Fruits of Our Labor, Part Two

Although the title is a little off – this should probably be called “Fruits of No Labor” . At least not my labor…

Wild fruits and nuts abound in my little 4-acre parcel of ground. Mushrooms do,too, but I’ve yet to find any that were certifiably edible, so we’ll leave those out.

Wild Blackberries

The most abundant are the blackberries. Take a walk through the yard or the empty lot next door on an early morning in August and you can munch them by the handful as you go. Best breakfast on the ‘run’ in the whole world…

The back field is also home to wild blueberry bushes – not the low-growing wild berries you find in Maine, though. These are domestic highbush types that were seeded by birds. Some of them are 6 feet tall. The flavor varies from bush to bush. The birds don’t seem to care.

At ground level all throughout the property, there are wild strawberries. Their season is fleeting, their ruby fruit the size of a child’s fingernail, but the taste is something from a dream. The rabbits got them all this year – sigh.

Concord Grapes

Dangling high overhead, bunches of Concord grapes are swelling nicely. Come September, they should be fat, purple and sweet. I always have to laugh when I see these vines for sale at local garden centers. Why? Doesn’t everyone up here have one already? Or a neighbor who would gladly give you one?


Elderberries historically have many uses – way beyond watching for fairies on Midsummers’ Eve. In England, the flowers are used to make a cordial with a delicate floral flavor. Our dear Susannah at Sweetberry Farm makes a marvelous ice cream flavored with it. The berries are used for jam, as well as for dye. I’ve you’ve ever picked them, that would be obvious. (For you Southern gals, think, ‘Kids covered in mulberry juice.’ Same color. Same stains.)

We also have several Black Walnut trees, and tons of Black Cherry trees. The fruit on them is too small for pictures right now, but maybe later. I’d like to try to make jelly from the black cherries this year, if the birds don’t eat them all. The walnuts are for the squirrels.

There is an extremely prolific beech tree in my yard. I’m told that beechnuts are edible, but have never found how. Are they roasted and ground? Does anyone know? If you do, please, be so kind as to enlighten me – I’ve spent 2 years looking!

So, that’s the tour, gang! In a nut-shell, so to speak…

New Game : What did I pick today? Answer: A pint of blueberries…


8 thoughts on “Fruits of Our Labor, Part Two

  1. All I found looking up beechnuts was that they taste best roasted which mellows the flavor. The thin coat surrounding each nut must be removed before it is eaten. Although beechnuts were once used as feed for farm animals, they were also commonly eaten during famines. That is the extent of my research….now you know you will not starve to death–you have beechnuts!! 🙂

    Enjoyed your pictures and descriptions as all ways.
    Oh, yes, one article said to eat in small amounts or you might upset your digested tract!

    • That’s about all I found, too. I’ve wondered if you could use them like pine nuts in a salad or something, or maybe they were ground for flour after roasting…

      Nope, we wouldn’t starve to death. The rabbits are a plague upon the land this year, so we’d even have meat 🙂

  2. Pingback: Your Garden

    • Glad you like the pic – They’re a very photogenic lot.

      The link in Carolyn’s comment has some, um, interesting uses for beechnuts. I might toast some like pine nuts this fall…

      Enjoyed looking at your blog. We’re not vegetarians, but I do love creative new veggie recipes, and you’ve got some good ones!

      Thanks for the comment.

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