No berries to see here

Posted 8/28/19

I wonder if your article (“What’s your best pick?” Leader, Aug. 14) was purposely misleading those who might compete for your wild blackberries. By the hot days of August, there are …

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No berries to see here

Posted

I wonder if your article (“What’s your best pick?” Leader, Aug. 14) was purposely misleading those who might compete for your wild blackberries. By the hot days of August, there are essentially none left, which is a good way to discourage people—they see all those vines, but no berries, since either you have picked them already or by then the birds have gotten any stragglers.

Traditionally, the first blackberry pie of the year was on July 4, although of course it varies a week or two either way depending on weather. When I was a kid, we never considered Himalayas food, I didn’t know anyone who picked them (this was in the 1960s). I still don’t, and on my forest property I’ve spent tremendous amounts of time and money eliminating them and replanting trees.

A friend of mine actually gathered, replanted, and trellised a bunch of vines, eight female to one male plant. I know he got fruit, but can’t imagine it was worth the effort. As for those who claim to prefer Himalayas, they’re either misleading others to protect their wild patch, or “sour grapesing,” because they can’t find the good stuff.

David T Chuljian
PORT TOWNSEND

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Tom Camfield

Love it, David! I remember the old days of hating to tell someone of the great berry-picking sites my wife and I had found. And such sites have diminished now. Jean did get out to one od the old spots the other day, and there are enough berries in the freezer for a Christmas pie for the family member loyal enough to visit :-)

I actually had to send a letter to the Seattle Times' Sunday Pacific section one year to explain to them that invasive Himalaya berries are not "wild blackberries."

Best bets for picking: a couple or three years following logging. The vines love climbing over stumps and such. They begin peaking about July 4.

Wednesday, August 28
Justin Hale

UMmm, Blackberry cobbler.

Wednesday, August 28