Ripening Blackberries Make Wild Magic on the Homestead

Six years ago this month, we closed the contract on our house and moved to our newly mortgaged homestead of about two acres of field and forest. Sarah quickly discovered thorny blackberry bushes growing on a rise behind the house. What a treat they’ve been.

This year, they’ve sprung up on the sides of the drainage ditch in our easement by the street. No doubt we can thank the propagation of wild fruit to the many birds that flock to the native wildflower meadow we planted in year three. So now we have two spots for daily picking handfuls of berries to sprinkle over cereal, yogurt, or to just eat plain.

Ripe blackberries hang in small bunches on bushes by our drainage ditch.
A profusion of wild blackberries graces the drainage ditch by the road this summer.

The bushes in back of the house are becoming pretty choked out by a profusion of a weed or creeper we haven’t yet identified. So one of my self-appointed chores these summer days is to untangle and pull out the seemingly endless twining stems running up the bushes and along the ground. Though the reward for my labor includes frequent stings and bloody cuts from sharp thorns (whether gloved or not), it also includes biting into a sweet explosion of fruit whenever I need motivation.

We don’t know whether our blackberry bushes are a wild, native Indiana variety or started as a cultivar planted by a previous owner. Either way, fresh blackberries make up some of the magic of the slowly revolving seasons on our homestead.

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