Monday, July 2, 2012
Picking Wild Black Raspberries
Towards the back of our development, the side facing Centennial Woods, I came across a patch of wild black raspberries the other day. Admittedly, I had to do some googling before I figured out exactly what they were. They're tiny compared to cultivated raspberries but have a wonderful flavor. And unlike the raspberries you grow in your own garden, these were bit of a pain to pick. This particular patch was growing on the side of a downward slope so I had be extra careful when picking. Falling head first into a thick patch of thorny brambles would ruin anyone's day.
As you can see, the berries start out red, turn purple and then ripen black.
Luckily, I was able to find several patches that were not so treacherous, though I also made the mistake of not dressing in appropriate attire when I picked my first batch. Like most wild edibles, these tend to grow amidst tall weeds and brush, which are a haven for plants and bugs that make you itch. Luckily, it was just the bugs that first time and now I make sure to wear pants whenever I go searching for them.
Juneberries a week ago, wild raspberries now and blackberries next month - who knew you could have this much free fruit living within city limits? At this point, I've been able to pick almost two pounds of these berries. (They are tiny and way next to nothing!) Combined with some of our cultivated red raspberries, I now have enough to make a batch of (mostly) wild black raspberry wine.