Friday, July 10, 2015

Hooray for Free Feral Food!

My favorite kind of fruit is the kind I don't have to grow. Fruit is a pain in the ass, man. It needs so much water, often a lot of space, seems to succumb to diseases or insects or deer more often than not, and needs maintenance in the form of pruning.

This is why I'm so thrilled that it's black cap season again.

Maybe you call them wild raspberries or black caps. Maybe you don't call them anything at all, because you, like me before I moved here, don't know what they are. They're a berry that grows wild all over the place here. They look like, well, small black raspberries. They have a similar taste to raspberries, but deeper, sort of jam-like.

I love them.

I mean, I love the taste of them, but I also love the totally free nature of them. Free of cost, sure, but also free of labor. Except for the labor of picking them. And I feel no pressure to do this, because I didn't expend any energy growing them. So if I feel like it, as I did this afternoon, I can say to the kids, "Hey, want to go pick some black caps?" And of course they do, because they want to eat the black caps. And then we can stroll across the road to the edge of the woodsy area of our neighbors' beach and pick some. (They have more on their side than we have on ours, and they don't care if we pick them because they are awesome.)

Jack and his nascent digestive system didn't get any. He had to wait until we got back up to the house to have his applesauce* and yogurt.

In less than ten minutes, we had a pint of berries that I didn't pay for or care for in any way. The only labor required was checking for poison ivy around the berries and picking them.

And cleaning up the inevitable Black Cap Face, which frankly doesn't even happen until bath time, so even that isn't an issue.

So nice on so many levels.

* Applesauce made, pleasingly, from the free apples we got from our elderly neighbors before Jack was even able to eat solid foods. I knew I froze it for a reason.


Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

Are they as thorny as the picture on the Wikipedia page made it look? When we took the girls picking on a blueberry farm, there was one (what we thought was a) blackberry bush growing wild in the middle, and it was thorny like that. I'm thinking now it was actually black caps.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

Yup, they're that thorny. Worth the occasional prick, though.

tu mere said...

Hiking and eating berries along the trail is the best. We're not lucky enough to be able to do that around the house like y'all, but hikes during the growing season in Wisconsin, Glacier Nat'l Park, etc., are the best.

Glad we haven't experienced the thorns; also glad to see the boys are learning to shrug off a few pricks as well. Not exactly "No paIn, no gain", but close.

Sherry said...

Never heard them called black caps. I have always heard them called blackberries. Has to be the same thing.

Daisy said...

The whole adventure sounds wonderful!