Nothing says summertime in Texas like fresh, ripe blackberries.
This yummy fruit grows wild in many parts of the Texas country, and I have fond memories of growing up picking the blackberries that grew outside our home.
So, when I heard about a pick-your-own blackberry farm in north DFW, I knew it would be a fun place to take my niece, River.
And maybe I could share a few tips on picking this summertime fruit along the way.
So, early one Saturday morning, we headed to Duck Creek Blackberry Farm in Sanger, Texas.
Tip #1 – Arrive early to beat the crowds (and the Texas heat!)
If you get there too late, the bushes will already be picked over and you won’t get the best fruit.
Look at those berries, just ripe for pickin’!
Tip #2 – Know your pickin’ container.
Many places, like Duck Creek Farm, will provide buckets for you to use as you pick your berries.
At Duck Creek Farm, we paid by the gallon.
Tip #3 – Prepare for the summer heat.
Wear a hat, sunglasses and apply *lots* of sunblock.
Even if you hit the fields early, you’ll probably still have to reckon with the sun.
Tip #4 – Know your colors.
You want the *black* berries (hence the name), not the *red* berries.
You definitely don’t want the blackish red berries.
Tip #5 – Give the berry a little tug.
If it separates from the stem easily, you know you have a ripe one.
If it’s a bit tougher to release, you need to give it a bit more time.
Tip #6 – Give it a once over.
If it’s plump and black and seems to be juicy, you’ve got a good one.
Plump, black and juicy is the way to go.
Tip #7 – Use a smaller container to keep the berries you just picked.
When it gets full, dump it into your bigger bucket.
Tip #8 – Don’t forget the bottom of the bushes!
Lots of times, people don’t want to bend down to pick those lower berries. They’re just waiting for you.
Tip #9 – Look in the middle of the bushes for plump, ripe berries.
Sometimes, they hide.
Tip #10 – Enjoy yourself.
Spend the time picking berries with your family, and chasing your silly little niece.
Trust me, it’s worth it.