Quote of the Week, Perhaps a Bit Longer

"The biological community is a vast and complicated system for sharing and distributing the energy of the sun among a diversity of life forms." ~Martson Bates

8/31/09

Yummy, Yummy Blackberries

The inspiration for this post came a couple of weeks ago on a beautiful, sunny August day.


Our giant cup of freshly picked blackberries, yum!

I don't know if there is anything better than picking blackberries on a warm, beautiful, summer day. Nature provides us with such sweet fruit and getting the opportunity to pluck the fruit straight from the vine yourself - rather than purchasing a pre-picked, prepackaged box from the grocery - is a sweet, heavenly experience. Although...picking blackberries can be a painful experience as well, the vines and leaves are covered with sharp spines and without the proper clothing, can leave complex trails of blood and scratches along your arms and legs.

One of the two blackberry bushes at the Ranch.

Blackberries (Rubus spp.) are in the rose family; they are both edible and medicinal. In Nevada we have Rubus armeniacus, commonly known as the Himalayan Blackberry. Himalayan Blackberries were introduced to the United States in 1885 and are now considered a noxious weed in 46 states, although you don't see many of the plants here in Nevada.

Blackberries can be eaten raw or baked into desserts such as pies and tarts. They are also wonderful for preserving and being made into jams and jellies. The leaves and roots are commonly used for their medicinal properties. Native Americans have used an infusion of the root or leaf to help with diarrhea, dysentery, and hemorrhoids. The root has also been used as an oral aid to sooth sore throats, mouth ulcers, and problematic gums. A syrup made from honey and a mixture of the fruit and roots has been used as a cough remedy.

Fruits on the vine, yummy! If you look closely you can see some of the sharp spines on the vines, ouch!

What a sweet treat mother nature has provided us with!

References:
Moerman, Daniel E. (1998). Native American Ethnobotany. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

2 comments:

danwinnemucca said...

yummy yummy -- painful painful :)

Erin said...

our berry season's winding down...makes me sad! i love buying fresh picked blueberries at the market, or picking them straight out of the bushes. that's cool that they grow at the ranch...i always figured nevada was just too dry for wild berries.