Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Berry Season.

Berry Season is now in full swing! For us Berry season usually starts with the strawberries. We didn't really get very many strawberries this year, which is fine. They had started spreading into the main garden, so i decided to move them all into a new bed. i knew that doing so would probably shock them a bit, but they really needed to move. Hopefully next year, we'll get some.

Red raspberries came next, and they have been extremely abundant! i wasn't sure i would get any picked with the kids out there eating them every chance they could. i was able to pick and freeze over a gallon of red raspberries. i decided not to make any jam with them, as i still have a quite a bit left from last year. We really enjoy the frozen fruit in the summer time in smoothies, made into sorbets, added to yogurts. These are also everbearing raspberries, which means in a few months they will be producing again.

Next comes the blueberries, which have been doing fantastic this year. i already have 2 gallons frozen, and theat was before i took this picture! The bushes are completely loaded! We planted three new blueberry bushes this year, giving us a total 14 bushes now. Several of them are still small and not producing well, but in a few years they should be.

Doesn't seem to matter how many blueberries we get every year, it just never enough. We love them so much. They kids are always eating them right off the bushes, and the frozen berries won't even last until Dec. almost guaranteed. We use them in pancakes, waffles, muffins and so much more!

i have always loved foraging for food. i am continuously amazed by the amount of wild food available if you just look. All along the wood line of the area that we just cleared are wild huckleberries or lowland blueberries. i haven't figured out exactly what they are, except that i know they are in the blueberry family...and they are delicious! We also found tons of shrubs that are definitely in the blueberry family loaded with berries. They look similar to blueberries, but are still green right now. i've been watching for them to ripen so i can try to identify them. i believe that they are deerberries or farkleberries.
i've read conflicting info on whether they are palatable to humans. They are both in the blueberry family so they are not poisonous. They may just be hard or bitter and better left for the wildlife.

Black raspberries are just starting to ripen. i picked and froze about a quart earlier this week. We finally got a good rain, so i'll be out picking more all week. We have these growing all along our woods line, and across the road bordering the barbed wire of the cow fields.

Blackberries are not quite ripe yet, but it is going to be a very good blackberry year. All the black berry patches i've seen are completely loaded!

This year i finally found a patch of Wineberries! i've been looking for these ever since i first heard about them almost 10 years ago. i was told they grow around here, but couldn't find them and when i talked to the locals no one knew what i was talking about. . Last week, i stumbled upon a huge thicket of them. These are actually the flower buds, they are not in fruit yet. They look very similar to red raspberries when they are ripe and can be used the same way.
Now that i found the patch, i'll be back to pick some when they ripen. i'm also planning to dig up a few canes and will hopefully have my own wineberry patch established in a few years.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm...yum. We tried to plant some raspberry bushes last year, then decided we wanted a privacy fence (we live in a relatively urban area, neighbors all around) and I think the guys trampled them...they were near the edge. I should try again!