Blackberries are September's Harvest of the Month 
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Blackberries grow on long, woody, and thorn-covered stems known as "brambles" or "canes." They are a member of the genus Rubus in the plant family Rosacea or "Rose," which contains hundreds of different species of berries and other plants.

Blackberries have one of the heighest fiber contents of any other fruit. This high nutritional value is due to the structure of the berry, which is technically an "aggregate" fruit, meaning that each blackberry is actually a cluster of fruits or "druplets" containing many seeds. Blackberries are native to sub-arctic Europe and grow in the northern temperate regions of the United States.
Blackberries are a particularly good source of:

• Vitamin A
• Vitamin C
• Potassium

• Calcium
• Fiber

Blackberries are rich in antioxidants, which are known to have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation and neurological diseases. One compound in particular, Anthocyanin, that gives blackberries their glossy, dark color, is thought to protect the brain from stress and may even reduce the effects of age-related neurological conditions.
Fresh blackberries are delicious on their own but can also be a wonderful addition to yogurt, salads, jams, smoothies, and baked goods. They also freeze well, which helps to preserve their nutritional value and taste. Just place berries on a flat surface in the freezer for a few hours (so they don't all clump together). Once frozen, they can be stored in any freezer container.

- 1/2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 Tbs honey
- 4 ice cubes
Combine ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Blackberries are particularly well suited to Virginia's mild climate and are in season from about July through September. Blackberries are a perennial shrub. The trailing vines or canes produce berries during their second year of growth, after which they are removed to promote new growth. A well cared for blackberry plant can produce fruit for up to 20 years. The Local Food Hub works with growers in our region that supply wholesale berries. There are also pick-your-own berry patches in our area.

From top down: Wanda Marsh and Teresa Snow (manager) of Venable Child Nutrition and CSG volunteer, Ashley Crank with blackberries! Two photos of Miss Savoy's class at Clark tasting one berry at a time. Below left to right: CSG volunteer Ronda Ingersoll helping out with the delivery at Clark Elementary; Berries ready to go; Greenbrier Garden Coordinator, Emily Anderson, displaying September's Harvest of the Month poster.

Blackberries - Trivia and Facts

Fresh blackberries sourced through the Local Food Hub! Yum!
TRIVIA OF THE MONTH: “This fruit grows in the woods, by the roadside, and in fields. Its stem has thorns to protect the small, sweet fruit from animals that enjoy eating it. The color of this fruit is also part of its name."

  • Blackberries are a wild plant that is now cultivated by humans to produce plants with sweeter berries, larger berries, and even plants with thornless stems.
  • Blackberries are in the Rose Family of plants, easily identified by their flowers with five petals and many stamens. Blackberry stems also have thorns like their relative the rose.
  • Blackberry leaves can be dried and used to make tea that is high in vitamin C and great for boosting the immune system.

Read more about this month's Harvest of the Month snack delivery on our blog!
Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month by providing a fresh, healthy snack in all six Charlottesville Elementary Schools. Students also learn about the crop in their schoolyard garden and classroom. Information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the crop is shared with teachers and families. The goal of Harvest of the Month is to support healthy living skills that strengthen our youth and community. 

It takes a community to make Harvest of the Month happen! City Schoolyard Garden is grateful to work in collaboration with Charlottesville City SchoolsLocal Food Hub, and Charlottesville Move2Health. Supported with funds through the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and other generous donors.


    Donate to keep Harvest of the Month growing!

City Schoolyard Garden is an independent, non-profit organization and your tax deductible donation makes a difference. Join us investing in our children's future, and providing them with a foundation for learning about health, nutrition, sustainability, and community. Click on the apple to donate or send a donation to our address below. Thank you!
P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
Copyright © 2015 City Schoolyard Garden, All rights reserved.

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