We discovered that this area was once called, "Foothill Farms" and was primarily orchards and gardens prior to being developed. The trees and all the plants lining the creek were all part of Foothill Farms and are the only ones remaining since the area was developed.
Well, while out walking in the garden, we also discovered wild blackberries! The mulberries were good, but they were very tiny and limited to one tree. The wild blackberries, on the other hand, were everywhere and they were ripe. The hunt was on!
I invited Deni over, early one Saturday morning, and greeted her at the door, dressed for the hunt!
Deni and I went out determined to find and pick every ripe blackberry that we could find. We spent, probably, two hours walking from one end of the secret garden to the other. Deni did most of the actual picking of the berries. I used my bamboo stick, which had a large hook on the end, which I had fashioned from a large bobby pin and secured with gold jewelry wire wrapped tightly around the base. I would use the hook on the end of the stick to pull vines that were out of reach, or so they thought. Deni would then pluck the juicy berries off the vines and place them in the basket that I wore around my waste.
As Deni I were walking along, she noticed a dragon fly following us. I shared with her that, one late afternoon, while Michael and I were out walking along the creek, a giant, bright orange dragon fly had landed on the end of my stick. Well, guess what. He decided to land on my stick again to both of our delight!
Well, the hunt was exhausting and it was getting warm. We couldn't decide who got massacred worst: the berry vines or Deni.
Up the stairs we went to wash: both Deni and the berries. Here in California, people pay a pretty steep price for certified organic blackberries. Well, we figured that we picked at least $40 worth (at fair market value) and were determined to eat them all.
After a thorough washing, I made blackberry and cream cheese stuffed pancakes, with warm blackberry topping drizzled over them and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
We ended up having enough to freeze at least enough for two more meals. In fact, Michael picked up a pound cake and tonight we will be smothering it will warm blackberries and blackberry syrup. Probably will add fresh whipped cream topping, as well.
More to come...