Trimming Blackberries

This year we did not start trimming blackberries until the initial grape pruning was done.  But luckily the days are getting longer …  and a bit warmer 🙂

After
Before

Work in Progress….

Blackberry Season

We are in the middle of a drought – at least on our farm.  There have been downpours just a few miles away, several times, but our grass is brown and our garden is in a sad stage.  We’ve been irrigating the blackberries as much as possible, since harvest time is starting.

Nonetheless, there are berries.  In the last week, we picked over 850 lbs and about 1/3 of them are beautiful.  The others were cleaned and frozen and will be used/sold for making jams, shrubs, or wine. We will still be picking for a while – and hoping for rain!

We do have fun picking them, even in the heat…and they are delicious.

Rachel is picking in the summer heat
Elena loves her berries
Delicious

We’ll still be picking for a while – and hoping for rain!

Making “Fruit-leather”… and Jerkey

Samantha got us a “kick-ass” dehydrator for Christmas. The first thing Jeff made in it was – of course – deer jerky, which turned out great.

But then we experimented with making fruit leather – the fruit roll-up kind of snacks.  We thawed out some of our seedless blackberry puree (the same kind we use for making jam), and then cooked it with SureJel and sugar, only we used more than twice the amount of fruit than the jam recipe calls for.  This thickened the puree enough to be able to spread it on the trays of the dehydrator.   I should mention that we got non-stick silicon sheets for the trays – which was very helpful.

We also spread out some of our homemade applesauce on two additional trays.  We let the fruit dry for about 8 hours,then peeled them off the sheets onto a cutting board.  We then sliced and rolled up the dried fruit puree.  They turned out really well, more tart than sweet, and absolutely delicious!

Blackberry Harvest 2015 – Final Results

It was another great year for our blackberries:  We started picking on July 11, at least two weeks earlier than in 2014, and we stopped picking on August 10th – when we stopped tallying.  There are still stray berries out in the patch for breakfast cereal or pancakes.

Nearly a whole month of picking!  (No wonder I did not find time to update our blog).

The “official” grand total of picked blackberries for 2015 was 2018.36 lbs.  Of this, we froze 838.36 lbs, and 1190 lbs of berries were picked into pint and quart boxes.