Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Evanescence of Fresh Blackberries

Bike fuel: Rubus armeniacus

For a brief week or two each spring, we harvest a few bowls of black berries from old canes in our backyard. I take it that conditions in Phoenix are not at the center of the climate conditions favored by these berries, in fact, it appears that they have to struggle to survive summer's blasting heat--Oregon, or Illinois woods, are two places I have seen them grow like weeds. But they do survive here, and bear fruit, and it seems to me end up producing a sweet, complex, and delicate berry that bears witness to the difficulties endured to produce it. I have put up some epic berry posts in the past--the two from the trip to Iowa City still make my tummy grumble happy sounds--but this simple bowl of seedy black is all I need. 

These don't travel well, they don't even store well. We pick them and eat them the same day, or possibly the next, before their fresh magic turns to mush. I had them on cereal today. But, to me, they are best on their own, as in this hastily taken photo. I was in haste to eat them, you see, so didn't give it that photo studio treatment. Oh, and the bees love their flowers, and I love the bees, so it all works out well. But, even now, to pick them in the morning is to pick warm berries heated by our ever-enthusiastic desert sunshine. Either way, they don't last long. A day, maybe two or three at most. I better go check now. Get up. Go ride.



  1. I have never seen wild blackberry bushes in Texas. They are an ever-invasive plague west of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State

  2. Wow! Blackberries in May! I'm used to picking them at the end of Aug/early September. The next best thing to fresh blackberries is Blackberry Jam AND Blackberry Syrup (for pancakes). YUM! :)

  3. they grow wild up in oak creek canyon. At least they have been growing for years in at least one spot.

  4. you are drifting off the way I did when i started blogging about peach and fig jam. Actually, I did make peach jam again this weekend, but no need to post again about it. I should have posted my recipe. Much better last year. Gonna eat a lot of peaches

  5. They grow wild in profusion all along the Dorset coast...ready for picking in August and September.

    I love them with apples in a pie....always reminds me of my childhood...we used to pick them and my Mother would make the pie......!

    Great memories...thanks for reminding me.


  6. Steve A, I struggle with calling them a "noxious weed" like the USDA. But those thorns. Ouch.

    PaddyAnne, I wonder if we could get more than one crop per year. Have to check that out. And syrup.

    FraSiec, BB in the OCC! Have to hunt those down sometime. I wouldn't say I am drifting off so much as charging down well-established trails.

    Trevor, with apples. Hmmm. That's interesting. Those also grow in Oak Creek Canyon, so perhaps someone will marry them in pies around there. I'll have to to investigate.

    Apertome, well, yes, yum indeed.


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