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How To Pick Wild Blackberries and RaspberriesBy: Julie Day
During summer, nature begins to offer a bounty all its own, free for the picking – wild berries! And if you’re new to wild berry picking, the best place to start is with wild blackberries and raspberries. They’re unmistakable, easy to pick, delicious, and can readily be found in summer.
Here are some tips for taking advantage of wild blackberry and raspberry season in your area.
About Wild Blackberries and Raspberries
There are many, many types of wild edible berries, but blackberries and raspberries are by far the easiest to identify. Growing in those telltale tiny clusters, they don’t have any lookalikes and are all safe to eat.Blackberries and raspberries are very similar, and they’re picked (and enjoyed!) in the same ways. Blackberries are always black when ripe while raspberries can be red or black, depending on the variety. For our purposes, the only real difference is that raspberries are hollow and cup shaped, while blackberries are solid to the stem.
With a little practice, you’ll quickly learn to identify the plants as well. They have three compound leaves that are oval-shaped and toothed along the edges. The wild plants are very thorny (cultivated varieties can be thornless) and usually grow in brambles.
I like to scope out my picking-spots in the spring, when the plants are covered in small white blooms that are easily spotted from a distance. The berries ripen in May or June in warmer climates, and July in cooler climates, and can be picked over several weeks.
Blackberry and Raspberry Picking Tips
As you head out with your pails and baskets, follow these tips for successful wild berry picking:
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- How to Pick and Store Fresh Strawberries from Your Garden (article)
- Which Fruits and Vegetables Continue to Ripen After Picking? (article)
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