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Thread: wildberries in fayette county, or monongalia county(wv)

  1. #1
    natural wine girl
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    Default wildberries in fayette county, or monongalia county(wv)

    So, this is my first time posting anything like this. I make homemade wine/brandy, but not quite like most people. I only make my wines from things that I can grow on my property or that I can forage. I have a few areas for black raspberries, but I would really like to find more. I've even resorted to checking edges of farm fields and knocking on doors for permission. I would really like to find some natural off the beaten path berry patches. This year, I have decided to try Elderberry wine and have had more luck than I thought I would finding those!! I am also interested in wild blueberry patches. I grow my own.. but I have very young plants right now. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!


    ~~NWG


  2. #2
    Quality Control Director Ken's Avatar
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    Welcome! This is your lucky day! I just happen to be a professional wine taster. Consider my services volunteered.

    Care to tell us a bit about yourself? http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...r-Introduction
    “Learning is not compulsory. Neither is survival.”
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  3. #3

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    Edges of fields tend to get sprayed with pesticides.
    It's gotten so I don't even collect at the side of roads any more due to weed killer application and insect spraying (used to be some great wild grapes out and about). Not to mention all the stuff this new liquid road salt up here has killed the past couple of years.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I would suggest you harvest a very small number of native plants and transplant them onto your property. I don't believe any of the berries you mention are threatened or endangered so you should be able to do so without concern of harming future plants. All of the berries you mentioned can be taken by cuttings. Choose stems that are about the size of a pencil and about 6 inches in length but not woody.

    Go to your local gardening center and look for organic growing medium. Next, go to any landscape dealer and ask them for coarse washed sand. Mix the sand and growing medium in a 50/50 mix. Add about a half cup of rock phosphate or rooting medium (by direction) to the mix to aid root development. plant your cuttings in the mixture in whatever pots you are using. Keep them moist and in sunlight. Sunlight (not overbearing sun) is what triggers root growth in a plant. Once the plant begins to grow you'll know the roots have developed (unless you plant in a clear container then you can see the roots). Once the roots are established you can transplant them.

    It's best to take the cuttings after a rain or at least early in the morning while the plants are fully watered. Keep the cuttings moist until ready to transplant. You can wrap them in wet newspaper to keep them damp. You want to cut the plants not tear them. Make sure your cuts are clean. That makes less damage to the plant. And make certain your cuttings have at least two leaf buds on them and cut just below a leaf node.

    Good Luck.

  5. #5
    Member SLVRBK's Avatar
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    Fayette County Texas (I realize there is more than one Fayette Counties)? Funny you bring this up as I almost brought something like this up the other day. I have a KILLER blueberry wine recipe.
    "Despite what your momma told you violence does solve problems"....... SO2 Ryan Job USN (SEAL)

  6. #6

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    On the subject of cuttings, some plants require a wound to root (a quick slash with a razor knife into the green of the cambien but not through it.) And cut the foliage back to about half. When I did this for a living, some of the woodier stuff we did by the handful. Grab a handful, line em up, trim the ends, wound em, rip the tops off the bunch, dip em and stick em. We put them in trays in long, low plastic tents in a shaded greenhouse with a mist system to keep them from drying out. Gawd, it used to suck on hot humid summer days to work in there.

    I don't know about dipping fruiting plants. Might want to avoid things like Rootone that have fungicides in them. Some of the others just have IBA, NAA or a combination of both. These are auxins that stimulate root growth, one naturally occurring, the other chemically concocted. I hear tell you can make an organic rooting dip from the bark of a willow tree. Never tried it. Or just go natural. You may have more trouble with some of the woodier tree types. Even more trouble if you take cuttings from a grafted tree. Grafting is a whole other ball of wax.

    Rooting media kinda depends too on what they normally grow in. A growing media might be mostly peat, very acidic, where something like an Elderberry might be more suited to a sand perlite mix that is kept just wet enough not to dry out but not to rot the cuttings. A blueberry on the other hand would like Rick's mix. Grapes will root just about anywhere. Raspberries and blackberries, just grab a sucker or 6 and stand back.

    Rick, maybe she doesn't have the land to be growing all the wine making berries. I'm finding out this year, just how many cherry trees you really need and how big they need to be to get just one pie. Gonna be a small pie.

    An option is to maybe make a deal with any local You-Pick places. Maybe a discount if you pick a certain number of pints for their retail sale for those too lazy to pick their own. Used to be you could ask to glean (pick what's left after the field is closed after being 'picked out' by the masses), but they pick the things so clean now, it's not worth it.

    Another place is farmers markets. You can hate me for this way of thinking, but go during the last hour of the day. You can get some good deals on stuff they don't want to lug back home with them.

    In Boston, we have what is called The Haymarket. I used to go with Gramps to get tomatoes for sauce cooking. It's still there today. Everything you buy is blind. It comes in a crate and you may end up throwing away half of it, but still, a crate of fruit or vegetables for $10 is hard to beat.

    We used to go picking along power line and pipeline corridors too when I was a kid. You just have to be real sure they aren't spraying to keep the plant growth down. Usually around here they just take a brush hog and a tree cutter through once in a while but we don't have things like Kudzu yet. Thing is nowadays, you are likely crossing property liens, so if in doubt, ask permission.
    Last edited by LowKey; 06-23-2013 at 08:58 PM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  7. #7
    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    Welcome from Randolph County WV. Of the top of my head, You should be able to find Autumn olive, Wild plumbs, May apples, wild growing apples, ginseng, bog cranberry...... I'm sure there are other fruits that you can find, harvest and make into wine. These are the ones I have identified in Randolph, Pocahontas, and Canaan valley, Tucker Co. I can't help with specific locations in your area. Like Rick said be respectful. Only remove for transplantation from an area with a healthy population of that plant. you harvest. Also Check with any park, Preserve, refuge, National forest and such for their regulations regarding harvest and or plant removal. There can be fines and penalties for doing so without permission.


    The foragers harvest is a good reference for identification and preparation of wild harvest.
    http://foragersharvest.com/books/

    Have fun!!!

    LowKey +1
    Karl

    The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion the the effort he puts into whatever field of endeavor he chooses. Vincent T Lombardi

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  8. #8

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    Wow, I see WV still has open ginseng digging? I thought it had all gone under federal regulation.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  9. #9
    natural wine girl
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    Thank you all for the replies! I appreciate all of them. I do have a very small patch of black raspberries in my yard, but I only have a little over half an acre of property... not quite enough for what I would really love to grow! I have transplanted and trellised some vines.. but I do not have the room to grow what I would need for the several batches of wine I make every year. Grapes are another story. I inherited 6 concords from the previous owner of the property and planted Catawba vines this year. I am lining the whole one side of my property with a "grape fence". I would rather just find as much of the other stuff as I can. I am very conscious of the whole permission thing.. and have been turned down quite a few times (which I completely understand!). Keep the info coming though.. I love new info!

    ~~NWG

  10. #10
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I don't have a half acre and I grow currants, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Trellis your plants and train them vertically (you can't do that with strawberries obviously) rather than allow them to grow wild and you'll be surprised how much you can grow in a small space. You might not have enough of a crop to produce all the wine you want but you will still have a lot of fruit and be producing it yourself. I used green wire fence on 4X4s to train my blackberries. Remember too that berries will generally produce on the sun side of the plant so if you choose to trellis orient it north/south so the plants get sun on both sides and increase your production.

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