Friday, September 3, 2010


We had a cold, wet spring and early summer this year that delayed most of the plantings I did. It also made the blackberry season later than usual. 

When I was a kid I always looked forward to the first blackberries ripening.  There's always one blackberry at the tip of the bunch of fruits that ripens long before all the others, and I used to pick that one and eat it, and I was always surprised by how sour it was.   From one year to the next I'd always forget. 
The blackberries although late, are pretty good this year.  I always pick a few gallons of the ones that grow wild around the farm, and I always promise that I'll make jam, but then I'll usually eat them fresh, or with some vanilla ice cream. 
The vines are still flowering, into September, which is unusual.  The flowers being pollinated now won't ripen by first frost, but they're much appreciated by the bees, the typical bee schedule was disrupted by the cold weather as well.   

Late summer is a great time for foraging.  If you have blackberries near you, don't miss them. 


StefRobrts said...

Our blackberries (in SW WA state) still haven't ripened, I'm starting to wonder if they will!

Anonymous said...

How do pigs do with blackberries? I'd read somewhere that some (noted as "big sows") can eat up the old canes. I'm pretty sure that I can get pigs to take care of the roots.

I'll be needing to reclaim some land from blackberries and am looking for the best way to do so w/o having to resort to the use of a lot of machinery (perhaps some initial brush cutting) or, gasp!, poisons (could never get myself to use!).

Bruce King said...

Pigs will eat any vegetation in their pen, and the roots, and the tubers and the fruit... it's all good to the pig. What they don't eat they'll initially tear up and use for bedding. if you'd like to get rid of blackberries, a simple circle of electric fence around the patch and a couple of feeder pigs will do the trick. Pigs are the only land-clearing machinery that goes up in value with use.

That said, you'll still want to feed them, but they'll root and eat the vegetation for fun even if they're getting fed. I'll be doing this pretty soon here. i've got blackberries that I'd like to clear, so my plan is to loose the pig herd on it and clear it out. I'll post pics.

Lee said...

Wow, I wish I had our perimeter fence done so I didn't have to worry about them escaping. We have lots of blackberries that I wouldn't mind unleashing a couple pigs on. I've also wondered about using them to remove volunteer hazelnut trees. I've read about the old trick to dig some narrow post holes and fill them with corn around the base of the tree.

I've got a fermenter with crushed blackberries sitting on the table behind me at the moment. It's cooling down before I can pitch the yeast. We've been talking about picking blackberries for wine since they started ripening a couple weeks ago. We finally did it today, because it was the last opportunity before the rains really set in.