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I'm looking for wild berries to pick

I live in Brookline, but also work in Beverly, thus both vicinities are fair game. I'm looking for find where some raspberry/blackberry/blueberry/grapeleaves/any other berry or bush or fruit or veggies grow wild. In the woods, in the city, anywhere. I'd love to pick some stuff to cook with. Any help here?

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  1. The berries you seek won't be ripe until July or later. Some of those haven't even flowered yet! Sorry, can't help you with specific locations -- much of the open land where these grow has been developed or is now protected (e.g., Audubon sanctuaries where picking is strictly prohibited). You might try looking for town forests or state parks. Blackberries and wild grapevines often grow by railroad tracks, roadsides and other untended areas, but pollution is a consideration.

    If wild food foraging is your thing, you might want to get a copy of "Wild Plants I Have Known...And Eaten" by Russ Cohen. Very informative and has excellent recipes, unlike some of the other guides.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chowcat

      Here's a link to Russ' schedule too: http://users.rcn.com/eatwild/sched.htm

      His foraging walks are fantastic.

      1. re: fullbelly

        How about Smolak Farms in Andover: www.smolakfarms.com ?
        I just caught their ad on the TV, and they're starting strawberry picking now, will be doing raspberries soon. Kind of a family place, but I hear the berries are good.

        1. re: raddoc

          Smolak's berries are very good, but it's a planted farm, not the wild berries the OP is looking for.

    2. I have friends who go berry picking around Walden Pond. Not sure if it's legal, but no one has ever stopped them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Merryworld

        It is indeed very much illegal to remove anything from a state reservation. If you get caught, the state police (on site mounted unit) will take your pickings.

      2. I used to fo blueberry picking with my grandfather in the Fellsway woods in Stoneham, Malden, Medford. But that is much later in the summer. I wish I could remember exactly where we went, as i am sure there must still be blueberries there. My grandfather was a baker, and he made the best pies!

        1. I'm not sure if people know about Turkey Hill Farm in Haverhill, but I'll put a plug in for them. It's a close neighbor of mine, and this family runs a nice operation.

          1. the island of cuttyhunk has amazing blackberries, beginning, i believe, in late july. not to be missed !

            1. Yes, yes. Right in Peabody off Lowell Street is Brooksby Farm. You can pick strawberries and apples in season. They also have a lovely barn with many fresh veggies.

              2 Replies
              1. re: taxi

                Again, I like Brooksby a lot, but it's a planted farm where you pay to pick. Not what the OP was looking for, but a good option for pay-to-pick.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  I didn't read the original post that close and did not realize they were looking for wild, non-paying picking.
                  For grape leaves, if you know what your looking for you can find them growing on the sides of the roads in a lot of places. I see them everywhere on back roads in Haverhill and southern NH, and right now the size of the leaves is just right. They freeze great too after blanching.

                  As for berries, look for blackberries and raspberries growing wild along old fencerows, on hillsides, near old campsites, around old dump grounds and in old, long neglected fields. I've come across some patched so thick you can barely walk threw them. Depending on where you go, watch out for hunters!

              2. BTW if you're looking for grape leaves, I can volunteer up some. You'll have to fight my kid for the grapes though :-). My email address is in my profile. I plan to prune those suckers way back soon though, so act fast.

                1. Although not in the vicinity you want, my husband says there are tons of blueberry fields up around North and South Pack Monadnock mountains in southeastern New Hampshire. We plan to go up there in another week or so with our kids to check it out.

                  1. I used to pick blueberries with my grandfather in the Middlesex Fells woods when I was a kid. I would imagine they are still growing there! Middlesex Fells is in Malden, Medford area- across from Spot Pond. Used to be run by the MDC, now under the Dept of Conservation and Recreation. The phone # is 617-270-3757. Maybe they can help. Used to get piles and piles of blueberries, and go home and make pies!

                    1. we took the kids out to Wards berry farm, out on 95 south, I believe it's near the Sharon exit(?) however as of 2 weeks ago they had strawberries only, but plenty for the pickin with a minimal crowd.

                      1. I'm always on the lookout for wild blackberries. I have often found a few in the little trails leading off the ends of streets or behind office parks, in Waltham, Burlington, and Bedford. The biggest motherload I've ever found was a huge patch set back across a swath of grass on Second Street in Waltham. I once saw a family bringing buckets to fill. It's probably been built on by now. I also used to walk along the Alewife through the Mystic Ave section in Arlington. There's still lots of blackberry bushes, but they tend to get picked over.
                        Good luck!