It is May 20th, and my wild blackberry bushes are bursting with fruit! Our domestic blackberries may not ripen for another few weeks, but meanwhile we can enjoy some delicious and extra healthy wild ones.
If you choose to pick wild blackberries, I strongly suggest that you wear solid shoes, jeans or some other pants that don’t easily get caught by thorns, and snugly fitting gloves so you can deftly move your fingers to pick the berries without getting them torn up by thorns. Wild blackberry bushes usually grow in a brambly fashion near a forest, covering a large area with growth in as little as one season. The stems are usually green or red with green or reddish leaves. The stems and undersides of the leaves are covered in small thorns that can get cause pain and swelling in your hands (and other body parts) if you get stuck many times. The blackberries are ready to harvest when they are fully black. Most of the berries are much smaller and more seedy than the domestic blackberries you can buy in the store, but they are very flavorful and contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, Folic Acid, and Manganese as well as much more fiber and minerals than domestic blackberries.* Best of all, they are free from any chemicals (as long as you harvest them from a field you know has not been sprayed)!