Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DEWBERRY SEASON 2017

It was an OK year for our dewberry patches but not as good as prior years have been.  We think it's the lack of the "rainy season" this Spring but really, we can't complain too much because the last couple of years were monsoon rains week after week and NOT MUCH got done on the farm.  This year however, we've gotten quite a few outdoor projects done... 

Dewberry vines
This is an example of how dewberries grow. They are in various stages of ripening all at once so it's a progressive gathering method.  You have to check every few days, or in our case, once a week.  Usually though they are much bigger, these are smaller...

Farm fresh dewberries
Every weekend, we were able to gather one or two of these containers full of berries...


It's just a hunting game, keeping your eye open for the black ones and of course, avoiding the thorns...


Here was one weekend haul, we had a few of these...

Washing dewberries
I would wash them to get any grass or leaves off that we might have missed while gathering (or a stray bug I suppose, ha) and then I put them on paper towels to drain...

Freezing dewberries
Next it's on to a freezer paper lined baking sheet in a single layer and popped into the freezer for an hour or two.  This freezes them individually so they aren't in one frozen clump...


Then I just measure them into two cup amounts for each batch.  Most recipes call for two cups of berries so we try to divide them up that way.  If a few extra over the two cups found their way in, well it's not the end of the world.  I mean, "too many berries" in a cobbler?  Yeah, we didn't think so either...

Frozen packaged dewberries
Lastly we use our vacuum sealer to seal them up in relatively flat(ish) layers (for easier storage in the freezer).  We had these four, plus three more.  So I guess that's about 14 cups total.  We've already used a couple (details coming in a future post).

Dewberries
We try our best to use them sparingly so that we can enjoy a dewberry cobbler in the middle of Winter. 

It will be another year before we see these beauties again...

17 comments:

Cathy Mccraw said...

I have several stray vines scattered around the yard. You are lucky to be able to freeze them, my grandchildren eat them as they pick them. The six year old brings me two or three at a time so I can "share" with them. Lol. Enjoy your cobblers!

Mike said...

One of the joys of a homestead! Lots of room to grow and harvest all kinds of good stuff and with canning or freezing your able to enjoy them all year especially with 2nd Man's deserts.

kymber said...

we have super-tiny little dewberries growing on our road to the river. we stop and pick them and eat them on our way down and back. but we have gorgeous wild blackberries growing here on our land and we spend the month august picking them. big fat juicy blackberries like i have never seen. then we make a bunch of different stuff out of them, can them, freeze them, etc....and can enjoy them all year. it sure feels good when you can spend some time foraging on your land and being able to provide for yourself over the winter!

sending much love to both of you! your friend,
kymber

Colleen said...

Cobblers are good. Dewberry banana smoothies, Dewberry pie, or try in muffins, Or how about a.........
Dewberry Spritzer
In a medium saucepan combine 4 c. vinegar (cider or wine), a cup of sugar, and 2 c. blackberries, dewberries, or raspberries.

Simmer gently for five minutes, then pour through a strainer, putting the vinegar back into the bottles, or into a clean Mason jar. Discard the solids.

To make a spritzer, put a couple of tablespoons of the vinegar in the glass, add a spoon or two of sugar if you want (I don't), fill with ice, and top with seltzer or even plain water. A mint garnish is nice, and so is a straw.

Southern people traditionally drink vinegar and fruit tonics in the spring and early summer. They taste best then!
(recipe from Pleasant View Schoolhouse)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

how wonderful! i have all kinds of berries ripening but the birds usually get them before i can.

FionaG said...

It is wonderful being able to source edible yummies from your own back yard but even better when you can enjoy them through all seasons. Blackberries are considered invasive weeds here by our council and they send officers to inspect your property to see if you have any bushes growing uncontrolled. If it is noted that you are not doing anything to rid yourself of them you can get fined. However, you can grow them in a garden.

Anne in the kitchen said...

It is hard to save fruits when what you really want to do is stuff yourself with fresh ripe bits. I try to freeze enough different fruits so we can have cobblers and such during the winter but still enjoy seasonal harvests. I tend to freeze dewberries, blueberries and peaches for cobblers, apples for pies, and strawberries for everything. You are making me crave a cobbler and ice cream now!

Texas Rose said...

Mmm, dewberries!
Have you made dewberry jelly?

1st Man said...

LOL, in the interest of full disclosure, not all made it to the container either, ha. Hey, one thing for sure, your grandchildren will have a wonderful memory of their childhood one day!

1st Man said...

I hope we can get some other stuff growing wild out there too. Thanks for the comment and stay tuned tomorrow. ;-)

1st Man said...

Oh wild blackberries I bet that is incredible!! Isn't it fun? And amazing they just grow with no help from us?

1st Man said...

Whoa, you have some great ideas. I am going to have to try that. Dang, I'm hating that we didn't get a huge amount. I'll have to plan out a menu and a timeline, LOL! Love it, thanks for sharing!!! And watch for Wednesday's post!

1st Man said...

I know what you mean. We fight the birds too BUT there are just so many, we all get to share, ha.

1st Man said...

Really? WOW! I understand the invasive nature, these vines pop up all over too but all throughout the Southern US, they grow in alleys and back roads and fencelines, etc but everyone picks them so they are allowed. Eating from your own yard though is wonderful huh? Garden, orchard, wild, it's just so nice.

1st Man said...

Amen to that!!! We do have other fruits frozen, of course none from our farm other than dewberries but that's ok. Yep, cobbler and ice cream...sigh, so SO wonderful! Now YOU have ME craving it!

1st Man said...

Dewberry jam but no jelly. Will probably have to try that with next year's harvest. Can't wait to try some recipes. Watch for Wednesday's post, something dewberry!!! ;-)

Tonya @ My Cozy Little Farmhouse said...

I am so jelly...haha. Seriously though, I wish my blackberries (a dewberry relative?) were ready but I am about 2 months out. With all of the rain and cold it could be longer. Enjoy those berries, they look scrumdillyaicious!