The agarita berries are beginning to get ripe.
These plants are all over the place. The berries are supposed to make a great jelly. I’m guessing it would be pretty similar to crabapple jelly since the fruit is so sour. The leaves are so blasted prickly that you have to work really hard to get the berries. The best way to do it is put a sheet down and shake the bush with a broom handle but then you get a ton of the leaves mixed in with the fruit and you still have to separate them.
Those leaves are as sticky as sand spurs and when Rita steps on one, she hobbles along not using that foot til I pull the leaf out of her foot.
It’s truly a labor of love to harvest agarita berries and this year, just like last year, every single berry has been attacked by a bug of some kind.
Inside each berry is a mess of what looks like sawdust – it’s either bug eggs or bug poop and either way . . I’m not using them for jelly making.
Since it happened last year, I thought I’d spray the bushes around the house with Neem Oil and hope to avoid having the same thing happen this year but I guess either I didn’t start early enough or the Neem wasn’t effective.
There’s always next year . . What I’ll probably do is concentrate on keeping one or two bushes sprayed and if that works well, then I’ll do a few more the next year. All I need are enough berries to make a few batches of jelly.
If anyone has any other suggestions for keeping the bugs away, I’d be happy to hear them.