On the heels of our massive raspberry harvest, we begin the blackberry harvest! Oh I do love having a constant supply of fruit in the yard. Now some of you might not bat an eye at my harvest. I hear walls of plump blackberries grow like weeds in some parts of the world. Well, this is Minneapolis, Minnesota folks, and I am so excited for these gems! The depth of color of the berry, the massive size, the bright purple juices, and the tart flavor that puts a little pucker on those kid cheeks…
My first foray into blackberries began when we moved into our house with a side yard. This side lot had no fencing and was being used by the neighborhood as a mid-block through-way to get to the bus line on our street! With a baby on the way, there wasn’t going to be a place for this kind of traffic. I wanted our yard to be safe and enclosed, but I didn’t like the look of erecting a solid fence; I wanted a living fence. Cue nature’s barbed wire!
Seriously, growing blackberries is not for the faint of heart. Look at the thorns even on the underside of these leaves! You have to really want that berry to reach your hand in there. My pruning skills have not been unleashed on these beasts because I haven’t had gloves to hold up to their thorns! With new shoots threatening to invade the neighboring asparagus, and massive branches reaching feet above my head (see below), I think it’s time to order some serious gloves!
We have a 1973 version of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit. If you’ve read it, you’ll recall that Peter Rabbit has quite the bunny excursion in a neighboring garden, running for his life from Mr. McGregor, after helping himself to a variety of garden treats. When he finally reaches the safety of home, he is ill with his fiasco and goes straight to bed. The final line of the book reads, “But Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail had bread and milk and blackberries for supper.”
What a reward for the “good little bunnies!” Each time we read this book, R begs to have this for dinner. So we did.
I’d love to hear about your blackberry patch! What do you like to do with your blackberries?