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Wild blackberries

 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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Just a heads up, black berries are ripening in central Texas (zone 8b). I was expecting a time closer to June. With the milder winters that are becoming the norm, maybe I should start keeping my eye's peeled in early April now. Most of the patches I've seen were growing alongside honeysuckle and wild grapes. Sometimes they were intermingled with the honeysuckle. Since both of those plants are more visible from a distance, maybe that can help people locate them.

I was also able to confirm that many of the grape vines that had no grapes when I looked last year, do have grapes this year. Looking for blackberries is turning out to be a good preparation for grape season. I'm going try looking for grapes much early this summer than I did last year. Hopefully, I'll get a respectable harvest of those also. Surprising thing to me was that I wasn't seeing much sign of bird activity in the densely fruited field I worked today. I wonder what the birds are gorging themselves on at this time of year that keeps them distracted from a whole field of ripe blackberries.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast (USA) Zone 9
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We are loaded with them here too. Zone 9 Mississippi gulf coast

 
pollinator
Posts: 4328
Location: Anjou ,France
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Wow that is early I don't start looking until August here in France and finish on 23th September traditionally
After this date they begin to be too bitter and tasteless either because there is less sunlight or due to the Devil . The traditional story goes that this was the anniversary of the date when the devil was cast out of heaven and he landed on some blackberrys this hurt him so he cursed the plant so on this day each year it's berries become inedible  

David
 
Don Elbourne
Posts: 7
Location: Mississippi Gulf Coast (USA) Zone 9
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made wild blackberry jelly today

 
Posts: 11
Location: Colorado. San Juan Mountains. Zone 4b and Virginia. Clinch Mountain. Zone 7a..
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Does anyone use other parts of the plants, besides the berries?
 
Posts: 79
Location: Appalachian Mountains
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August Salmon wrote:Does anyone use other parts of the plants, besides the berries?

I gather the leaves and dry them for tea.  High in minerals.
Faye Corbett     Appalachia


 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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When we had a pet rabbit, she absolutely adored the canes. She'd eat the whole thing, thorns and all.
 
August Salmon
Posts: 11
Location: Colorado. San Juan Mountains. Zone 4b and Virginia. Clinch Mountain. Zone 7a..
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Casie Becker wrote:When we had a pet rabbit, she absolutely adored the canes. She'd eat the whole thing, thorns and all.



Our goats love them too!
 
pollinator
Posts: 867
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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August Salmon wrote:Does anyone use other parts of the plants, besides the berries?


I know traditionally bee hives (I mean the real hives, made out of straw, not the wooden boxes) were made using (bark of) blackberry canes. First the spines were cut off with a metal ring (the cane was pulled through). Then the canes were split. I'm not sure of all that was done, but at last it was like a ribbon. Those ribbons were used to bind/sew the bundles of straw together, using a special needle.
My ex-husband was a bee-keeper and he did a course in making hives in that traditional way. One of the products of that course is now standing next to me. It's in fact the small hive used for 'scooping' a swarm. I use it to put my knitwork, yarn and other things in it.

That about other uses for blackberry bushes.

Here in the Netherlands it will take some more months before we'll have ripe blackberries.
 
August Salmon
Posts: 11
Location: Colorado. San Juan Mountains. Zone 4b and Virginia. Clinch Mountain. Zone 7a..
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Faye Corbett wrote:

August Salmon wrote:Does anyone use other parts of the plants, besides the berries?

I gather the leaves and dry them for tea.  High in minerals.
Faye Corbett     Appalachia




That's great! I've been thinking about trying this. Does anyone harvest the roots for anything? I have an overly healthy population here.
 
Faye Corbett
Posts: 79
Location: Appalachian Mountains
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August Salmon wrote:

Faye Corbett wrote:

August Salmon wrote:Does anyone use other parts of the plants, besides the berries?

I gather the leaves and dry them for tea.  High in minerals.
Faye Corbett     Appalachia




That's great! I've been thinking about trying this. Does anyone harvest the roots for anything? I have an overly healthy population here.



My Grandmother once harvested the roots and boiled for hours on the wood stove and gave to my uncle who had dysentery from unknown causes.  The doctor's could do nothing and gave up on him, basically sent him home to die.  She cured him.  
 
Posts: 1
Location: Carlisle, United States
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We have been using the leaves to add zinc to our alpaca diet.  They love them!
 
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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Please come take them off my property. A third of my land is engulfed in the damn things. You can have them all.

You can't really even get much pleasure from the fruit here, because they're all wormy with fruit fly larvae.
 
Libbie Hawker
Posts: 102
Location: Friday Harbor, WA
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August Salmon wrote:Does anyone use other parts of the plants, besides the berries?



The early leaf buds are delicious on their own. They taste like coconut! I like to just munch on them when I'm out walking, but they're also fun in salads. I haven't tried toasting them yet to see if it changes the flavor at all, but next early-spring I plan to try it.
 
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I'm looking forward to a harvest here in Central Oklahoma. I have a huge thicket of them that the neighbor didn't plow under in his fence fiasco. Hopefully the deer won't eat them all. Our goats love them but they are on the other side of the property. I've also noticed that my grapes are setting this year when last year they didn't. Maybe it's a weird weather thing.

So how much of the dry leaves do you use in tea? Do you mix them with other leaves or use them straight?
 
Faye Corbett
Posts: 79
Location: Appalachian Mountains
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E Cochran wrote:I'm looking forward to a harvest here in Central Oklahoma. I have a huge thicket of them that the neighbor didn't plow under in his fence fiasco. Hopefully the deer won't eat them all. Our goats love them but they are on the other side of the property. I've also noticed that my grapes are setting this year when last year they didn't. Maybe it's a weird weather thing.

So how much of the dry leaves do you use in tea? Do you mix them with other leaves or use them straight?



I use a heaping tablespoonful of shredded leaves per cup, or approximate.  Make it as strong as you want.  Use it like a regular herbal tea, remembering that if you are using fresh leaves, use at least twice as much.  

 
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