It's once again time to gather Black Elderberries (Sambucus nigra). The large clusters of small purple-black fruit provide a powerful medicine. The juice of the ripe berries can be boiled down into an herbal syrup or dried whole fruit can be tinctured. They contain high levels of antioxidants and have proven effective in supporting the immune system. Some people simply enjoy them as food or drink -- using them to make jam, jellies, pies, and wine.
Check out the Common Blackberries (Rubus allegheniensis) I've been enjoying. Don't be jealous, go forage some before they are all gone!
For tips on picking the fruit of this sharp-spined plant, read Thag's post titled Instructions for picking wild blackberries.
While walking the roads of Plainville this week, I encountered several patches of Blue Huckleberries (Gaylussacia frondosa). They resemble wild blueberries, but they have crunchy seeds (ten to be exact) and a flavor all their own.
Black Huckleberry is similar, but different. Here is a photo comparing fruit clusters of each.
Here's a sneak peak at what is ripening on the landscape. I'll write a post on each of these plants when I harvest them. I have enjoyed some Common Blackberries already, but the majority of the crop is not yet mature.
Update: Click on any photo to read a post about the ripe fruit.