Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tons of Blackberries

I've mentioned our blackberries in prior posts. But folks that just speak to us at the farmers market have been curious about them. So I snapped a few photos of our blackberry plants. The early rain this year has been remarkable for them and now in the drier hotter weather they are ripening quickly. We have one variety, Illini, that is well adapted to this area but it is thorny. They have been ripening for a week or so. Our main variety is Chester which is shown in the photo, a few berries are ripening now, but as you can see the real avalanche is yet to come. All the red berries will ripen over the next week or two. Chester has a reputation for being more tart or not as sweet as other varieties, but the secret is that it needs to stay on the plant a day or two after it darkens, and looks ripe, to enhance the flavor and sweetness. If you come out for PYO, or to visit the farm, this is what you'll see. If you're at the market, this is where they come from. Lastly, they are not sprayed with anything toxic. We'll lose a few berries to Japanese beetles but that's OK. Fortunately for me blackberry jam is my favorite.

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