Dew To Bramble!   3 comments

Hey look over there, in that Sassafras tree.  Do you see berries?

Oh diggiddy!  Look at the size of these beauties!

Wow, look up!  This vine traveled way up the Sassafras tree, over my head.  Just look at all those berries!

Common Blackberries, Rubus fruticosus,  are in the Rosaceae family, a group of over 375 species; growing on every continent, excluding Antarctica.  The Rubus’ include, raspberries and dewberries, all are called brambles or cane-berries, interchangeably.  Oh, how I wish I could travel the globe and taste them all!

Wild brambles form a dense, tangle of arching stems, and tolerate poor soil, happily engulfing waste places, ditches and vacant lots.

Trailing blackberries are vigorous, tenacious and have a certain sense of defiance!

Serious blackberry picking begs for long sleeves, pant legs and a decent pair of gardening gloves.  If you are fool hardy enough to plow right into a patch, DO NOT try to back out.  The re-curved prickles will come to life, octopus style.  Patience and a pair of pruning shears will free you from the brambles far more efficiently than brute determination.

I made a buckskin apron for blackberry picking and other potentially irritating endeavors.  Over-alls work great; as does a denim jacket.  Loose fitting clothing is always better than tight as the prickles are long enough to reach directly into your skin through tight fabric; even denim.

Soft, ripe blackberries are wonderful in desserts, yogurt, smoothies, jams,  jellies, wine, brandy and juice; and are not actually a berry, but an aggregate fruit containing multiple drupelets.

 

 Blackberry leaves make a delicate tea that reminds me of Green Tea; without the caffeine. Blackberry root and leaf were used in Shaker herbal medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. (1)  There are no known Blackberry-drug interactions! (2)

Blackberries contain powerful antioxidants, in dense concentrations of polyphenolic compounds; and have high amounts of fiber, vitamins C & K, folic acid, and manganese. Blackberries seeds are not always appreciated by folks; however, the seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as protein. (3)

“Folklore in the UK holds that blackberries should not be picked after Old Michaelmas Day (11 October) as the devil has claimed them, having left a mark on the leaves by urinating on them. There is some value behind this legend as wetter and cooler weather often allows the fruit to become infected by various molds such as Botryotinia which give the fruit an unpleasant look and may be toxic. (3)

American Dewberries, Rubus  flagellares, are closely related to blackberries; and are common throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the leaves can be made into tea, and the berries are sweet and delicious. They can be eaten raw, or used the same as raspberries or blackberries.  The only problem is in the picking!  When ripe, they are very tender and are easily squished.  They form a low, 6 in-ish, dense carpet; from under which the berries must be ferreted.  It’s a slow, down and dirty job.  Certainly wear clothing that stains won’t matter on.  You will have pink knees.  And be prepared to set a while.

Dewberry’s tiny green berries turn red and then a deep purple-blue-black as they ripen. The stems are covered with fine spines or stickers. The fruits are the sweetest of the bramble berries and, well worth the scratches and stains that come from picking them.

The blackberries, below, in the bowl on the left, took less than 5 minutes to gather.  The dewberries, on the right, took about ½ hour.  Both are time well spent; with delicious results!

Just click on any photo to enlarge, for greater detail.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you soon.

Oh! p.s. Did you notice the Orbs in 3 of the photos?  Some folks believe Orbs are manifestations of Spirit(s).  Other folks are certain that Orbs are simply a phenominon of light.  I think both definitions, truly, mean exactly the same thing.  Spirit is light and light is a manifestation of Spirit!  Whatever anyone believes, it is interesting to note that the 3 Orb photos were taken on different days, at different times of day, in different places.  Blackberries are, also, a manifestation of Spirit; so, of course there will be Orbs around them!.

More Brambles:   https://forageporage.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/loving-brambles/

REFERENCES:

(1) SHAKER Medicinal HERBS, Amy Bess Miller

      Storey Books, 1998

(2)  A-Z guide to drug-herb-vitamin interactions, Schuyler W. Lininger, Jr. DC, editor in chief

      Prima Health, 1999.

(3)  Wikipedia:

       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackberry

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