. Hi live and learn,
      I didn't realize that. I haven't had purchased blackberries since moving to the PNW, 26 years ago, so my only recent experience with blackberries has bee limited to the wild ones. I don't mind the seeds, but a lot of NW-ers do, and don't bother with picking the wild berries (well, the seeds and the thorns).

      My daughters and I are going berry picking this evening, after work. Can't wait! I've got blackberry shortcake on tonight's menu.


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