Sage Fruit

I love berries; the brightness, a rich and tart foresty sweetness.

Blackberries and raspberries are true forest fruit.  They're very earthy fruits; sweet, sagey, and tart, like you'd imagine something from the forest would be, and they grow vigorously like no other fruit does.  The moisture of the soil and the purple-green branches shows through in their flavor, arousing to mind the twisting and tangling brambles and the gently serrated leaves they grow by deep in the woods.  Fresh blackberries have a rich, layered sweetness to them, and a firmness to their shiny rind that pops with each bite.

In drinks, they're enhanced by an aromatic gin, where the juniper and alcohol mellows and clarifies the acidity of the fruit.  Too much gin will heavy the sweetness, but the right amount brings you right to the forest, the soil crunching under your feet as you walk along the shrubbed and mossy paths, a sort of herbal eucalyptus smell in the air, with the tree line and mist carrying across the horizon.

Likewise, cinnamon and blackberries have a brightness and a potency that lifts and adds complexity to baked goods and desserts.  A nice buttery cake or crust is a sort of tonic for the sweetness of the fruit and the spiciness of the cinnamon, rounding it out and smoothing the richness of the jam.

Blackberries and raspberries grow on thorny bramble bushes, closely related to roses.  They're really hardy plants, which grow in a variety of climates and a range of soil types, and they spread vigorously in all directions with regular watering and little maintenance.  Blackberries will grow solidly and erect on their own, while raspberries will climb like ivy along a nearby trellis or fence.  

They're great plants, but they spread so wildly that they should be kept away from other crops and pruned regularly.  The pruning improves the yield, and the canes can easily be trimmed and transplanted to grow into their own bush.  And as perennials, blackberries and raspberries will bloom year after year along the same bushes, bearing a crop of fresh fruit for each season.

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