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Friday, July 9, 2010

Where There's a Will, There's a Way - Blackberries

I Love Blackberries!
I mean, I really luh -uh-uh-uhvvvvv blackberries!
Just ask my mama.    She'll tell ya.    In fact, she tells everybody.

When I was growing up, I remember on our farm that we had blackberries everywhere. They were behind the barn, in the fields around the house, and across the road behind the Christmas tree field.
Lots and lots of them.

I also remember that we pitched a fit every time my mom made us go with her to pick them.
Ohhh, little do we know when we're young. :)

She'd make us suit up in long sleeves, and gloves, and pants tucked into boots or shoes.
You'd have thought we were the local extermination crew.
It was smothering hot and terribly uncomfortable.
But necessary so we didn't get pricked to death by the thorns or eaten alive by ticks.

(However, to hear her tell it, we never helped her.
This is what she told my husband over the 4th.
 I tell her that her memory has escaped her, since I clearly remember doing it.
She also says we never helped to weed the gardens - and I KNOW I distinctly remember doing that!)

My mom was a canning fanatic, and a great cook, which means we had blackberry jam, blackberry cobbler, blackberry lemonade, and frozen blackberries year round.

Fast forward many years.................
Eventually we stopped using the propery as a functioning farm, and also let the gardens go.
For some reason, after that, the blackberries didn't come as easily anymore.
There was a small patch of them that remained at the edge of the barn for a few years, but they're gone now too.

But my dear mommy would always remember to pick some while they were there and freeze them for me so I'd have some when I came to visit.

For those of you who have never eaten wild grown blackberries, you really don't know what you're missing. I encourage you to find a blackberry farm in your area and go pick some for yourself.

Store bought, preservative laden blackberries don't hold a candle to them.


The last few times I've been home (before moving back), there were no more blackberries to be found. :(

But....(angel choir)..... enter a broken bushhog.....

You're probably asking yourself, 1, What is a bushhog, and 2, how does a broken bushhog give you blackberries?

Answer: 1. A bushhog, for those of you that do not farm, is a large mowing attachment that you hook to the back of a tractor to mow fields.
And 2.  When you can't mow the fields, things tend to grow up. :):)

So while we were sitting out by the pool at mom's on the 4th, she was talking to my hubby about not being able to mow the fields, pointing here and there, etc.

And then she said, pointing way over there, "There's blackberries all over that field but you can't get to them."

Uh, hello, did you forget who I am? The family blackberryaholic?

So naturally I started devising my plan to get to them.
My hubby said I'd never get to them, and my mom said "You wanna bet? She'll find a way!"

Off I went, to see what I was up against.

(Mind you, this is a large field. I tried to point my camera to get a close shot.)

Roxanne, one of the dogs, went trapsing through the field ahead of me, so she knocked down somewhat of a path for me. Love that dog. (Tell her she's pretty and she's your best friend.)

Come closer.......(thanks Roxanne)

I gotta have them!

Like I said, where there's a will, there's a way.
I had the will, now I had to find the way.

Enter these lovelies.....
eenie, meenie, miny, moe......which one of you wanna go? :)

After all, I only need a path, right? I just had to mow down a flat space around the berry bushes and I could pick all I want.
I conned talked my nephew into going with me. Somebody had to hold the bowls.

Grab those bowls kid - we're going in!
Even the dogs are excited!

Lookie what I see: (I'm so giddy at this point, seriously.)

There were plenty that were ripe for picking, and I got every one I could reach.
See how many red ones there still are?
You know what means don't you?
They will be ready to pick next week when I go back!
Oh Happy day!

So after a little bit of work I was able to have my berries!

These were so sweet already that I didn't need any sugar at all. Very unusual, and a pleasant surprise.

I can't wait to get back. There will be so many more ready then than there was last week. I'm so excited!!
There will be cobblers and blackberry lemonade, and blackberries on cereal, and blackberries as a refreshing treat............

Next week I'll give you my recipe for blackberry lemonade!
Lip smacking yummy, I tell ya.

What has you excited this summer?



  1. What a great (and funny) post! I'm with you. I remember going to my grandmother's and going out to pick a bowl so we could put milk on them. My kids think I'm crazy when I tell that story. I hadn't had wild blackberries in decades until we moved to a new town and built a home along the edge of the woods. We don't get many bushes or berries, as urbanization has probably interferred with their natural habitat, but we get some. My kids don't get it. Yesterday I asked them to join me for a breakfast outside of berries and nasturtiums (I know, weird combination), and I barely got a grunt (negatory) as they continued to stare at the t.v. Just as well, there weren't many and I enjoyed them as much as the old days. In fact, they were all gone before I got back in the house. I hope they continue to spread and I can make cobblers and tea some day too. Enjoy! (Sorry for the long comment.)

  2. I would have been right there with you. I love blackberries, but have never had a fresh grown one, so know I would really love those.
    What a great story and I know how worth it, it was. I love blackberries in my Vanilla yogurt with granola sprinkled on top..Yummy.
    All those other things sound so good right now, but am on WW and have to love my version.

  3. LOL!!!

    Another tip I always give wild blackberry fans is, do not pick them off the side of the road. Traffic toxins I tell ya. Find a farmer's field where they're more organic. :)

    Whenver I'd ride my horse in the back 40, I'd always get up close and personal to the blackberry brambles for a treat on the run. My horses liked them too!

    What makes me happy in summer is time off with my son near water. I need to get that pool up pronto!


  4. I think I've only had them once. Ever. And store bought to boot. I would have thought the red ones were raspberries, not know that blackberries start out as red! Duh, now I know!

  5. Sunshine, blue skies and NO SNOW!!! And watermelon and corn on the cob!!! Yummy!!
    I love fresh blackberries too!!

  6. Oh, Polly, good for you. I went blackberry picking yesterday at a friend's farm. I came home with over a gallon of berries and a sock line of chiggers. Yeah, I sprayed everywhere except my socks, I guess. I froze some for cobblers, put some in the fride, and made some preserves. My husband loves blackberries. I more of a blueberry gal. I'm going blueberry picking next week, hopefully.

  7. Shhh! There are wild ones growing in one our parks - off the beaten path. We go with a basket and come home with hardly any. Every time. We end up eating nearly all of them. One time I had a small bowl left of them and made a blackberry cobbler. We sat and ate it as soon as it was done!!!

    What makes me happy in the summer is planning sweet surprises nearly every day for my boys. Nothing grand, except that it's thoughtful and loving. Yesterday we made sea shell chimes for the garden. The day before it was doing stencils on the front patio. We go swimming, as a family, to a lovely park nearby. They went fishing today with their Dad and some friends. It's just the lovely freedom of summer that I want them to enjoy. Since the world has changed so much I try to create the love, joy, freedom, and fun that summer vacation should be for a child. And my husband and I get to relive it with them!!!

    Thanks for asking the question and sharing your quest with us! You are such a joy!


  8. How yummy and funny! Looks like a great day! :)bb

  9. I can almost taste them. I grew up having fresh blackberry cobbler.

  10. This is the second blackberry post I have read in as many days!! Blackberry lemonade and blackberry sangria -- yum!! All those scratches as a kid in the blackberry patch were worth it. Can't beat 'em! Thanks for the memory!

  11. I love blackberries too! What a cute story. Just keep a watch out for snakes in those tall weeds!

  12. I grew up picking blackberries on the brambles along our fence rows and brush piles! I love blackberries! One of my favorite things is a bowl of berries with milk and just a smidge of sugar, eaten like bowl of cereal.

    Blackberries come a little earlier in my neck of the woods, ours are pretty much gone now, but my husband has picked gallons and gallons of berries from the woods around his job site. I've made pies, and jam, ate some plain with milk almost every day while we had them.

    We're planning put up a little section of fence in our back yard and transplant some to see if we can grow our own next year. I can't wait!

  13. My grandmother likes to make blackberry jam, blackberry cobbler, blackberry lemonade, and many more recipes of blackberry.


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