Know what’s better than picking a blackberry straight from the vine, rinsing it, and popping into your mouth?

blackberrypatch

Watching them doesn’t make them ripen faster … I might know from experience.

Nothing.

Well, maybe baking those dark darlings into a blackberry buttermilk cake.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

I whipped up a lemon glaze and drizzled over the top.

Our blackberry patch is producing it’s second harvest only one year after planting. We tied the canes up on the trellis and randomly watered, but these babies just appear to love their space. I covered them with bird netting recently to thwart the feisty blue jays but it’s trapping giant dragonflies so it will have to be removed. The dark clouds that hoover twelve feet in the air at sunset around here are actually hordes of dragonflies feasting on unsuspecting mosquitos. Therefore, dragonflies make the save at all costs list.

Hopefully, Ollie, the decoy owl will scare the jays from stealing our fruit.

Decoy Owl

He’s always watching …

I haven’t had to spray the blackberries with anything since we have a few assassin bugs living among the thorns waiting for a passing meal. They are super creepy but helpful as a natural pesticide.

Assassin Bug

Just one of many assassin bugs prowling the blackberry patch.

The varieties we grow include:

  • Ouachita
  • Roseborough
  • Apache
  • Navaho
  • PrimeArk45 (producing now)

It’s good to diversify any group of plantings to avoid the spread of disease and to stagger harvest times. I don’t mind canning, but I don’t want to spend three entire days preserving 100 pounds of berries when they all ripen at once.

Come this fall, we will bend the canes to the ground and cover with dirt, this is called tip layering. Those canes will produce roots and make new plantings by the next spring that we can transplant to another trellis.  While the process takes patience, it’s free!

Black Berry Harvest

Yum …