It's blackberry season here in Asheville. Besides being super yummy, it becomes for me the start of scanning the landscape while driving, looking for places to glean free food. I keep a list, from one year to the next, of what I've found and where I've found it. Last year I got a basket full of yellow apples and 3 bunches of black grapes from some gnarly old specimens in an abandoned field near my house. The last couple years I've gotten pretty little crab apples from the edge of a grocery store parking lot.
Last summer my lazy upkeep of the back edge of our property yielded us this lovely supply of lovely sweet wineberries.
This year, I've found the mother load of blackberries. I was walking my dog Usha at a cemetery near us, -it's not as weird as it sounds, there's a big ol' field to run and play in- and Usha actually discovered what turned out to be a break in a giant hedgerow that opened up to a bigger secret field! We were having fun back there for a while, when I noticed that about 40 feet of the hedge was blackberries! Ooooo, was I excited. I love blackberries like Piggy loves Kermit. I love how they're so sweet, and every couple of berries you get one that makes you pucker like you sucked a lemon. Like berry roulette.
Keep your eyes peeled folks! This is just a smidge of what could be gathered. You don't have to be a skilled forager to find free food out there. But I guarantee the more you find, the more you'll want to find. It's addictive!
Love and berry juice,