The Joys & Rewards of Foraging Wild Food
We've been picking wild blackberries on the Sunflower Sundries farm since June 28 and will keep picking till they are gone, maybe another week. This year has been the best wild blackberry harvest ever! Four of us have picked over 427 pounds so far, that's 85 gallons and counting.
We pick almost every day for a couple of hours, till it gets too hot, and we are full of stickers and maybe a few chiggers. We wear heavy pants and long sleeve shirts, a hat and some wear a glove or two. It is very hard work and you are lucky (and fast) if you get a gallon in an hour. We have filled an entire medium freezer, with more going into another freezer. We will make over 800 jars of jam with these.
Wild blackberries are more flavorful and sweeter with smaller seeds than the tame (thornless) blackberries. While picking this year I noticed some blackberries that were all white and others that were rose colored. I have seen them for years but always thought they weren't ripe yet, but this time I noticed that some were large and plump, so I tasted the biggest, juiciest looking ones. They are delicious! More sweet than the blackberries. So I picked all the ripe ones and the rose colored ones were ripe and sweeter too.
We are marking the bushes and going to attempt to transplant some to a bed near the garden so we can try to propagate them further. If anyone knows anything about these berries, please let me know. We have acres and acres of wild blackberries, more than we could ever pick. Next year there may be no blackberries, so it is good to have a two year supply.