Last year, the kids and I visited a local farm to pick blackberries. I’ll be honest, I knew nothing about blackberries but left with a ton and needed to learn about them fast! And here we are again, it’s almost blackberry season! My friend Becky at Crafty Garden Mama is growing her own blackberries and is sharing her 5 best tips for blackberries!
It is about to be time for blackberries to hit their peak in the Philadelphia area. We happen to have 6 bushes in our backyard and are anxiously awaiting their turn from this beautiful rose color…
…to a deep dark, blackish purple.
When they are at their prime, these are 5 great things to with them.
5. Local is best and freshest. Grab blackberries at your local farmer’s market. I prefer to eat all organic produce, so if you sign up for your local farmers’ market’s newsletter or like their Facebook page, then you are likely to get notices about what will be available that week. See if your organic growers are bringing any.
4. Check out Local Harvest and find a pick-your-own farm where you can take the kids, or make a date with your partner and enjoy the fresh air. When you take the kids, talk about how blackberries form. They go from the flower buds, through these gorgeous flowers and on to the berries. We happen to have a great organic option at Taylor’s Farm (Taylor’s Lane off of Rt. 130) in South Jersey. For our PA neighbors, it’s a quick trip over the Tacony-Palmyra bridge. The farm has been in existence since the 1700s and also includes a wildlife preserve. It doesn’t get any better for nature lovers!
3. Troll through Pinterest and your favorite cooking blogs, like Smitten Kitchen, for yummy blackberry recipes. I found a divine blackberry cobbler from The Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen had a Triple Berry Summer Buttermilk Bundt just this week. It’s meant to be!
2. Eat them in their simplest form. Washed and popped right into your mouth or dropped on top of vanilla ice cream or yogurt. They have such a great taste, sometimes it just needs to be simple.
1. Grow your own blackberries!! They are far and away the simplest food that we grow in our yard. They require some staking and watering every other day. Otherwise, they really care for themselves. When you get the thick, reddish-green canes that do not have any berries, like that pictured above, gently bend them over in the fall and bury the end. Next year, you will have a new bush. When we planted our original 2 bushes, we just figured that we would have a few berries to pop out and grab for breakfast or a quick. We swiftly learned that burying those canes makes more bushes and now we have 7 bushes! If you have the space, pop them in and enjoy!
How do you enjoy blackberries when they are in season? I hope you have a wonderful time eating this summer treat!
Becky Elmuccio blogs about eco-friendly lifestyle tips and organic gardening at Crafty Garden Mama. You can also find her sharing eco-friendly kids’ gear, toy and clothing reviews, environmental news and her organic gardening endeavors on Facebook and Twitter.