It is early May and the blackberries are ripening a deep dark black color. In this area of Texas blackberries are native and can be easily grown without much effort. I have been eating the blackberries right off the vine. They taste delicious! I have also added them to my morning cereal. It looks like the blackberries are going to produce a lot this year. I hope to make 6 gallons of blackberry wine and if there is still quite a bit of blackberries left I will make a few jars of blackberry jam.
I have my own blackberry vines growing in my backyard, but I know of a few places where blackberries are growing wild that I can gather. I will pick both from my yard as well as the native blackberries. The berries that are in my backyard are huge! The native berries are quite a bit smaller. But to have enough to make the wine I will need to gather as much as possible.
I have been gathering blackberries on a daily basis. As soon as I gather them I wash them under cool running water. I let them air dry a bit, place them in plastic resealable bags, and then place in the freezer. As soon as I gather enough berries to make a 6 gallon batch of wine I will defrost them.
To gather the berries I make sure that I wear my boots, jeans, and a long sleeve shirt if possible. Blackberry vines have thorns so you have to carefully pick them. I have tried using gloves to pick the berries, but they get caught up in the thorns and with gloves on it is hard to not squash the delicate berries.