Rubus ursinus, or commonly known as the pacific blackberry, is one of the most easily identifiable species of wild berry. It is the best way for the novice forager to get their hands on a berry that is loaded with phytonutrients. Cultivated blackberries are at a high price point because of how limited their shelf life is. There have been many times where I’ve pulled store bought berries out of the fridge only to find them full of mold.
The best thing about foraging blackberries is they are pretty much ready to eat right off the bush, they freeze great, and they typically are much sweeter than there cultivated counter parts. They remain a small size which enhances the nutrient content of things like anthocyanins, vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin K.
If you are worried that picking the berries will be harmful to the life of the plant, or that you will deplete the resource of berries, don’t be. The bushes receive a reciprocal benefit to people picking them, meaning they actually produce more berries the more you pick, so pick away!
For some this may seem almost to easy to bother with, but honestly if you are not utilizing this common resource you are missing out on more than you realize. As the sun intensifies UV through the summer, your body needs vital anthocyanins and vitamin C for recovery. The idea of eating your sunscreen should be at the forefront in summer months.
Go hit the trail, the backyard, the park, and load up on as many blackberries as you can muster! Eat until they are gone, the season is short but prolific.