Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blackberry Winter

NOTE: This post is not about your personal digital assistant. It's about a plant that is so valuable and useful your PDA was name for it.

Spring in the mountains brings varied weather; some days are quite warm, while others are much cooler. At this time of year we have a name for the chilly days. You see, the blackberries are blooming. And chilly days this time of year are known as "Blackberry Winter." Blackberries grow abundantly in the NC mountains and can be found along the roadside, creek banks, and fields.

The blackberry blossom is made up of five petals. Each blossom contains a green center which will ripen and form a blackberry.

Blackberries are ancient plants that have many medicinal uses. The berries are rich in Vitamins E and C, beneficial anti-oxidants and fiber. For centuries, blackberry tea has been used to treat diarrhea. A soothing solution made by boiling the leaves is used to treat boils and minor burns on the skin.

Blackberries are a food source for many birds and animals, including humans.

In about two months, these blossoms will be delicious blackberries, ready for picking and eating. There is hardly a rural child in the mountains who hasn't been blackberry pickin'. The wonderful jams, jellies and pies are worth the scratches from the thorns, the stinkbugs, the heat, and other hazards of picking blackberries. Adults may enjoy blackberry wine or brandy.
As for me; I'll have another helping of that blackberry cobbler, please.


The Birdlady said...

Wonderful post - We go often to Shenandoah Nat Park - it's just a little over an hour away - and there are blackberries everywhere...The bears love them, and the lodges specialize in blackberry cobbler, jelly, and ice cream. It's great!

jan m said...

When I was growing up, in central NY, we would pick black caps, which I believe was a large black raspberry, wonderful for pies, jams, and eating on the way home.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Blackberry cobbler for me, too!
I always look forward to it--my summertime favorite.

Jayne said...

Make that three dishes of cobbler... mmm.... with vanilla ice cream. Oh, my... I am salivating. :c)

The Birdlady said...

I do sell prints - if you email me, I'll send you prices. Thanks for the compliment!

NCmountainwoman said...

Birdlady - I've been to Shenandoah National Park. Lovely place. BTW, I sent you an email at the boutique.
jan m - Yes, we also ate plenty of berries while picking.
Nina and Jayne - Come early July, we'll be feasting on cobbler. Yes, I love it best with vanilla ice cream.