Country living: Picking wild Blackberries

Picking wild blackberries can be fun and it always leads to beautiful countryside and an adventure or two.

Wild blackberries grow along gas lines; old pasture lines and forest edges. You can find them in the woods, particularly logged woods but these blackberries are slower to ripen because they get less sun.

I remember when I was young my parents would pack a picnic basket and we would go looking for blackberries. We usually ended up on old dirt roads way out in the countryside. I have many wonderful memories of those days.

My favorite place to pick berries now is up on the top on my property along the forest line and old pasture. There is large patch of berries there that I can pick 6 to 7 quarts a day for several weeks. The pasture has a beautiful view that looks down on the Akeley Swamp and Conewango Creek.

Wild blackberries have tough thorns so I wear long sleeves and I pick early in the morning so its cooler and the bugs are not out and biting. I also have to be on the lookout for a bear that likes to roam the hill. Bears love blackberries and he’s more than welcome to some as long as he’s there at a different time than I am.

I did run into the bear one time when I went to pick berries. I saw him before he saw me and figured it was his day to use the berry patch. There were more than enough for both of us. I just backed up and went back down to the house.

I use the berries for snacks, jams and possibly a pie. They are high in anti-oxidants and mine are chemical free.

So if you want a little adventure this is the time to look for blackberries. Just make sure you ask for permission to pick on someone else’s land.

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