A Celebration of Blackberries and Garlic

During the summer of 1996, a wayward blackberry vine started growing in my neighbours yard, close to the fence. It grew up, then came down through my apple tree, touched the ground and kept growing. Just for fun I decide to measure it. The vine was 29 feet long, with diameter at the base of 1 inch. It had even been cut off near the end at the point where diameter was 3/8 inches, but a side branch continued and then the tip rooted. So both ends had roots! Bruce Downey (at right) stands in front of a blackberry bush.

What an amazing plant. I believe it has some growth secret we don’t understand yet. It has no nitrogen fixing nodules in the roots.

These huge juicy berries, are the best tasting wild fruit in the orchard. Fresh eating, jam or wine. Berries shown against a Canadian Quarter.

But the growth is so prolific that I leave them growing in the orchard as long as they stay away from the trees. They love to grow up into the apple trees. I have cleaned out some black berries and put in apple trees. The soil where they grew it loose and black and a perfect spot to plant apple trees.

Harry uses the DR field mower to keep the blackberries in check in the orchard. Without it they would take over as shown by the blackberry bushed behind him.

Garlic Types (1997 Planting)
Northern Quebec
Baba Franchuk
Fish Lake (F3)
Salt Spring
Spanish Creole
Purple Max
German Red
Chinese Red
Spanish Roja
Susan D

Source of Organic Garlic Cloves (shown above):
Dan Jason at Salt Spring Seeds who has about 50 varieties.
Box 444, Ganges,
Salt Spring Island, BC. V8K-2W1

Note: The Baba Franchuk bulb I got last year was 3.5 inches in diameter and 175 grams. This is not elephant garlic, but regular garlic. It is soooooooooo good.

When I gave some to an old Italian friend, he would not eat much and to the chagrin of his family, insisted on planting it to make more for next year.