Saturday, August 5, 2017

Seeds and sunsets

Triple Crown Blackberries are large, delicious and the vines are thornfree.  Unfortunately it is not very hardy.  The folks who sell blackberry bushes are hopelessly optimistic when they list the hardiness zones.  I would rate TCB as Zone 7 or 6b hardy at best.

I had a few berries on a cane that was surrounded by Illini Hardy Blackberry.  Illini Hardy Blackberries are of acceptable size and mediocre flavor.  The vine is thorny and hardy in Zone 5a.  Some of these seeds were probably pollinated by the IHB.  This is a photo of the seeds before I dried them.  Notice the dimpling or striations on the seeds.  Very intricate.
The roots of the Triple Crown Blackberries survive quite handily but the canes get winter-killed almost every year.  That is a problem because the fruit is born on second year wood.
So I squished up the fruit, added water and let them soak over night.  Then I smeared them out on newspaper and dried them in the cab of the truck.  They are now dried and wrapped in a baggie and reside in the refrigerator.   If  I don't forget, I will stratify them and plant them out in the spring. Hope springs eternal.
Walking across the pasture with the dogs I was reminded of how big the sky is.  It is humbling.

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