How to Pick Black Raspberries
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.
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.
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 yet.it 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