30 June 2009

black and blue

berries! the rails-to-trails path is loaded with blackberries this year.

we went out there twice, and gathered enough to make a big batch of jam.

the path is mostly shaded, which makes for pleasant picking, unless it is 90 degrees out there, which it was, on one of the days we went.

still, we had a great time, and only ended up getting a few chigger bites, the second time we went. the first time, we were a bit more diligent about tucking our shirts in, tucking our pants into our socks, and putting on some bug deterrent. we must have let down our guard the second time, and those little buggers show no mercy!

yesterday, cosmo and i spent three hours out at bray's you-pick, for blueberries. we ran into julie, and her girls, and had a great time visiting and picking with them. with temperatures in the seventies, couldn't have asked for a nicer day! we came home with almost twenty pounds of berries! we had enough to freeze and make two batches of very-low-sugar jam. we still had a handful of blueberries in the freezer, and one half-pint of jam left in the pantry from last summer. think i'll go make some toast.

addendum (later in the day): we just went back out to the rails-to-trails (another gorgeous day) and found that there are still plenty of berries out there. so, any local readers of this blog, there's still time! as cosmo says, "there's plenty for all bodies. plenty for all the people!"we picked some to eat fresh, and are taking the rest to mother hubbard's cupboard (let's hear it for free food!). also, i just found out that what we have been picking is black raspberries, not blackberries! the key differences are:
1) black raspberries ripen in june, and
2) when you pick a black raspberry, it is hollow in the center, it leaves the core on the vine.
blackberries, apparently keep the core in the berry when picked, and they ripen later in the summer. we may have seen some blackberries out there, but they are far from being ripe. thanks to amy for the heads up.


Anonymous said...

Wow...what a bounty! Dh and the boys kept reminding me of the difference, too, between blackberries and black raspberries. I know it now. ;)

We have a lot, but not enough for jam. I just flash freeze them and then freeze them for baking.

mep said...

Your posts continue to inspire jam envy. Just recently my mom was telling me and my siblings about her dad loved eating the black raspberry jam his mom made! I've been on the lookout for black raspberries (in stores, not a lot of good picking in the Chicago city limits) for my own jam-making endeavor.