If you are looking for dewberry recipes look in one of my earlier posts.
There are two googled questions that bring many people to this site. The first one is when are the dewberries (or any other fruit) ripe? The second is where can I find the plant.? These two questions are not answered easily.
First, Texas is a big state so when fruit are ripe where Texasjellymaker lives may not be when they are ripe for you. Fruit that are ripe in far South Texas may not be ripe in San Antonio for up to 4 weeks later. Fruit in Beaumont in East Texas may take another week or so longer to develop. Austin may be a week or so later than San Antonio. Further north in Dallas will have even later times for ripening fruit. Additionally, each year the dates are different since the weather dictates much of the starting dates. Wet weather will speed up the date and drought will make the date later. This year , for example dewberries are ripening a good week or two earlier. So use the dates when I write the article as a guide but the most reliable method of determining when to pick fruit is to go out occasionally to where you are going to pick to assess the fruit development. Additionally, even in one patch or one area the plants or trees flower on their own time table. My favorite dewberry patch ripens two weeks earlier than any other I know of in the same area. I have determined that the constant moisture that this spot has means that the fruit develop sooner than where it is not as moist. And in my favorite patch there are many plants fruiting but just as many just beginning to flower. So there will be ripe fruit over an extended period of time. The same is true of tree fruit such as loquat or Chinese plum. One tree may have green fruit while the one down the block may have ripe orange fruit. One side of the tree may have ripe fruit while the other side may need a week longer to be ripe.
To me the best part of making jelly is that I get to go outdoors and interact with nature. And believe me, dewberries and most other Texas fruit interact with you by scratching and impaling you as one picks them.
The second question, as to where you can find the fruit , is also not easy to answer. Everyone asks me, “How do you know where to find the fruit?” The best answer for that is that all year long I hike out into the woods, fields, along railroad tracks, and anywhere there are wild plants growing. Visit your botanical gardens to get an idea as what the plants look like then hike, bike, jog, or otherwise get up and close to the great out of doors. While you are doing all that great exercise you will not only find the fruit you are seeking, you will find many other wild or escaped plants. Before you know it every time you go anywhere you will see so many fruit sources that you will have many places to chose from when it is harvest time. When you do find the dewberry plants or any other fruit, look carefully at where you found the plant. Is it in the sun or shade. Is it in an old woods or recently mowed area? Has there been a fire or some other event that would encourage your plant to grow in a particular area? Is in a dry area or a wet area? Look for the plant when it is flowering. If you look for the plant when it is flowering, as I have mentioned in other posts, you will discover that the flowers are like little lights directing you to future bounty. Many people wait until the plant fruit before they start looking. Many times the fruit will hang down and be inconspicuous. Of course, other fruit will grab your attention, such as large bright colored fruiting loquat.
So, enjoy your walks on the wild side and look for flowering and fruiting bushes and trees. And by the way, mulberries are ripening now. I will be out picking them so why don’t you.