It's Time For Blackberries!

BlackberrIes Are Upon Us

Yes, it's that time of year again - the time when blackberries are in abundance. And no, I'm not talking about those cellphone/PDA hybrid things. I'm talking about good old-fashioned fruit. If you're a blackberry fan (and with things like blackberry jam and blackberry syrup, who isn't) then it's a good time of year for you. Here are some things you'll want to know.

Pick-Your-Own Farms

If you don't have any blackberry bushes at home, don't despair. There are pick-your-own farms with plenty to go around and now's the time to start calling them. Yours might not be ready yet (the berries down south ripen faster than the berries up north) but they will be soon.

One thing you might want to ask when you call farms for blackberry picking information is whether or not they have the new thornless plants. Thorns can hurt, and that's not fun. Blackberry picking is all about fun so make sure you wear gloves if you need to or find a farm that has berries minus the thorns.

Also ask about pesticides. You're gonna eat those blackberries -- not just pick them. You want to make sure you're not eating a bunch of bug poison along with them.

What To Do With all Those Berries

Many pick-your-own farms sell blackberries by the gallon (you pick them and then pay per gallon that you pick). What are you gonna do with a few gallons of berries? My suggestion is freeze some, make jams and jellies and syrups out of some, bake with a few and then eat the rest fresh. You can also do a Web search for "blackberry recipes" and see what new and interesting things you might want to try.

So get ready to get at those bushes! Blackberry season will be here for a while, but it's always fun to get started early so you can enjoy your blackberries all summer long (and well into fall and winter).

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