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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Virginia's Wild Berry Season Begins (Blog 144)

For the past few days, I have been wandering our 38 acres in Botetourt County in search of the first wild berries of the season.  Elaine and I try to gather about 10 to 12 gallons of berries every year, and we are anxious to start our picking.

So far, only about three cups of raspberries have trickled in, but today I espied the first two ripe wineberries of the summer.  And I noted that the blackberries have started turning red from green.  Even a few dewberries have changed to red.

Picking wild berries is part of our quest to be as self-sufficient as possible.  Coupled with the deer and turkeys that I kill, what we grow in our garden, and the eggs our chickens produce, we do all right in this regard.

Right now, it is impossible to tell if we will be able to gather enough berries to supply all our jams, pies, and cobblers for the next year.  I also noted this morning that competition exists for our fruits. At one of my favorite wineberry patches, which lies adjacent to our food plot, a rather large creature had cut a huge swathe through the vines.  No doubt a black bear has found our patch.

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