…pick me a snake berry?!  More on that below…

I’m a big proponent of eating seasonally, primarily eating what’s ripe when it’s ripe and avoiding what isn’t ripe or “in season”.  Maybe it comes from growing up on an apple farm.  I just can’t bring myself to buy apples from a store in the spring because I know they won’t be as good as the fresh fall apples I remember.  Summer berries have an especially short window, and right now wild black raspberries are in season on our farm.

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Rubus occidentalis is native to eastern North America and one of the most common Rubus species yet is not typically planted.

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Botany Lesson: Like all raspberries, the fruits are multiples of drupes.  A drupe is a seed surrounded by a fleshy outer tissue.  A raspberry is an aggregate of many druplets, hence containing many seeds.  A peach, for example, is a single drupe: It contains one seed/pit and is surrounded by the part that we eat.  In nature, animals are attracted to this fleshy tissue and help with the dispersal of the seeds as they consume or transport them.

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Admittedly, the wild black raspberries are more “seedy” and smaller than cultivated varieties, but they are still great on cereal or ice cream (or by the handful).  Not to mention free, “organic”, and you never know when you might see a snake slither out of the bramble…  Unfortunately, I did NOT get a photo as I was more concerned with keeping my dog away.  It was most likely a black rat snake, and easily the longest snake I’ve seen in the wild around here!

What’s your favorite summertime fruit?  Or fruit/veg/fungus you scout for and harvest from the wild?

PS – A wild black raspberry fact sheet