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How to Pick Black Raspberries

Updated on June 20, 2015

Picking Black Raspberry's

It’s my one of my favorite times of year in Pennsylvania, Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) picking time. There is a difference of Black Berries and Black Raspberries. Black Raspberries are smaller and have smaller seeds. While Black Berries are larger and generally have bigger and more seeds.Black Berries also come into season later then Black Raspberries.Every summer we go out around the house, with my now Ten and Eighteen year old boys. Looking for the ever elusive hard to pick berries. It is a fun and annual event around here, we love nothing more than to pick and eat theses delightful good berries. The season lasts about two weeks. They grow wild in an abundant fashion and I have whole areas of my property that I do not cut because of the berries. This has been a family tradition in my family ever since I have lived here. No one else in the area has ever bothered to pick them. They are not for the faint heart-ted to pick. Boots, long sleeved shirts and long pants are a must. We have run into many obstacles while picking over the years.

Not quit ready to pick
Not quit ready to pick | Source

When to pick Black Raspberries

The first thing you see on the Bush is a Green Berry then they turn Red then Black. The best time to pick is when they just turn Black. You can usually get a few days of picking out of the same area when they turn black. I never pick them all, I just pick the ones that are nice and ripe and unmarked. The ones that has been bitten or are to ripe I leave. The main reason is they drop off and start new plants. The best time we like to pick Black Raspberries is in the afternoon. They have had a chance to get a little ripe during the day. Also there are not as many animals out . We usually wait a couple of days in between picking so enough get a chance to ripen.

Buster The Protector
Buster The Protector | Source

Oh the Bees, Snakes and other Critters and The Protector

I guess the main reason that everyone does not pick these ever elusive Black Raspberry’s, is some of the problems that are connected with getting them. You have to be half Billy Goat and half Monkey to go where they are. A few years ago while I am back in a bunch on a small hillside picking and eating some black berries and start getting a stinging sensation on my ankles. I’m thinking to myself that it had to be the bushes getting me then it really started hurting. I move a couple of bushes around and my pant leg has yellow and black wasps stinging me. I guess I got into a little Ground Hornets Nest. I ran. Then there was the time I had the standoff with Mommy Raccoon and her babies. She decided she wanted that patch of berries for her kids. She was growling and acting quit aggressive. I left her have it. Then there was the great black Snake. He decided it was his place to get some fields mice. That snake had to be 8’ long. I left that spot to him to. I have seen Turkey’s there but no Black bears does help to have a Protector with you. My baby!

The Great Itch

Well we like our Berries. You just can’t buy them in the store so fresh or tasty. I do believe that there is nothing worst then the scrapes and scratches you get while picking Black raspberries. My arms always look like I have been in a fight with a cat and lost. Not only that but I believe that every Poisoned plant in the world grows in with Black raspberries. Both Poison Ivory and Oak like to live there my local Pharmacy love this time of year. It takes days to recover.

Best way to pick Black Raspberries

You can’t wear gloves because the fruit is usually soft. So you really have to go at it with your bare hands. I always take a metal bowl and a large bucket to dump the Black Raspberries into. The reason is that if you get tripped up while picking them you don’t lose as many on the ground. This has happened to me before, nothing is worse than having a big bucket of Black Raspberries and having endured the Scratches and bug bites suddenly you trip over something and all your work is all over the ground.

Uses for Black Raspberries

Now that you have gone to all this trouble, what am I going to do with them? I usually just wash them and add a little sugar, put some Vanilla Ice Cream in a bowl and smother them over the top and eat. My Grandmother used to make Jelly and Jam out of them but I have not been able to find a good recipe for that yet. My sister likes to make pies out of them. Are there any Volunteers out there with some good recipes? I’ll link them. They are also good on your cereal. Or to just eat plain. There has also been findings that is good for some cancers. Whatever way you like them Good Eating

Pool on Black Raspberry's

How do you like your Black Raspberries

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    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks for the comments BLouw. Its one of my favorite times of year.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      4 years ago from France

      When we go out picking blackberries my husband does top, I do middle and Molly our dog picks at knee height. I like to stew the blackberries lightly with a bit of sugar and serve with plain yoghurt - or make jam or jelly.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks so much for your comments Dahoglund. It is a fun time for us to pick Black Raspberries. Every year right before the 4th of July they come in season here.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I don't really know if we have Black raspberries here in Wisconsin or not. However there are various kinds of produce that can be bought on a "pick your own " basis. Handy information to have, just in case.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks writer. We always have a great time picking them. I am still looking for a good Jam recipe. So if you have one plz share.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      4 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      Raspberry jam is my favorite and it is difficult to find where I live. You are so right that the berries are delicate, but they really are worth all the trouble you go through to pick them. I enjoyed reading about your great family activity picking wild raspberries!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from western pennsylvania

      I managed to get a good many this year. I made home made ice cream and ate them on top of it. Thanks for the comment.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      It's black raspberry season here in Iowa right now. I picked a few when out walking my dog the other day but I didn't get many since the poison ivy also is abundant and I am very susceptible. When I do get a bunch, I love to eat them with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Jenn-Anne thanks for stopping and taking the time to comment.

    • Jenn-Anne profile image


      6 years ago

      I grew up in eastern PA and we always picked wild raspberries in the summer. My grandmother used to make preserves from them. Your hub brought back lots of fond memories! Voted up.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from western pennsylvania

      teaches12345 thanks for your your vote and comments. It is always one of my favorite times of year.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      You have reminded me of how much fun it was to go blackberry picking in southern Indiana. We had to wear long sleeves to keep the bugs from biting, but we always ended up with a few bites anyways. The small cuts were another story. But, the results were fresh blackberry cobblers! Voted up.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      pstraubie48 Thanks for the comments and the kind words you have a happy day to and thanks

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      7 years ago from sunny Florida

      Been there done that. We had raspberry bushes, a few, and I ate more than I ever picked!! But we had acres of blackberry bushes...I experienced the whole wasp, briars, thorns on dead branches thing. Recollections of that is shared in one of my hubs.

      This was a walk down memory lane. You shared this so well. So glad I found it. Happy Day!!!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      SweetiPie thanks for stopping by They have been good

    • SweetiePie profile image


      7 years ago from Southern California, USA

      I would love to have my own black raspberries to pick. Nice hub!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Unknown thanks for tho visit They are good.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      7 years ago from Neverland

      black raspberries looks very yummy. I love its taste! they're really good.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Christy Writes Thanks for stopping by and your input on the poll.

      Cat R A lot of ours don't ever make it home. It looks like it is going to be a good year. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Cat R profile image

      Cat R 

      7 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

      I have my entire backyard (it's a small farm) full of Blackberries and so far we had them in season anywhere from middle/end of May to end of June. My favorite time of the year.

      We swear we will pick some for Blackberry yoghurt or sour creme, but they never make it to the house.

      Soooooooo goooooooood!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I used to help pick raspberries as a girl, with my family. You brought back fun memories in your hub. For the poll, I like mine heated in a sauce and put over ice cream yummm.

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks CWB You write some great hubs I enjoy reading.

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      7 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Good hub, Bill...voted up, useful, funny, and interesting. I've picked black and red raspberries in the fence rows of the seminary I used to work at for years...first "how to" rule after bare hands...long sleeves, preferably a Wrangler jacket! With the weird weather we've had this year, I'm waiting to see how and when they come on! I've got some Cheerios just waiting to be enhanced! BTW, thanks for following me...think I'll return the flavor! ;)

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Thanks Tm. Sometimes you don't need to squeeze juice it just bleeds.

    • tmbridgeland profile image


      7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Ha. Funny. I just got back from black raspberry picking with my girls. We will make jam. I thought about making a Hub about it, but you beat me! One bit of advice you missed. If you get a scratch from a blackberry vine, or a bug bite, all you have to do is take a really ripe, gushy berry and mash it into the scratch. It doesn't make it hurt less, but it looks really bloody so you get more sympathy!

    • handymanbill profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from western pennsylvania

      Almost ready to pick. Thanks for commenting.

    • Akruse profile image


      7 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Mmmm, this made me hungry. I love blackberries and yours look delicious.


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