This growing season continues to mete out surprises. Last week the golden rod was blooming and this week the blackberries started to arrive in the middle of blueberry season. Not that Charlotte was complaining.
Yesterday we went to pick blueberries and she noted, “Pompi (her name for me,) there are blackberries to pick!” Before I could disagree with her I looked up and saw groups of fat black fruits ready to grab next to much larger numbers of tiny immature red berries filling up the vines.
“We can pick the blackberries after the blueberries and have them for dinner,” I told Charlotte as we passed under the blueberry netting. She smiled and we started to pick (and eat) the blueberries. The berries are maturing nicely this year giving us a consistent harvest of a pint or so every few days. There are still many pale blue berries that will take a few weeks to turn soft, sweet and a dark blue ready for pie.
After emptying the picked blueberries into another container, we go after the blacks. Most of the ripe ones are high so all Charlotte can do is to spot them and crane her neck like a hungry baby bird looking for a worm or insect from a scavenging parent. I oblige her dropping a large, ripe berry onto her tongue. She bites down and a tiny dark squirt pops out between her lips. She smiles opening her mouth hoping for another sweet morsel. I don’t disappoint her.
But we need to focus on the business of picking so we find the ripe ones putting them into our colanders saving them for later. Unlike the other berries we grow, I don’t need to net the blackberries as the birds can’t seem to be bothered. Perhaps their size intimidates them or they just don’t like blackberries. But for us, blackberries signify the end of summer, which seems just a bit early for the first week of August.