Wild Blackberries: Blackberry Jam and Mischief on the Family Farm

While picking wild blackberries for blackberry jam, a woman comes upon a berry-thieving duo of family farm animals

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Almost wild blackberry time again. Anyone who has lived in the state of Washington knows that they grow wild there. How my mouth was watering for some nice fresh berries. I had some canned and some blackberry jam but they weren't the same as fresh ones.

I had noticed some berries turning colors and I thought I could get enough ripe ones for dinner; of course that meant eating a few myself as I picked.

Grabbing a pail I went down in the pasture along the creek on our family farm. I found green ones but no black ones. I guessed it was too early yet.

I turned to go back when I noticed a patch where the berries had been picked. I followed the trail. Occasionally I would see a ripe berry, which I ate myself. Now I wondered, who would come into our pasture and pick the berries when there was lots of them along the road. After they turned ripe there would be enough for everyone, but I wanted the first ones myself. I decided to follow the trail and see if I could spot who was doing this. It was infuriating to me.

As I turned around the bend of the creek, to my surprise I saw the culprits. It was our cow, Bossy, and her calf, Blackie. They were going along eating only the ripe berries.

Evelyn Williams-Hall
Sioux City, Iowa


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.