Blackberries: Heck Yeah

If you thought this article was going to be about some boring piece of technology, you’re a nerd. No, I’m not here to talk about cell phones. I’m here to talk about fruit. It’s just about that time of the year again: blackberry season! Yum!

As the most prolific weed west of the Cascades, blackberries can be found all over the Puget Sound. In my professional opinion (I have a Ph.D. in complex berry neuroscience), if you lives around here and pay money to buy blackberries, you are one of three things:

  • stupid
  • lazy
  • a giant wuss

Actually, knowing you, you’re probably all three. Seriously, there is no excuse not to pick your own blackberries. None.

You can’t even walk out the door most places around Seattle without tripping on a blackberry vine. The only thing that keeps them from taking over entirely is the presence of the second-most prolific weed—Scotch Broom.

Try to focus though. We’re not talking about the epic clash of the weeds today. We’re talking about eating blackberries—delicious, quivering blackberries. As far as weeds go, blackberries are by far the most tolerable, thanks to their delicious summer payoff.

If you’ve never gone out to pick blackberries, you are missing out on one of Puget Sound’s most rewarding outdoor activities. In addition to just the scrumptious reward of the berries themselves, there are all kinds of fun things to do when you’re out blackberry-ing.

For starters, there’s the blackberry fight. You throw a few dozen blackberries at your picking companion, they stuff a handful of blackberries down your pants, you jam a fistful into their ear… The first person whose skin turns entirely purple loses.

Or there’s the blackberry toss, where you take a bunch of blackberries and toss one into the other person’s mouth, then take a step back, and vice versa. Then the first person to miss the other one’s mouth gets thrown into the berry bushes. And don’t forget the classic blackberry patch hide-and-seek, where you tunnel your way bare-handed into the blackberries to hide from one another. Such fun!

As if all the fun and games aren’t enough incentive, there’s also the splendid thought that the more blackberries you eat straight off the vine, the more bugs you’re likely to have consumed! So you’re getting your fruit and your organic protein in a single delicious snack!

Of course, if you want to be boring about it, you could always just go and pick the berries, put them in a bucket, then take them home and wash them. But wouldn’t you much rather make it a memorable life experience? I know I would.

I can’t wait for the blackberries to ripen!

About the Author

Joe Freeman
Naked Loon Staff Columnist

5 Comments on "Blackberries: Heck Yeah"

  1. Excellent observation. Last summer I made an informal audit of the Queen Anne alleys. Just hanging over the fences ready for picking one can find numerous kinds of apples, endless blackberries and raspberries and grapes. There is even, in one location, a kiwi tree that bears at the end of August. Local produce. And free.

  2. Nice story. Reminds me of the time my grandmother visited from Texas; she thought it was wonderful to find all that fruit free for the picking. She wouldn’t stop, “wait, there’s more”, and ended up with the scratches to prove her enthusiasm. Blackberry pie followed.

  3. Charles Dean | 2008-08-04 at 1:50 PM |

    This is funny. Anyone who didn’t grow up in the Northwest thinks that our blackberries are one of the greatest things ever. Blackberries simply don’t grow like this anywhere else in the country. I always pick a ton.

    For other blackberry fun, buy 2 bottles of blackberry wine from Pasek Cellars in Mount Vernon and drink them both. It’s made from 100% blackberries. I mean, the only thing better than picking blackberries is getting drunk on them, don’t you think?

  4. You know what is more crazy than buying blackberries at the store? Buying a live blackberry VINE in a pot at your local nursery!

    Yes, they do sell blackberry vines. My wife and I were just at Lowe’s this weekend, and we were appalled.

    As if you couldn’t drive ten blocks in any direction and dig one out of your neighbor’s yard (knowing that their reaction would range somewhere between indifference and overflowing gratitude).

    Seriously. What kind of moron BUYS a blackberry bush in the Pacific Northwest?

  5. I have about three solid acres of blackberries on some property up near Lake Stevens. To say that I hate them doesn’t quite convey my feelings on it.

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