Saturday, January 28, 2012

Harvesting Blackberries and Making Fresh Blackberry Sauce


fresh blackberries
According to the Peterson Field Guide of Edible Wild Plants, blackberries grow wild throughout the United States. They prefer very sunny areas and are often found in pastures. Blackberries are a cousin to wild raspberries and dewberries.

Like their relatives, they grow on very thorny brambles. Brambles are a cluster of arching, non-climbing, and thorny shoots. These brambles resemble rose bushes. Foraging for wild blackberries can be work a lot of work, as the thorns try to discourage foragers. Below are some tips to harvesting blackberries and recipe for fresh blackberry sauce.

 

How to Harvest Blackberries

In the months of June through September, blackberries can be found in fields and sunny thickets growing wild, they can be harvested. The larger and more overgrown the blackberry bramble, the more difficult it is to reach all the fruit. Wear shoes that cover your entire foot, pants that cover your entire leg and long sleeves over your arms. Do not wear shorts, or a short sleeve shirt to harvest blackberries. The thorny brambles will try to grab you and it is much easier to remove them from your clothes than from your skin.

Ensure that you have properly identified the blackberries you are about to harvest. If you are a novice, take along a knowledgeable forager or a foraging guide to ensure that you are indeed picking blackberries.

Stay on the edge of the brambles. Do not try to enter into the thickest part to reach more berries. Pick only the berries you can get to from the edge. Once you have found a blackberry bramble that you wish to visit in the future, cut the bramble back in the fall to make it easier to harvest blackberries in the future. Some foragers mow rows through large brambles in their pasture to enable them to reach all parts of the bramble.

 

Making Fresh Blackberry Sauce

fresh blackberry sauce
Fresh blackberry sauce can be made easily and quickly. Simply, wash, drain and measure the blackberries. For each quart of blackberries, add 1/4 cup of sugar. You can use brown sugar or substitute honey if desired. Cover the berries and set them aside to sit for 2 hours. Bring the berries to a boil. Once they are boiling reduce the heat to medium and simmer them for 30 minutes. The longer the berries are simmered the thicker the sauce. The fresh blackberry sauce can be used immediately as a spread for bread or crackers, placed in a pie, or as a topping, such as a cheesecake topping.

 

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