Skip to main content

Thornless Blackberry Blessings

Thornless Blackberries are the most prolific fruit in our back garden.
Thornless (or prickle-free) blackberries are a cultivar of other blackberries -- maybe wild blackberries, but most often, other commercial varieties, such as loganberries.

Wild blackberries still spring up with wily abandon on most empty lots in the Pacific Northwest (Canada and the USA).  When we came to Vancouver Island nine years ago this Fall, I was thrilled to hike around our neighborhood berry patches with a pail every summer.  Most of our neighbours were quite incredulous at my  industry-- why was I picking so many berries?  Most of them picked enough for a pie or a few jars of jam, and that was it.  The novelty had worn off.  They had so many other wonderful fruits and berries to choose from, many growing in their yards.  At the time, my husband and I were falling in love with-- actually, fast becoming addicted to-- green smoothies.  We were amazed by the simple abundance of the FREE blackberries.  We filled up our freezer with them.  We chugged blackberry smoothies all winter.  You can find some delicious blackberry smoothie recipes here.

A couple of years after we arrived our then-Pastor sold his house and moved.  Before doing that he thoughtfully (well, maybe not thoughtfully if you were the purchaser of his property, lol) dug up some of his prized plants and gifted them among friends.  We were very privileged to get his most beloved Thornless Blackberry bush.  We positioned it in a far corner of the yard, set aside as a sort of 'arbourage' or minor-orchard.  For the first two or three years the bush did not put out anything substantial-- in fact, we forgot about it for the most part.

Then, in about year #3 I was doing some sort of clean-up work and came across what had been "that little blackberry bush".  Imagine my surprise to find that some of the branches were well over 6' long, dragging their bounty of berries into the neighbours' yards (3 neighbours' yards, as a matter of fact).

Since that time I have been harvesting a good portion of our winter's berries from the sole [overgrown] bush.  This year I get 1/2 to 3/4 of a 1-gallon pail of berries picked each morning.  What we don't use in our morning smoothie goes into a bag in the freezer.  It is loaded.  The wasps covet this bush as well. I happen to respect the hard-working ornery little critters do (to keep down other insects) earlier in the season, but I will keep an eye out to see that they don't suck away more than their share.

Here is a fascinating video by a guy showing the method he uses of espalier-ing his blackberries.  I plan to do a sort of modification of this to get my blackberries into submission.

The benefits of not having thorns is huge!  Health benefits of the Blackberry are also huge:
  • rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C: strengthens the connective tissue-- collagen-- and maintains elasticity and flexibility of the body's arteries and veins allowing for healthy blood flow-- may help to alleviate varicose veins
  • low in calories, and of course, low on the glycemic index-- only 62 calories per cup
  • very low in sodium
  • very high in antioxidants- in fact, the HIGHEST of berries - but to get a real anti-cancer boost, it is important to eat the blackberries au naturel-- skip the cooking and pass on the sweeteners (smoothies count as being in a natural state!)
  • Eat them raw everyday and be guaranteed that your brain is alert and clear of "fog"
  • The high tannin levels (tannin gives tea its bitter edge) in blackberries may calm down intestinal pain and inflammation, subdue diarrhea, and alleviate hemorrhoids
  • Make a tea with the (bitter) leaves, using honey or stevia to mask the flavour-- an uplifting morning drink with none of the caffeine stimulation of coffee
  • Juicing the berry regularly can help people with menstrual problems because it's effective in helping the blood to clot  
Here is the Blackberry plant this year:

Here is a pile of things you can make with blackberries (just click to see):


Popular posts from this blog

Good Summer Morning Chia Pudding

Here is a fast and easy Chia Pudding that is perfect for breakfast (or as dessert, etc etc etc).  Chia pudd fans will know what I mean...  .                               . The Recipe is pretty simple.  You can vary it as you like, but this combination is a winner at our home and I think we will continue to use this as a standard for a simple breakfast pudding. I start by gathering together the ingredients and a wide-mouth Mason Jar with a lid. The ingredients are: 1/4 C. Chia Seed 1/4 C . Liquid Honey (or other sweetener of choice) 1/2 tspn. Vanilla Extract 2 C. Soy Milk (or other non-dairy milk) Strawberries and Blueberries (or other fruit/berry combinations ) as you like            THE METHOD Put all the above ingredients (in order) into a quart-size Mason Jar Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly mixed, paying attention to bottom sticky seeds Put lid on jar and place in fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours.) Scoop pudding into small bowls or small j

3 Quick Delicious Refreshing Carrot Salads

 These 3 carrot salads are all vegan, but not all familiar. It only goes to show that carrots have a life of their own in the Veggie World. When I go scouting for a delectable and easy-to-make vegan recipe, I like to think I vet the best on the Internet. I check out various social venues-- Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest-- and google for the top-pagers as well. Then I read over the selection and toss the ones that sound a little too traditional or fussy.  1.  Viral TikTok Carrot Salad with Asian Flare (with Instagram's Stephanie Manzinali that.veganbabe) *that.veganbabe* demonstrates how to put this ribbon salad together in a flash. You will find other great salads that include carrots among her repertoire as well. Go HERE to the post. 2. Spicy Carrot Salad on Youtube with Everyday Gourmet  This looks very tangy and adventuresome for people who like a little zing in their summertime meals. Carrots are sweet, and some honey is also added to the recipe (I guess you could us

The Power of Flowers

Fragrant Flowers on our Morning Walk In my more youthful days of gardening I was all about organic food plants.  As I get older I have begun to enjoy planting and caring for flowers and herbs more. That is not to say that I do not have organic food gardening as a priority!  This year my husband has stepped into the gap in a big way (the 'gap' being my spending less time in the garden).  He has a 5-gallon pail of compost tea burbling away at all times, another pail of comfrey tea brewing under the grape arbor, and is experimenting with strewing agricultural lime in any patch of ground my eyes have fallen upon.   We have just put in  Saskatoon berry bushes, a few Sea Buckthorns, and 3 Sour Cherry trees (or bushes or whatever they will be) as well as the usual assortment of greens (kale, chard, collards, cilantro, parsley, romaine, etc.) and beans and a vast forest of little tomato plants, many donated by kind friends and neighbors.   We also have a square foot herb