Obeying the Blackberries

Blackberries Ripening!

I’m emptying out the attic eaves and the study closet. Helping a ‘pack rat’ move recently has given me a serious resolve to purge, throw out, give away or purposefully keep stuff. Yet the process is daunting and though boxes and junk are stacked from floor to ceiling surrounding my computer table I went… foraging. The Blackberries were calling to me. So basket in hand, I obeyed.

The cooler temps are a welcome change from the heat we’ve experienced recently. About a 1/2 mile out near the deer hole the heavy mist turned to a steady rain. Once my good running shoes, my hair and my clothes were thoroughly soaked I saw no reason to not just get wetter.

The collies never mind a little rain, their thick coats keep them miserable in the Summer heat, so they pranced ahead leading the way happy to be cool.

Skipper found an amazing white mushroom. Two actually.

Mystery Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a future learning frontier for me. My grandfather had a fetish for them, and was regularly making spore prints with some prized discovery but never did he eat them or make medicine with them, he would just identify them. Which to my young mind was a tad boring.

But I digress…

Not far from the fairy mushrooms was a 1/2 of a deer rack. Wondering what the story is there. I’ll add it to my growing collection of unusual nature finds (snake skins, skulls, jaw bones, bird feathers…)

Self Heal, Wild Grape Leaves and a Deer Antler

The Blackberries are truly taking over my mountain and I am thrilled. I use them for medicine, tea, jams, jellies, pies, smoothies and vinegars. This year I plan to soak them in brandy for a Fall mead. I’ve been watching their progress from young green leaves, white five petaled flowers, red unripe berries and now the deep purple berries are finally here to provide a daily destination for my foraging adventures.

This process will continue for weeks of happy Blackberry picking. Blueberries and Raspberries also vie for my attention.

Tulip Poplar leaf baskets make for a nifty basket to collect blackberries

As I type this, my wet clothes clinging to my skin and ignoring the boxes… the Blackberries are soaking in brandy….Self Heal is drying a bit before adding it to the olive oil to infuse for a great wound salve…

So blessed!

“Come and SEE the works of God.” Psalms 66:5

BTW the newly emptied closest will house herbal supplies. So I am motivated!



  1. Wow! How does one make blackberry vinegar? I make my own raw vinegar from apple cider. faith

  2. I infuse Blackberries (or any other herb) in Braggs Apple Cider vinegar. I do it to extract the vitamins and minerals from the plant material. Be careful to cover the mason jar with a plastic screw lid or put a baggie between the metal ring and the jar cause vinegar and metal do not mix!
    With Blackberries, I smash them well first and stir or shake daily for 3 -6 weeks then extract the berries and bottle the Blackberry vinegar for salad dressings… Keep in a cool and dark place.

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