Blackberries All Year Long

Blackberries are without a doubt the most prolific and easy to grow berry in our neck of the woods. Our little patch of thornless varieties, now about 5 years old, is giving us about 10 gallons of berries each year for a minimum amount of effort. It should keep on producing for another 10-15 years if we take good care of the plants and soil.

these thornless Apache blackberries are big and sweet (click on any image to enlarge)

So, what do we do with all those blackberries? Of course, we eat them fresh when they are in season. The blackberry season usually runs from June until August for us here. And we freeze a lot of them for use later. We use the dry pack freezing method, washing and draining the berries then packing into freezer bags or containers.

Last week some of those frozen berries wound up in a cobbler my wife made. You can find her recipe here on her blog, and it’s a perfect size for the two of us, making 4 servings.

blackberry cobbler

She also made me a batch of blackberry syrup, sometimes called blackberry acid. Mixed with a little carbonated water, this is a real treat for me in summer – or in March when the temperature soars to August-like readings! Her lightened-up recipe for the syrup can be found here.

blackberry syrup

We also use the blackberries to make blackberry leather, blackberry jello, and blackberry pops. And they wind up in a lot of breakfast smoothies. We’re always on the lookout for more ways to use our blackberries.

blackberry soda



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11 Responses to Blackberries All Year Long

  1. kitsapFG says:

    We have such an abundance of wild blackberries that we don’t grow any cultivated varieties – but we do pick and eat the wild ones often! I love the soda pop idea and the recipe for four is appreciated as we are now empty nesters and I try not to make full size batches of sweet items. We either eat too much if I do (goes to waist) – or some of it goes to waste.

  2. Daphne says:

    My dad’s favorite ice cream was blackberry. Have you ever made that? I’m not a big soda fan, but I’d probably add the syrup to tea, or over pancakes. Yum.

    • Dave says:

      I’ve never tried blackberry ice cream, but it sounds good! The syrup would be good on pancakes. I need to give that a try soon.

  3. Robin says:

    I still have a lot of blackberries in the freezer from last year. I don’t know if I will get any berries this year after cutting them way back and moving them to the new plots.

    The syrup and smoothies would work around here. I think I would make a blackberry martini with that syrup!

  4. Dina says:

    I just got 3 little sticks of blackberries by post. Could you please tell me what is the best way to plant them? I just soak them in a water yet…

    • Dave says:

      Just try and get them planted about as deep as they were growing before. How far apart depends on what kind of blackberry. Hopefully there are some instructions that came with them!

  5. Dina says:

    Oh, it was very cheap nursery, and instruction is very small 🙂 They are thornless blackberries. I just understand, I have a lot of compost in my soil, choose sunny location, next to the fence. I hope the canes will be good soaked overnight. Should I use bone meal for roots growing? Thank you!

  6. Liz says:

    Oh yum, I’ve just planted a blueberry in one of my pots and I would love to have room for some more berries as they are just wonderfully versatile to use. I think I would probably end up eating all mine fresh though – or indeed the kids would.

  7. Uh oh, this has me craving blackberry apple cobbler again. Your blackberries look awesome. We have lots of wild thorny ones here, but the deer get most of those, although we are growing the Olallieberries in a protected area. Roll on summer!

  8. Norma Chang says:

    I have the thornless blackberries too and oh my, they are soooo sweet. The birds love them too so the challenge is getting to the ripe ones before the birds. Will make the syrup if I beat the birds to the berries.

  9. Mike Adams says:

    Wow delicious! I took a look at your wife’s blog too! Super stuff! You guys should combine blogs, would make an incredible blogging team.

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