We’ve lived in our home for about 11 years now and in all those years have NEVER run across a wild raspberry in the yard. This year, however…a bumper crop! I was so excited I could hardly contain myself — we uncovered about four or five berry hot spots in the yard this year.
I can’t believe in all these years we’ve never noticed them before. I’m thinking that they were hidden back in the thick of the woods and just now made their way towards the edges where they jumped out at us.
Sadly, I picked the final few raspberries last night…I was getting spoiled with fresh berries every morning for breakfast. We had a good run while it lasted, though…we were able to round up several quarts over the past few weeks to put in the freezer alongside the mulberries. (and for those who were inquiring about the stems in the mulberries…we (Jon) actually destemmed a lot of them before putting them in the freezer this year — tedious and messy but for certain recipes, it just works out better….)
While picking the raspberries, I discovered a couple other wild edibles I didn’t know I had…..One was a lonely WHITE mulberry tree just off the path..I was just talking to somebody about not ever seeing or tasting them before and Voila….I have one right in my own backyard…crazy…
The other…Gooseberries! There were several in the same vicinity as the raspberry vines. I’ll be hard pressed to get any sort of significant harvest from these though….only a handful of berries here and there…no gooseberry pies, jellies or anything grand like that, but enjoying them all the same!
Next on the menu….Common Elderberries. We have a zillion of these shrubs all along the yard…I didn’t make use of any of the flowers this time around, but will be doing a good number on the berries once they ripen. I think I may have some chokeberries in there somewhere too. It’s amazing how different your yard looks to you when you realize you’re surrounded by crops of nutritious wild edibles and not just a bunch of wild shrubbery. There’s definitely more out there that we CAN and SHOULD eat than not. I’m wondering if I could take some cuttings of these to share with friends and family….hmmmm?!
Just another mark on the path to having a more productive homestead…I’ve actually had more to harvest from the wild than my actual garden (so far) this year!
Cheers to healthy, unexpected surprises!