Thursday, July 13, 2006

Berry Competition

We’re getting to the time of berry ripening around here, a bit earlier than usual. WF We’ve planted a few berries ourselves, but will depend on wild berries for the next few years.

There are a few hints of wild raspberries, a sprinkling of dewberries and it’s finally about time for the Juneberries (also known as Service or Saskatoon Berries) to come on full force (so why are they not called Julyberries?)

We have some competition for these berries. The raspberries thrive on disturbance, and the “main” patch is a product of the driveway building about 8 years ago. In my three summers here, I’ve already noticed a decrease in productivity as other plants grow back in; succession in action.

The wild strawberries always look promising, but leaves and flowers don’t often produce berries; not sure why. The juneberries are impressive for their sheer volume, and are pretty tasty. I got optimistic and headed out last night to our back 20 with a container.

It appears it has been a good year already, but someone got to them first! Someone larger and quite a bit furrier- a bear! Black bears! It looked like a bear tornado had gone through the juneberry patch (about 400 ft from our house)- broken limbs, entire bushes pushed down, bits of fern thrown up into the branches. Not very “sustainable” with their resources, those bears.

I still salvaged a few berries and headed closer to home, happy to know the woods are alive with Ursus americanus. We’ve never had troubles with them in the yard (knock on wood)- but there are a couple berry bushes closer in that I’ll try to claim for our use. We’ll probably someday hunt the deer which abound in the area, but the bears stay protected. Just leave me some berry bushes for next year, ok, bears?

1 comment:

Wildside Musing said...

"Just leave me some berry bushes for next year, ok, bears?"

Me too!!!