I love blackberries. Crumble, slump, cobbler, pie, cheesecake, jam... It's a good thing I like the fruit, because my little farm is fertile ground for the thorny brambles. Blackberries grow rampant in the Pacific Northwest, as anyone who lives here can attest. (I'm always amused to get gardening catalogs from the East Coast and Midwest, and see various types of blackberry vines for sale. Come here, and you can have all the plants you want for free.)

I spend 10 months of the year digging blackberry plants out of my flower beds, pulling the vines out of the trees and shrubs, and trying every method known to man to kill them off. But come August, no one touches my vines. In August, and for the next two months, the tiny green berries swell and turn dark purple. Each evening before dinner, I walk out the door, container in hand, and in a few minutes my bowl is overflowing with ripe fruit, warm from the sun. Doesn't get much better than this.

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