Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You know the dewberries are ripe on the farm when......

The first week or two in March is an annual event in South Texas. The dewberries start blooming which signals spring approaching. It also is the time the fish start running to shallower water to spawn and you can catch some mighty big fish.

It takes about 6-7 weeks for the berries to grow and ripen. Once ripe it's an event to pick them. Many people in the community take as many family members to their favorite place to pick these incredible berries.  Some folks sell them up to $30 per gallon ziplock bag. With all the rain we have had early winter and through the growing season, the dewberries should be big and plentiful.

However you have to take some precautions. The vines themselves are very prickly with tiny thorns that bury themselves in your fingers and break off or scratch your arms when you picking the big berries inside the brambles. Sometimes you run across a rattlesnake and because the chance is good you'll spot one, many folks take something to dispatch the snake when they see it. You also have to get to the berries before the birds find them and pick them clean.

In our case, you have to get to them before the roosters do.

This afternoon John came in and announced that the dewberries are ripe on the Rural Living farm. He didn't go look at the many vines we have. He just looked down on the cement walkway. It's quite obvious that the roosters have been in the dewberries as there are purple spots all over the place where they have been walking and left a "trail". It is the signal at the Rural Living farm that the berries are ripe.

So the dewberries are ripe at the Rural Living farm and while I love them I would rather buy them from someone who took the time to pick them than to deal with the rattlesnakes and thorns. I'll leave our crop to the roosters.

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