Blackberry season

The blackberries are coming in.


The area around Puget Sound, according to the Suquamish Tribal Museum, has been occupied by human beings for at least 10,000 years. Abundant sea life and vegetation make it one of the few places in the world a hunter-gatherer society can live without being nomadic. Salal grows here, and Oregon grape. Thimbleberry, salmonberry, nagoonberry. Many mushrooms are edible, and grow in profusion during the rainy season.


But about 150 years ago, some smark aleck decided to introduce blackberry. It took like wildfire, and now it is everywhere. It grows the way kudzu grows in the south. It fills up roadsides, abandoned lots, and any bit of neglected garden. It is a thorny, seedy, old-fashioned variety, and unfortunately, there’s simply no stopping it now.


Unfortunately for the native species, anyway. We enjoy the blackberries just fine.


I’m bringing in about two trays’ worth every other day. I rinse them to get rid of the hairy bits, let them drain in a colander, then spread them on a towel in a half sheet pan and put them in the freezer. This gives me loose frozen berries so I can measure out as many or as few as I want. Blackberry cobbler, blackberry pie, blackberry syrup for pancakes. No, we aren’t making blackberry wine. You heard me say they’re seedy and thorny. I need a better payback for the scratches and scrapes.

One morning soon we’ll have a heavy rain and they’ll all grow mold, and that will be it for the blackberries this year.

Or my freezer will be full. I’ll let you know which happens first.


2 thoughts on “Blackberry season

    • I know. We came from Illinois, where one had to suffer for a quart of wild berries. Locals here are indifferent to the blackberries–we’re still n00bs, though, and delighted.

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