Wild Blackberries

September 6, 2011

The country road we live on is lined with wild blackberries that started ripening near the end of August. There are so many! Every few days, we fill a basket, then eat them by the bowlful with cream and a touch of honey.

When I was growing up in St. George, sometimes we’d find wild asparagus growing along the irrigation ditch across the street from our house. There’s something so wonderful about gathering food that belongs to no one and that you didn’t purposely plant or cultivate. It very much feels like a gift.

Have you ever gathered wild fruits or vegetables?

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Damaris @KitchenCorners September 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

We just moved to Bahia Brazil for a year and we love gathering apple bananas here. They grow everywhere. I agree with you gathering food that belongs to no one is definitely a gift. When we lived in California we used to gather a lot of blackberries as well. I don’t normally put up links in the comment section but I really think you’ll enjoy this, http://www.kitchencorners.com/2009/08/creamy-blackberry-frozen-yogurt.html it’s a creamy blackberry frozen yogurt recipe that I made a couple years ago and have since made over and over again every time I’m fortunate enough to find wild blackberries. And just so you know you can substitute the yogurt cheese for greek yogurt, it’s basically the same thing. Enjoy all your blackberries.


2 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 5:51 am

Mmmm. That recipe looks amazing, Damaris! We have definitely missed our ice-cream maker this summer.


3 Starr September 6, 2011 at 5:18 am

We have some out of control blackberries growing in our back garden — planted years before we arrived. My three year old loves to wander out & come back in with a bowl of goodies.


4 Rebecca Grace September 6, 2011 at 5:53 am

Welll… I remember gathering strawberries out of a neighbor’s garden with my sister when I was little. They weren’t exactly wild, and we didn’t exactly have permission… Does that count? :-)

Hey, Design Mom — I don’t remember how far from Paris you’re living, but I’m headed there today for the Maison et Objet trade show and I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about a new “Paris Design Week” kicking off next Monday showcasing the best of food, fashion, and home design. All I know is that it’s open to the public, spanning multiple neighborhoods, and they’re hoping it will become an annual thing. It sounds right up your alley, and since you have a knack for finding the coolest stuff on the planet, if you go and you find something fabulous, please post so I can find it too!


5 Ashlea Walter September 6, 2011 at 6:09 am

These are some of the most gorgeous photographs I’ve seen in your corner of Cyberspace. New techniques? Love.


6 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 7:49 am

Thanks, Ashlea! No new techniques, just a well-lit time of day. : )


7 Dia September 6, 2011 at 10:20 am

I agree! The one of the three girls and their shadows is breath-taking!


8 Tinne from T and T September 6, 2011 at 6:55 am

It is getting a lot thougher for me to get my hands on wild blackberries nowadays: my kids eat them all!
When my father lived in Prague he brought home wild mushrooms, they where delicious!
Perhaps you should check if you can find any wild herbs in the country? Sorrel usually grows in the wild.


9 wordplayhouse™ September 6, 2011 at 7:00 am

Finding nature’s sweet treasures are most wonderful. We collect blackcaps, wild hazelnuts and just tried cooking with stinging nettle for the first time.


10 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 7:49 am

We used to find blackcaps in New York. Sweet memories!


11 cabesh September 6, 2011 at 7:04 am

In Oregon, where I grew up, wild blackberries are abundant. During the summer we would pick them, almost daily, and make cobbler, crisp and pie. To this day blackberry pie is my favorite dessert.


12 amy September 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

we grew up with wild huckleberry bushes at my grandparents bungalo. my nona would pay us a quarter for each cup we collected and make jam when she had enough.


13 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 7:51 am

I like your Nona’s style! I pay my kids to gather the fallen apples before they rot on the lawn.


14 Amy3 September 6, 2011 at 7:47 am

When I was a kid there was a wild mulberry tree in our neighborhood that wasn’t on anyone’s property. I have such fond memories of all the neighborhood kids scrambling over that tree to get the berries before the birds did!

BTW, I took my 9-year-old daughter (going into 5th grade) back-to-school shopping yesterday. I had shown her the photos of Maude and Olive before we went, and I think (although she’d never admit it) she was inspired by their style. I think it was our most successful shopping trip ever, and I love what she picked out – stylish yet age-appropriate and a big step forward from her “all play clothes” look of last year.


15 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 7:50 am

Yay for successful back-to-school shopping!


16 MeSusan September 7, 2011 at 8:20 am

Great guidance,Mom. Show style you like ahea
d of shopping. You are teach her design.


17 heidi garner September 6, 2011 at 8:10 am

just picked wild blackberries while camping with my kids in pine this weekend. they loved it! We have 2 thorn less blackberry bushes ready to plant in our back garden this week.


18 Kersey September 6, 2011 at 8:38 am

I have to agree, it definitely feels like a gift. When I lived in Argentina, the streets were lined with them! It made for great snacking.


19 Jen September 6, 2011 at 8:56 am

Those pics are fantastic! I’m sure you have talked about it before but what camera are you using?


20 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Hi Jen! Thanks for the compliment. I use a Canon 50D. These were shot with a 50mm 1:14 lens.


21 Karen September 6, 2011 at 9:01 am

Every August was filled with Wild Blackberries while I grew up. My parents still live in the same house I grew up in, and the wild blackberries along the irrigation ditch beside their house are producing better than ever. Cobblers, Ice Cream, jams… Mmm… August has always been a lovely month. :)


22 aimee @ smilingmama September 6, 2011 at 9:23 am

Yum! There was recently a discussion on our town listserv about wild fruit trees, etc. Folks were generously sharing locations! Someone also posted a link to a site that collects locations of food growing on public land: http://neighborhoodfruit.com/home


23 megwrites September 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

We picked blackberries this summer and they were so much better than any I’ve ever bought from a store. So sweet and delicious. I wish more of our food was picked fresh.


24 Mrs. Cox September 6, 2011 at 9:28 am

When we go camping, that is usually when we get to enjoy wild berry treats. But yesterday we went out to the forest for an afternoon trip. My 3 year old girl had a bear cub’s fill of wild huckleberries.

Growing up, my sisters and I would pick huckleberries together. We had so much fun, too. I could tell by my daughter’s face that she enjoyed each and every one that she plucked from the bush and popped in her mouth. :)


25 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Gasp! Just realized I have no idea what a huckleberry looks like. I’ve heard/read about them my whole life but don’t know that I’ve ever eaten one. Off to Google an image…


26 Allison September 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I live in Denver, and this summer my husband and I picked over twelve pounds of sour cherries from the cherry trees along Cherry Creek – we made frozen yogurt, cherry-almond cake, clafoutis, compote, jam…..it was awesome.


27 Design Mom September 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Just thinking of sour cherries is making my mouth water. Sour cherry pie is my favorite.


28 Lauren September 6, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Hi, Design mom! Your photographs are lovely. I also posted about a blackberry picking trip…mine was to a farm, not nearly as wild as you! (http://seefritz.com/2011/08/beautiful-summer-fruit/)


29 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag September 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Oh Gabrielle! I just began eating blackberries with cream this summer and WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE? It is truly one of the best things I have ever eaten! Beyond delicious.


30 Andrea@Fancy That! September 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Very rarely–but I love pulling off the side of the road to cut wildflowers!


31 Sarah September 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

What a great way of putting it– the fruit is like a gift! I had never thought of it that way but now it seems so much more special!


32 Naomi September 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Blackberries remind me of the end of summer. My mum would regularly hand out two litre ice cream tubs to each member of the family (six of us) and we would go bramble picking through the wood behind our house and not return until the tubs were full (as well as our bellies!). We were serious pickers, we used to put hooks on the end of old broom handles to reach the highest and juciest of berries!

Mum would then spend the next few days making jam, I especially loved to watch when she strained the berries through muslin. We children of course fought over who would be first to taste the jam on warm, freshly cooked rolls…heaven! The leftover berries were frozen and we would spend the autumn and winter months eating blackberry crumble and pies. (And giving away multiple pots of jam to friends!)


33 Claudia Boress September 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

A few years ago my husband and I went hiking in the Blue Ridge Parkway. We got really hungry and noticed fields of beautiful red berries. So, we picked and picked and it was so exhilarating! We kept giggling and feeding one another. To this day it’s one of my favorite memories :)


34 Leslie September 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Hello, love your blog and have been following for some time – since seeing you all on HHI : )

The blackberries are gorgeous – what a blessing to have them so close… love your photos and your darling sweet children.

I recall picking berries many times over the years, the best were the wild black raspberries growing very wild at a friend’s farm. We had to wear full ‘bee keeper’ gear, it was a super hot humid day with lots of bees battling us for the berries and hilarious race to pick all we could – her husband pulled up in his pick up and started eating all our berries. Oh no! ha… we did salvage most!

They were dee-licious : ) thank you for reminding me of that yummy memory!


35 Genevieve September 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm

adorable picture of the girls and gorgeous pics of the berries!


36 Stephanie September 7, 2011 at 12:04 am

Gorgeous, GORGEOUS images Gabby.


37 Maggie September 7, 2011 at 3:38 am

“There’s something so wonderful about gathering food that belongs to no one and that you didn’t purposely plant or cultivate. It very much feels like a gift.”

I love this quote. You are so right; it’s “feels like a gift.” It got me thinking that the whole world is this way. Here we are living on it and we didn’t make it. We are lucky to be living on such a beautiful planet.


38 Bre September 7, 2011 at 6:54 am

this is such a beautiful post. I love the photo of the three girls… how gorgeous


39 carole September 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm

When I was young we lived near a park that had about a dozen pecan trees. I loved to go there in the late summer and early fall and pick up all I could (no one else seemed to even be interested). The whole process – the search in the long grass for the pecans, the feeling of abundance over how many there always were, taking them home and shelling them – are all great memories. A favorite thing to do when shelling was to try to remove the whole nutmeat in one piece. It didn’t happen often, but when it did? It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment for a kid.


40 bdaiss September 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm

We have chokecherries and raspberries and service berries growing wild here. I also gather cherries and apples from a friend as well as strawberries from our own patch. I’m hoping to plant a bunch of cherry and apple trees in our lower land and make an orchard. We’ll see how that goes.

Your photos make me reminisce on our trip to California last year. My SIL lives in northern California amongst the redwoods. We were driving along when we spotted a literal WALL of black berry bushes loaded with fruit. We turned ourselves purple on our spoils. I just wished we’d had a way to bring some home.


41 Sarah W September 8, 2012 at 12:16 am

My family just moved to Washington and the blackberries grow like weeds! It is so wonderful. We put them on our cereal, and have made cobbler, clafoutis, jam, and blackberry lemonade. And of course we eat them alone by the handfuls as well. So good! Coming from the east coast where they are so expensive to buy, I feel as you do that I am getting a gift everytime we pick them!


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