Appalachian Food

The Blackberries are Ripe

Blackberry cobbler

The blackberries are getting ripe around my house. Over the weekend I picked about three quarters of a gallon from a group of briars that are right outside my kitchen door.

We watched a video last year about a technique of cutting the tops out of new blackberry briars to ensure a larger harvest the following year. Blackberries grow on the second year of growth so you need to look for the new briars, the ones with no berries on them this year to try this method.

Since we’ve only tried the tip we learned about in the video once, I can’t really say for sure if it works or if its just a coincidence that I have way more blackberries this year—either way I ain’t complaining!

Here’s some blackberry recipes from the Blind Pig and The Acorn Archives:


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  • Reply
    December 20, 2021 at 7:16 am

    My grandma used to make blackberry and dumplings all the time, which was my all time favorite. Her and I would go and visit her sister Anne every weekend in the summer. Just outside her gate was a huge blackberry bush. We would pick them and if there wasn’t enough, we’d go down her dirt road and pick from the bushes there. By dinner the next day I had my blackberry and dumplings. She would freeze the rest. Those were special times for me, and I miss them. Grandma has been gone now for 36 years, I miss her the most. But I know how to make blackberry and dumplings. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I love watching your videos, they remind me of the times me and grandma would visit Anne on her farm.

  • Reply
    Catherine Spence
    July 6, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Blackberry jam is my favorite, especially on fresh biscuits. Mom and I spent many a summer traipsing around our pasture, hunting the best blackberries. One year there was a set of vines just behind the house, maybe 15 feet in diameter, that produced the biggest and prettiest crop of blackberries I have ever seen, berries as big as my thumb. My sister and I picked over 20 gallons off those vines that year and sold them to earn our spending money for the beach; we each made more than $50. The following year, my brother unwittingly bush hogged the vines down. Needless to say, we were not happy with him!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 5, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    I didn’t know about nipping blackberries in the bud. I do know if you want to find big blackberries look around old abandoned barns, chicken houses and horse stables were manure has been piled up. That once nasty smelly stuff produces the biggest sweetest berries you can eat. I have picked blackberries as big as my thumb around an old abandoned hog pen. The canes were the size of a quarter and twelve feet tall when they weren’t bent over with fruit. That used to be my secret place.

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    July 5, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Unfortunately, blackberries do not grow in Hawaii, but I picked some a couple of days ago…in the produce room at Costco, They were good!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 5, 2021 at 1:10 pm

    Our tame, thornless blackberries have come and gone already. It is a small patch and for some reason did not bear heavily this year. My wife made a blackberry cobbler and some blackberry syrup. I like the syrup on ice cream, in tea, on pancakes and I think it would make a great vinegarette dressing but haven’t gotten there yet. By the way, once upon a time DQ (I think it was) had a blackberry sundae. Can’t figure why they quit.

    Glad you have blackberries right outside the kitchen. There is just something special about farm-to-table in a matter of minutes or hours.

  • Reply
    Alice Somich
    July 5, 2021 at 10:32 am

    I am sending my check today to get that cookbook! I can’t wait to try the blackberry cobbler recipe! The pictures make me very hungry for this treat! Tipper, hope all is well with you and your family! I can’t get enough of Celebrating Appalachia. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    July 5, 2021 at 10:13 am

    I have picked blackberries before but my father was an expert at it. He never seemed to get tired of picking blackberries. I love blackberry pie. We would also put sugar on them and eat them as a snack. We seemed to have two types of blackberries; one that grew on a stalk and one that we called dew berries. The dew berries grew on a small bush not a stalk. The due berries were sweeter and were my favorites. That pie sure does look good!

  • Reply
    Allison B
    July 5, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Looks delicious! Blackberries are my favorite. Remember picking them, and eating the jam my grandmother made, when i was young. Cobbler… dumplings…making my mouth water 🙂

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    July 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Our family counted on having blackberries….mom canned at least 25quarts and really wanted to have 50 every year. In Wise co. Va. ,berries grow on old stip mine sites . Our family weekly went picking…with small tin buckets , tied by their wire handles, to our belts…and with our snake finding dog Rusty . My big brother picked berries all through the 60s ,sold them for 50 cents a gallon to buy his clothes for college . If the berries were taken by a late frost or a spring drought, it really hurt our family. If the berries were plentiful , our parents considered it a sin not to pick them. We were grateful at the picking time and grateful again when we had blackberry jam over mommy’s biscuits for a winter day breakfast.

  • Reply
    July 5, 2021 at 9:59 am

    I have this long ago memory at my Grandma’s of staring down into a large pot at the blackberry dumplings. I would not eat them because of the seeds. Now they are a rare treat.

  • Reply
    Margie G for GET the berries
    July 5, 2021 at 9:30 am

    I too am a HUGE fan of blackberries! Anything with blackberries in it has to be dandy but preserves, pies, cobblers and even blackberry wine are delicious ( not that I drink wine even once a year) but he point here is blackberries are very tasty and good for you. Mommy would send Pearl ( my sister) and me too get blackberries at the back of the garden. She would have to send a pot and say fill it 3/4 full— (specifics are important to a kid.) I think we always ate more than we brought back. Lol

  • Reply
    July 5, 2021 at 8:32 am

    That pie looks delicious! I am hoping to get some of the green beans picked today so I can pick blackberries tomorrow. The blackberry jelly recipe is what I’m going to try first.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 5, 2021 at 7:52 am

    I had the privilege of eating some of that Black Berry Pie pictured yesterday…it was absolutely wonderful! The best I have ever eaten!
    Tipper, you and the Deer Hunter are excellent cooks, he did an excellent job of the tenderloin on the grill!

  • Reply
    Sue W.
    July 5, 2021 at 5:50 am

    We have quite a few bushes around our place in the north GA mountains. I am not a fan of them, but hubby loves them and prefers to eat them out of hand, so I let he and the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, deer and occasional bear have them.!

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