The Blackberry: The Humblest Jewel

If you were tasked with designing a wild fruit to represent western Pennsylvania, you might come up with the blackberry. Its familiar, arcing canes spread over logged hillsides and reclaimed strip mines, beside railroad tracks and across abandoned farmland reverting to woods. Blackberries are an unplanned bonus from hard-used land. Such a luscious treat, blackberries …

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Buckle Up!

Pie, crisp, cobbler, crumble, betty or buckle, the most beloved summer desserts are the ones that highlight ripe summer fruit, with a little bit of butter, sugar and flour to bring everything together. (And most, if not at all, are made even better with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.) Versions of …

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Berry Bounty

It’s an early spring morning and my neighbor mike and I work in our gardens, just a shaky chain-link fence between us. We garden for a while as if we’re both alone, just grunting and digging and pulling at weeds as the birds sing their heads off. Every so often one of us starts a …

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