Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Edible Rubies - Blog party!

This month's theme? Berries!!!!

These addicting sticky sweet-sour little jewels, appropriately named wineberries (Rubus Phoenicolasious) are ripe in profusion along our hills. They have been providing plentiful pickings since mid July. The hill is steep, fit for a goat, and quite rocky. But there are ledges enough to scale along and collect until the rhythm of the harvest has got you entranced. These
succulent little morsels are shiny, unlike the opaque look of the other raspberry varieties. You can tell it's a raspberry by the little 'cup' that you see inside the berry, where it was picked away from the stem. Other berries just have a flat surface where the berry was attached, but no hole.

Now, I have failed for certain on one point of this blog party. And that is, that we haven't been able to make anything from the berries. Oh we get plenty of them ..... we could have made jam, or pie, or liquor, or .......

But we can't seem to keep them. We eat all of them. Every last one.

So, I suppose at the very least, I could mention some good tidbits about her famous sister the red raspberry, as I speculate that wineberries could be used similarly. Red Raspberry leaves are famed for enriching the blood of the uterus and feeding nutrients to the fetus in preparation for birth. It's a powerful female nutritive, the infusion being drunk daily offers the body lots of vitamins and minerals while balancing and nourishing the reproductive system. It's especially wonderful as a galactagogue for nursing mommies. The leaves are only slightly astringent, indicating a gentle tonic action. The leaf infusion is also very good for the health of the blood in general. During my pregnancies I kept a pot brewing of Nettles, Alfalfa leaf, and Red Raspberry leaf and drank it daily. My babes are good and healthy!

Red Raspberry and wineberry, the berry itself, is sweet and sour in taste, telling me first that it is food, and second that it is a perfect summer food. Nearly all sour tasting things are cool in nature, offer vitamin C, and contain electrolytes. Perfect for keeping the body cool in hot weather and for avoiding heat related ailments such as athletes foot, ringworm, yeast rashes, bad temper flares, and dehydration. Ever take a cranky kid to a raspberry patch just for the fun of watching their frown turn upside down? It's a sure spirit lifter.

Now, with all due respect to the raspberry, I actually love these wineberries more. They are more tart, juicier, and so dramatically beautiful that you'll think you found a bush dripping with edible rubies. They fall into your hand when rubbed the right way, and though some say they are seedy - mine are not at all. They are heaven on a hill just a skip away. Perhaps the name is such simply because they are intoxicating!

So, I apologize for eating my blog post, but we couldn't help ourselves. To read more on wineberries, there are some more great resources on the web if you give it a google.
Happy Lughnasadh everyone! Eat the harvest!


Angie Goodloe LMT, Herbalist said...

Your pictures are great! I just want to pick them and eat them right off the page! Great post

Ananda said...

Greetings Angie! Thanks so much!You have a beautiful blog too!


jim mcdonald said...

heh! I have that same problem with berries I want to make medicines with. Collect a bunch, nibble nibble, munch munch, get home & they're gone. Probably at the top of the list if things I want to make medicine with but never make it all the way home are wintergreen (tea)berries. SO delicious, and would make such a nice antiinflamatory carminative, no? Well, I'd guess so, but always eat all but the last handful, which I reserve for my wife to enjoy. alas... at least I know I'm not the only one whose self control caves in the presence of fresh picked berries...

blessings to you - angie's right, your pictures are glorious.

Ananda said...

Thanks Jim!
oooh teaberries sound lovely. i've never found wintergreen while it had berries on it, darn!


jsschell said...

I've found this a year later, but...what wonderful pictures of such a beautiful berries! Beautiful descriptive writing as well. I would eat these by the messkit-potful at summer camp. I love them more than red raspberries & I only wish their growing season was longer! They are great for anemia. The high point of my summer is black raspberry & wineberry season. When I pick a basketful, the only objective is to eat them fresh & still warm from the sun...mmmmmm. I can hardly wait until next summer.