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 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!)
Today’s post originally appeared in this week’s Florida Survival Gardening newsletter. If you’re not receiving that yet, !