Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

White Blackberry updates.

Sorry for the lack of posts lately guys, but working on saving seeds, building some hog sheds, cutting wood, harvesting produce and helping start a new market has taken up a ton of my time. Anyhow, here are some long promised pictures and updates detailing the growth and taste of the two white blackberries; Snowbank and Nettletons.




Both the Snowbank and Nettletons proved to be vigorous and excellent producers which flowered within one or two days of each other lending credence to my thought that they are likely related with Nettletons likely having originally been the long lost "Iceberg" Burbank released prior to Snowbank, transplanted of course by the homesteader who's farm the Nettleton brothers later found the plants. The Nettletons began to ripen just after the fourth of July and are still now ripening a few berries as of July 31'st. The Snobank was a bit less productive and took a while longer to ripen and seemed to drop quite a few berries (possibly weather related). Phenotypically the nettletons produced a larger more oblate berry than the snowbank which tended to produce a longer more Hymilaian type berry.

In regards to tast, the Nettletons is particularly hard to pick in a "prime" state. There is a bit of a tendency towards an acidic to very acidic taste, particularly if picked even just a tad underripe. The best ripeness indicator I could find was when the berries actually turn quite a bit noticably translucent in color and even then the berries still maintain and amount of acidity. They will I do believe (and I have every intention of doing so with the frozen fruit in my freezer) make a nice Jelly or Jam and I'm thinking with the addition of a champagne type wine yeast make a wonderful dry "sparkling wine". Definitely one to relegate mostly to the world of further preparation.

The Snowbank on the other hand had the full on flavor of a wild type blackberry and actually stayed more creamy white than the Nettletons. Excellent for fresh eating but a little underproductive, it also tended to fruit a bit lower on the plant allowing easy access to our flock of turkeys, ducks, chicken, and guineas who did find and eat them with great relish.

The two types were planted right next to one another in anticipation of many crosses which could improve the germplasm, we also made many controlled crosses between the two as well as local wild blackberries. Seed of all of the above will be available via Face Of The Earth Seed this coming fall, so too should rootlets be available for both types.

1 comment:

gabrielm said...

Wow - thanks for the update. Those are gorgeous.