Several weeks ago the organic grocery in my neighborhood was promoting organic blackberries they’d sourced at a very good price. Before continuing, we need to journey back to those periodically disasterous years on the farm. You may have read my previous blogs about the zucchini principle or the pig with the genius IQ or the geese that ravaged neighboring gardens. The blackberry scenario was not a calamity like the aforementioned, but it provides the context for today’s post.
One of the few positive features that came with the farm was an expansive high bush blackberry patch. There was a labyrinth of paths winding in and around the bushes. You could get lost for a couple of days trying to solve the maze. No worries. You wouldn’t go hungry in the process. Great care was given to the blackberry patch, pruning as needed and adding the ashes from the wood stoves around the base of the bushes. The wood ash apparantly added potassium to the soil and roots. As a result, we had the largest, sweetest, juiciest blackberries I ever had before or since. In fact, over the years, I had pretty much given up eating blackberries because none could compare.
With annual bumper crops of blackberries, I made pies, froze them, canned them, gave them away. I have a cherished memory from the berry canning days. My daughter, who was 4 or 5 at the time would help. She even developed a recipe for canned blackberries. I will share it with you just in case you want to do some canning.
J’s Canned Blackberries: Wait until you have a dozen blackberries. Then you put them in a jar with some salt and water. But you don’t need the salt. Add some dill. Then you put them in the pressure cooker. You keep them in the pressure cooker until the buzzer goes off. About five minutes. Then you save them til winter.
Back to the present. When I learned about this great blackberry deal, something prodded me to try them. I was skeptical due to previous experiences. But, wow! Those berries were amazing. Not quite up to the farm berries, but the next best thing. In fact, I craved them ever since. I wondered if there is some nutrient in blackberries that my body was needing which might explain the craving.
Of course, I researched their health benefits. Blackberries are good sources of Vitamins A,C, K, manganese, fibre. They are anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, fight free-radicals, aid cognitive function, good for the skin and more. If interested you can easily find in depth info on the net. Sheesh, I figured I needed the works. Guess I’ll just keep on eating blackberries.
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