Tag: blackberry

A Smoked Duck Breast & Blackberry Salad

A Smoked Duck Breast & Blackberry Salad

Blackberry time is here. The canes in the garden have started to produce, and should all go well, continue to produce for another 4 weeks. Which is good, because blackberries (and eggplants) are one of the consolations of a typical Virginia summer, especially the kinds […]

On Blackberries (and Creme de Blackberry recipe)

Before I planted blackberries in the garden, I used to go forage for them. They grow all over the place, tenaciously clinging to their chosen spot and taking over the neighborhood: the clump expands rapidly and any cane that touches the ground roots to produce […]

A Forager Is Always On The Lookout

When foraging, it is important to always keep one eyes and nose open.

It can be hard to see fruiting blackberries in July. At that point everything is green and lush and overgrown. Ripe berries can “melt” in the background as you zoom by. But when the blackberries are in bloom, their dog rose-like blossoms just jump at you. Their pure white seems to flutter like butterflies over the surrounding spring green. It is impossible not to notice.  That how I mark new blackberry patches: I make note of them when in bloom and come back later when they are berrying.

Ditto with pawpaws, a native fruit that grows by streams and in bottom-land and prefer the edge of the woods. I have written about harvesting and using pawpaws. But in September they can be hard to pick out. In late April or early May (that is, now!), when they are blooming, the groves are very easy to spot.

pawpaws in bloom

The drooping maroon flowers are festooning the slim limbs of the trees this year. In the 6 or 7 years that I have been foraging for pawpaws, it’s the first time I recall seeing so many blooms. Their shape and colors are unique and easily identifiable – once you know what you are looking at – especially since the pawpaw is the only tree that has not yet leafed out nor budded. Many flowers will  drop off f course, but we may expect a heavy harvest this year.

I am making notes of trees I had not noticed before and plan to visit in the fall.

A small consolation given how meager the morels have been!

 

 

Food from the Hedgerow

It rained all through last night and today – something we haven’t had in a long time. The creek which had become so low I could not hear it from the house (but unlike last year, it has not dried out completely – at least […]

Ruby Lemonade

I don’t like to throw out (I mean compost) food – even things that other people may not see as still edible. I went wild berry picking earlier in the week (that’ll make a post fo another day) and decided to make a sorbet with […]