Washington’s Wild Blackberries

I’m still learning a thing or two about our new stomping grounds in the Pacific Northwest. Just yesterday I ran across a humorous article on NPR that highlighted the joys of wild blackberries to the local newcomer. You Can Never Have Too Many Blackberries by Deena Prichep was absolutely spot on. Longtime locals learn the loathe the thorny ‘weed’ bushes while newcomers recoil at the prospect of cutting them back since they, ahem, give you berries.

 A month or so ago we noticed young berries growing in an uncultivated lot nearby. Over the next couple of weeks the fruity nubs of the prickly bushes ripened into a seemingly infinite supply of supple blackberries. We have been taking  full advantage of the free supply.

Tonight we went out on our second berry picking adventure. Our previous collection of berries went to my first canning venture where I made a delicious batch of Wild Blackberry Jam. We gathered as many blackberries as we could, unsure of exactly what five cups looked like, visually. After that experience, it was pretty clear that once you’ve got a colander full of blackberries and arm striped with scratches, you’ve got supply enough for a big batch of Blackberry Jam.

 Of the eight jars  of Jam made, we’ve finished nearly two and were all too happy to send four jars off to family in Oklahoma City.

Deena found some unique recipes calling for blackberries. Unfortunately, during this first trimester of pregnancy I’ve been an incredibly picky eater.  The nearly constant nausea has me wincing at the foods I used to love, and merely thinking of vegetables and international foods makes my stomach turn. I won’t be able to try any of the blackberry recipes that Deena recommends in the near future, but we plan on freezing up an extra supply so I can try them when I get to feeling better.

Until then, I’ll be chowing down on peanut butter and wild blackberry jam sandwiches.


7 thoughts on “Washington’s Wild Blackberries

  1. This made me giggle. I can totally picture you stealing blackberries! I’ve never seen them growing, but whatever, I’d totally put up with thorns for fresh berries!

    1. Haha, we just might be trespassing…but the land these blackberries are on seems to be public! It’s near railroad tracks and utility areas. Sounds pretty free to me 😉

  2. I love all the berries. Period. But the blackberries are the most cost effective. 🙂 We’ve picked strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries this year. The freezer is stocked.

  3. They are everywhere! I see people picking them all the time. We use to go up to the local high school and pick them when we were kids…now our neighbor’s blackberries grow into our yard. After we get the berries we cut them all down, and they grow back every year.

    1. That’s awesome! My dad has an orange tree back in California, it grows in the corner of the yard and over the four corners of neighbor’s properties. We all used to share in the bounty…I love stuff like that.

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