We passed over the unusually large domestic blackberries for sale at the farmer's market this morning. The girls and I smiled when we thought about our own little bowl of berries that we'd already picked at home. While considerably smaller, our wild, vine-ripened blackberries don't require anything else to make them perfectly sweet with just a hint of tartness.
Oh, these are wild alright. They have the thorns to prove it. Largely because of the thorns, blackberry picking is something the girls are only mildly interested in. At first, they'll pick a few. Then, they let me forage gingerly for the rest while they play nearby. I've resorted to bringing along pruning shears to clip away the other brambles that seem to be standing guard around the blackberry bushes.
I've baked a few along with apple slices in a cobbler. Mostly we just eat them plain, by the handful and don't save enough for baking.
Small, you-pick berry farms can be fun, and we'll probably visit again sometime. You have to go a lot slower to pick these wild fruits from their brambly perches. Slow enough to talk with someone. Slow enough to hear a bird. Slow enough to appreciate the coolness of morning or the heat of the sun's rays. Slow enough to watch a butterfly.
My husband frequently comes in from the summer heat declaring that the berries are all drying up now. Yet, I keep finding some tucked away on the hillside. I'll check again in a day or so just to see if I can fill my little bucket up again.