While one of the variations of wild blackberries found growing in and around Vancouver are considered an invasive species (the Himalaya Berry, introduced in 1885), many of us consider them to be a much-appreciated annual gift from Mother Nature. Each summer I take great joy in announcing that they’re ripe for the picking and this year I might be just a touch late as they seem to have already reached their peak.
The good news is that there are, at this very moment, tons of them hanging off of thorny vines near you, absolutely free for the picking. North Vancouver has some great side-of-the-road locations where I like to forage for them, if you take a walk down any East Van alleyway you’re bound to come across some, and all along the Fraser River there are thickets thick with berry goodness.
My single hottest tip for finding abundant blackberry patches is to visit industrial areas where nobody’s doing landscaping or weeding them out. Go to those places where there’s nobody around after 5PM, and be sure to bring a bucket. Hell, bring two buckets; there’s a bumper crop for 2014!