Thursday, August 16, 2012

Brlackberry Bust

Early summer blackberry blossoms
 All year I have been watching "my" blackberry bushes grow. In late spring I observed the flowers and was impressed by the interesting yet delicate structures. In mid-summer I was delighted by the seeming abundance of berries forming on the brambles, and my anticipation of a bountiful harvest grew. My mouth watered as I thought about the delicious, ripe berries and all of the wonderful things I could make with them.
Mid-summer berries- looks like a bumper crop!

Well, today was the day I was going to do my first harvest. However, it seems that somebody else has also been keeping an eye on them because I found that they had been completely picked over and, more sadly, trampled in many areas.

Trampled brambles = blackberry bust
Of course these wild edibles are on public land and everybody has the right to harvest them. To be honest I'm happy that other people are picking them because those people will now have a greater appreciation for what the land provides and hopefully be more likely to support its conservation. I just wish that they would have been a little bit more light footed... and maybe left a few for me.

Similar things have happened to me several times this year... the critters beat me to the gooseberries I happened across on a hike and it seems that they also worked over the elderberry bush I have been eying for a month.  These events have made me more thankful for all of the serendipitous wild edibles I've  enjoyed this year. I think that next year I'll rely more on chance and do less wild edible "stalking."