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Our first real berry harvest, here

 
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One of our several (probably 6 or 7?) huge stands of wild blackberries. Last year, the rains essentially killed any thought of a harvest, so this year will be our first harvest, here. I used to have black raspberries that pretty much always ripened at about the same time - right at the 4th of July, but, that was a *very* long time ago!. A couple days ago, I brought John a tiny handful (ok, there were 4 berries) of the first still-kinda-tart few to almost ripen. I had a pretty hard fall, last night on our hardwood floor from not seeing a dog toy  (Bailey's deer antler chew), so I've been pretty stiff, sore and bruised up, and reluctant to do a whole hella-lot. But, John brought me a similar, but much sweeter few, and I got off my achy arse, donned my heavy jeans, long socks, and hiking boots, grabbed my berry basket, (and rattler protection), and away I went. This stand off red berryessa was the first thing to get me, but I knew to look closer! With almost no deep thorn diving, this little bowl was our first actual dessert amount of a harvest. Some of my fingertips are a delightful purple, and I'll be making some whipped cream to top a couple small bowls of them, for dessert, tonight. In a couple more days, I'll bee out there, picking for all I'm worth, to put up, for winter.

No worries about the local wildlife going hungry - I'll no doubt leave 10x more than I take! This stand is probably about 20'x30', and is one of the easiest for me to access, even though I'm only able to get at it from the one side, so far. I think I'll bat my eyelashes at my hubs, and seer if he'll clear a path all the way around it (and maybe through the middle, too!), lol!
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BlackBerry stands, on the south facing slope, to the pond
BlackBerry stands, on the south facing slope, to the pond
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First dessert- sized harvest!
First dessert- sized harvest!
 
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Blackberries are great.  They keep my spirits up even when there's a terrible drought or everything else is being attacked by something.   They are also a favorite of Blue Jays, who tear down paper wasp nests, so I always make sure they have their share.

Interestingly, I cooked a small amount of berries to keep them from spoiling before I could get more to make jam, and they sat in a jar in the fridge and fermented!  In the cold!  After being boiled!  So I couldn't pass that opportunity up, and I bottled the strained remains with sugar water and will have some blackberry beer in a week or 10 days.
 
Carla Burke
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First dessert - so simple, yet, SOOO GOOD!!
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Blackberries & whipped cream!
Blackberries & whipped cream!
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