This year I took proactive steps in my battle with the deer. It seems to be working - or else the deer have changed their mind about certain things in my yard (right...) The deer fencing is not pretty - re-bar stabbed into the ground with half-rotten black fishing net draped on it & around the berry bushes. I will be lucky to get 2 summers' worth of protection out of the netting.
This year, most of the new growth has been inward but there is hope yet for recovery. I really should look into taking cuttings & starting new plants. Having only 2 shrubs just doesn't provide me with enough for the winter & it takes almost 5 years for these things to start producing in quantities other than what you can eat standing by the shrub for 2 minutes.
I'm looking forward to sitting beneath this large shrub to harvest the fruit, hide from the world & commune with the bugs & birds & snakes - which seem to like to live at the base of my berry shrubs...
The deer have shown no interest in these - yet. Soon I will begin my daily berry-checks. Even if I'm only getting a handful at a time in the beginning, it's a good way to stave off the marauding birds & potential bear incursion. I would dearly love to make loganberry wine again. They have such an unusual flavour - hard to describe. They are a solid fruit - not hollow like raspberries. There are different flavours too - depending on where it grows, what it grows in & what it's fed (mulch vs no mulch vs fertilizer type). I find them sweet tangy with hits of 'floral' on the tip of the tongue. See - hard to describe. But the jams are divine! Mmmmm - makes me feel better just thinking about harvest time!
The blackberries - wild & everywhere & invasive - are putting out lots of flowers. The roadsides are a-buzz with bees & it's quite nice to see these flowers bringing a different dimension to the green-ness of the coast.
I have high hopes for a good harvest this year. Even if it's a dangerous venture with all the thorns & the potential for a run-in with a bear on the other side.
I find joy in gathering berries - gets me out of the house, off the property & allows me to bump into people who might not know about wild foods they too can also harvest. Teaches your eyes to look at the finer details in plants too - lots of wild berries are hidden amongst the greenery.
Now, let's just pray for some warm weather & sunshine to help things ripen up!!