Holy crow it really is that time of year again and wow, oh wow, do I have a ton of them. I'm almost not exaggerating either. Keeping track thus far I'm at 12 gallons of berries. I have not scratched the surface of the amount that is still actually out there. And to think I fussed and complained earlier this spring when I got off and trimmed back the dead canes. Egads.
These berries are thornless, so at least I don't have to give any blood up for treasure. Being thornless they are also on the more tart side. Sun sweetened though, they are almost as sweet as the standard berry. Another added benefit to these is that they are huge. The majority of them are almost the size of a quarter.
Yesterday I spent the day picking and juicing up about 8 gallons for homemade wine. :-)
I'm also in the process of harvesting the last bit of garden, protecting some things I will be keeping in the ground until I can get to them (like carrots and potatoes) from the chickens. I will be letting my chickens back out to be the free rangers they love to be, I just need to get some of my goodies out of there first and protect the rest. Chickens do a fine job of clearing out the seasons bad bugs, fertilizing for the following year and general clean up. One more month to go. But in the meantime, still some garden left out there provided the rains don't come in and turn everything to mush. Some of the carrots, the spotted trout tongue lettuce (fun name, no!?) and tomatoes from this year so far. Just some mind you, I harvest as I go on some of these and don't always remember to take pictures. I have a great harvest this year, which is surprising. We had late rains and late planting. Nice Indian summer thus far though so keeping my fingers crossed. I'm actually going to be getting some zuchini which wasn't planted until July...so not bad!
Not only am I canning potatoes, tomatoes and blackberries (among other things) I'm also fermenting vegies this year again as well. This is a medley of goodies and I will also be fermenting two large heads of cabbage. Traditionally, with salt only and no vinegar. Really makes for a nice crunchy and very healthy addition to the natural diet. Good stuff. Those jars above are being used to push the vegies down into the brine. Once everyone is down under the salt brine I cover them up and they will be good for months.
I have more to do, more to post and hopefully I will actually get it together enough to post again very soon. I have some really fun photos and videos of my goats and rabbits and of course chickens to share as well. So...out to pick more blackberries!
UPDATE: Picked 2 more gallons of the blackberries this afternoon. Ran into many, many spiders too. A nice symbiotic type relationship, the spiders keep most of the bad bugs away but you know what? I don't really like them in my hair. These girls are big girls. Today I had them, their webs and their bugs in my hair. I can only just barely stand it. Just barely. I also ended up having that song go through my head by 10cc "The Things We Do For Love"
Not because it's all for love per se, but the "the things we do for...." part is where I started yammering at myself while fighting through the spiders and webs...and bugs, oh my. Whew.