We are extremely blessed with blackberries this year. I can honestly conservatively estimate that we have five or so acres densely covered with wild blackberries. We haven't had alot of time to venture out to pick them, but headed out once two weekends ago, and once this last weekend (with a yield of about three gallons). Of course, there have been those sporadic detours on our way in the driveway to pick a few and pop them in our mouths. I assure you we have still left dozens of gallons on the vine for the deer, birds, and rabbits. We have been trying to change our way of thinking and only taking what we believe we will need and not just what is available. There is plenty of abundance for us and the animals to share.
What really amazes me is the variety. We have big berries, small berries, hard berries, juicy berries, berries with big cells, and berries with small cells. Some are already dried up and past their prime and many are still red. From the looks of things we should still be able to head out for a couple more gallons over the next couple of weeks before their short season is past.
We are discovering that we are blessed with wild grapes as well. I don't yet know if they are scuppernongs or muscadines as both are prevalent in this area, but the fruits aren't yet developed enough to indentify. But look at the pictures of the maturing grapes. You may also see some berries that are changing color and not gathered in clusters like the grapes. It also appears that their origin is the tree....not the vines traveling up the tree like the grapes. Does anyone know what they are? Are they edible? I am going to research them. Any help you guys could provide would be greatly appreciated.
We don't yet have all the answers as to why God sent us to this land. We are getting bits and pieces of the puzzle as we go along. As happens whenever we try to follow God and guess what he has in store for us, the picture forming doesn't resemble the one we expected to see when we first started working on this puzzle. Of course it is more beautiful than the image our tiny minds had envisioned.
Every time we turn a corner, we are faced with yet another amazingly beautiful gift he has prepared for us and left for us to discover. The blackberries and grapes, the persimmons and honey locusts, the walnuts, hickories, and pecans. The amazingly rich soil that can look dry as a bone but still hold enough blessed water to nourish our plants a mere two inches below the surface. These are just a few of the little blessings God has surprised us with here. I honestly don't think I would be surprised to discover a natural spring somewhere at this point.
Sure there's also an abundance of mosquitoes and poison ivy, but that has even given us an opportunity to learn. We don't get poison ivy anymore since everyone in our family can now identify it in it's many forms....even in the winter. And have you ever seen a honey locust tree? They are fierce....definitely not something to be messed with.
But this place is beautiful, fertile, and full of surprises....just like I imagine the garden of Eden to be. I don't picture an organized and manicured garden, but a wild garden with gifts and nourishment tucked into the folds of the natural landscape. I can't wait to share my next discovery.