It’s time for wild berries! In my neck of the woods there are blackberries, blueberries and Chickasaw plums ready for the picking.
I plucked a couple of ripe Chickasaw plums off the multiple-grafted frankentree in my front yard this last week.
Then on the weekend I was out wandering and noticed a weedy lot by the side of the road filled with wild blackberries.
In my food forest I grow thornless improved varieties with large fruit; however, it’s hard to beat the intense sweet-tart flavor of their wild cousins. The thorns are incredible, though – you pay for every morsel!
Here’s a little graphical comparison of types I created:
Most cultivated blackberries are at least FOUR TIMES as big but most types just don’t have the full flavor of a wild berry.
Speaking of wild flavor, there is nothing like a wild blueberry. Back in March I posted on spotting blueberry plants in the wild.
That spotting will pay off at this kind of year – the fruit are ripening everywhere and they need to get eaten!
|I’ve spotted at least five different species of edible Florida wild blueberries just during this season. All taste good.
Another plant you’re likely to spot growing in blueberry scrub is the weird and wonderful pawpaw. If you’re lucky you’ll even see some with fruit:
I haven’t found any ripe pawpaws yet but they’ll be coming soon.
Fruit foraging and growing in North/Central Florida has a progression to it that goes something like this:
March/April: Mulberries, Peaches
May/June: Blueberries, Black Cherries, Blackberries, Wild Plums, PawPaws
July/August: PawPaws, Pears, Apples
September/October/November: Chestnuts, Persimmons, Pecans
Plan your food forest correctly and you’ll be eating fresh fruit year-round. This time of year is great for wild berries, though, so take advantage of them while you can.
One word: cobbler.
(Of course, if you’re in South Florida it’s really easy to eat fresh fruit year-round with little planning since many tropical fruit don’t even follow a regular seasonal pattern!)
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