I love summer’s parade of wild berries, each species catching my eye and delighting my taste buds for the brief time it is in season. Of course, nothing beats eating ripe berries straight out of hand in the field. But berry pie, berry jam…let’s just call it a win-win choice.
Last month I was traveling and missed the juneberries in the Northeast (as Ellen’s excellent video about juneberry a.k.a. Amelanchier tauntingly reminded me).
But I got to enjoy mulberries (Morus species) at approximately the same time I would have been gobbling them up in Brooklyn (still enjoying, actually - their season ain’t quite over yet!).
Gary Lincoff posted that black raspberries (Rubus occidentalis) are ripening in the Northeast. They are the first of the wild brambleberries each year, and arguably my favorites. I don’t think they’ll wait for me to get back in a week (the wild edible berry season is micro-seasonal, as in sometimes just a couple of weeks per species).
But I’ll be back in time for wineberries (R. phoenocolasius), blackberries (R. allegheniensis), purple-flowering raspberries (R. odoratus), and the not-so-wild-but-oh-so-delicious red raspberries in my garden (R. idaeus).
Don’t get me wrong: I am definitely not complaining about the wild fruits and nuts I’ve been enjoying on my travels. I tasted my first blackberry of the season just inland from a beach in Israel about two weeks ago. I was wearing a bathing suit, which is hardly the best gear for reaching into thorny blackberry canes, but I didn’t care. The berries were worth it.
Here’s some of what I do with berries:
The Best Way to Freeze Berries
Raspberry (or Blackberry) Cordial
Mulberry Jam with Homemade Pectin
Strawberry Jam with Homemade Pectin
Want more specific deets? I’ve started putting up foraging, food preservation, and other homestead-y videos here.
And I’ve got tons of food preservation info and recipes here.
The Locavore’s Handbook: The Busy Person’s Guide to Eating Local on a Budget
Botany, Ballet, & Dinner from Scratch: A Memoir with Recipes