blackberries–“luscious” doesn’t begin to describe these berries

You have heard me sing the praises of my own red raspberries, yes, and I’ve long enjoyed the wonderful blueberries that cover the hills in South Glastonbury, CT, but never  until this week have I experienced berries that were positively decadent.

on the way to the blueberries

We were at Belltown Hill Orchards, one of my very favorite PYO (pick your own) places in my area, with our grandsons, planning to pick their fantastic blueberries.  Usually we get to hop on their trailer and get a fun ride to the blueberry patch, but this day we were picking close to the store and just needed to wend our way through the blackberry patch to get to the blueberries.

row of blackberry bushes, beautifully tended, easy to pick

It was there that I was ambushed by a sight of such opulent abundance that I was stopped in my tracks. The blackberries were such as I had never seen, having only been exposed to the wild ones, which are large berries in their own right — certainly larger than red raspberries. Well, these cultivated blackberries looked like a snapshot taken from the Garden of Eden. The berries averaged in size easily over an inch and were dark, sweet, and sensuously juicy with almost a smokey undertone. Pop one in your mouth and your tongue is flooded with flavor. You pause for a moment and wonder if you are in an orchard or a vineyard for wine tasting.

so easy to pick!

I walked past the blackberries to make my way to the intended picking target: blueberries. They were wonderful as usual. In a short 30 minutes, the four adults and 2 children gathered about sixteen pounds. But I couldn’t resist the call of the blackberries. While the rest of the group stayed on task, I returned to the store for a different picking bucket and headed to the rows of blackberries.

a riot of berries

What a treat! Even if I didn’t ever eat any of them, just looking at them was a joy. How nature could produce such a joyous overabundance was amazing. But I did pick; I did eat; I was happy! I will return for more and have plans for a blackberry jam. Stay tuned.