Foraging on the Farm (The Brambleberries with Custard Recipe)

Jul 14, 2014 | Half Way Farm, Recipes | 7 comments

It’s been a discouraging thirty days here on Half-Way Farm.

First, I thought it was the crazy weather (as in some cases it was) but now it’s apparent that something is really wrong with my gardens.  All 4,200 square feet of them… and all the thousands of pounds of food they were going to provide my friends and family with.

I’m sick.  Moody.  Teary.  Bitchy.  And utterly devestaed.

It’s a fresh wood chip/nitrogen thing. 
I don’t want to talk about it right now.
But I will.  Lest anyone else make the same mistake.


My little one, my little Blondielocks has provided me with a bit of farm joy at her insistence that I “Google” whether or not she could eat the berries growing here and there around our farm.
The other day I was out lamenting my thirteen hundred onions and their seemingly pitiful fate and she just kept pestering me.  It was clear I needed to walk away from the chaos and tend to her curiosities.  So, I broke off a branch of said berries, snapped a headless selfie and posted my question to my Facebook homies.  Who, BTW – rock.

Within the hour we had ten thousand mosquito bites and two pounds of wild blackberries.  I rather like calling them brambleberries.  It sounds so romantic.  So, “Victorian Farm”

Victorian Farm (and its sequel, Edwardian Farm) is the BEST series EVER! Here is a link to check it out but be sure you select the right DVD region if you make it your own as it was produced in the UK.

There are hundreds more to pick and mullberry trees full too… not to mention the guy down the road where bushels of apples will be ready to pick this fall.









So, all is not lost.  Really, it is but I am doing my best to be optimistic and grateful for free, organic fruit to feed my flock.
I am leaning on Jesus on wild berries.

Here’s the hope filled dessert I fed my family the other night. 
Bon Appetit!

Parisienne Farmgirl’s Brambleberries with Simple Custard

4 Cups of whole milk
4 somewhat heaping tablespoons of organic/non GMO corn starch 
3/4 cup of organic sugar 
One vanilla bean 
Four eggs, beaten

Beat eggs in a separate bowl.  Set aside.  Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in your favorite saucepan and scald.  Do not boil.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of milk mixture and the scraped out vanilla bean* to the eggs.  Whisk.  Slowly add egg/milk mixture back to the remaining milk mixture, reheat, whisking until it thickens.  Can be served hot, cold or room temp.

(*Cut vanilla bean lengthwise, open and scrap out with an upsides down spoon.  Heavenly.)

The items below may be difficult in some locations to find.  I order these items in.  Photos are links for you.



  1. Mandy

    yum! blackberries grow like weeds here, people actually pay to get rid of them. that sucks about your garden. hopefully the package you get today {according to USPS}will brighten your spirits.

  2. Pam

    So very very sorry about your garden. I would be heart-broken, too. 🙁 I’m curious to hear what happened when you’re finally able to “talk” about it. We watched Back to Eden and want to do a wood chip garden as soon as we can source the wood chips. Maybe we’ll wait until I hear what happened with yours… Our garden is struggling in some regards this year, too. Peppers have yet to produce a bloom, many things didn’t germinate. But, I’m grateful for the things that are doing well. There is always a bright side to be had if we choose to see it. So glad you at least have wild berries! They look divine with that custard!

  3. Teri

    I’m sorry about gardens 🙁 that is so disappointing! Is there any way it can be remedied??? I know you are pro-organic but is there a potential chemical treament?? Or maybe you can get someone to survey the soil??

  4. Tara Dillard

    Too sad I didn’t see your garden, would have said something immediately.

    Getting oil change yesterday one of the workers had planted a few veggies/herbs. Alas, the franchise uses dyed mulch. Toxic.

    And the little garden was tidy/neat, obviously loved. Yet, I did say something. Whether they choose to eat the toxic produce who knows. Of course RxR ties are very toxic and people use them all the time in their veggie garden.

    Been degreed professional with gardens for 3 decades and learn major new things every day. Seriously, everyday.

    Adore everything about you & your life. Too ridiculous I never learned to cook and was never able to have children. But yours is a happy home to see, good for my heart.

    Don’t regret your mulch mistake, we all have to learn…..

    Thanks for sharing the Victorian videos, didn’t know about them.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  5. Darla Innis

    I admire your commitment to looking on the bright side. You’re totally allowed to be grumpy too. The custard recipe? definitely Pinned that. yumm

  6. à la parisienne

    As silly as may sound, when the smallest mishaps occur in my garden, it can destroy my morale. I’m sure there have been times that my husband has thought “What’s the big deal?” There’s just something about the vulnerability of tending a garden. We are at the mercy of the weather, pests, soil, plants’ dispositions…I just recently heard a seminar by Joe Salatin where he discussed the beauty of our vulnerability when we garden. I can’t remember what he said exactly but it touched my heart. Basically, gardeners are truly humbled by our gardens and are taught that we CANNOT control everything like we think we can. Salatin continues on to say that living in a society where we are viciously seeking to control everything, being a gardener brings humility to humans, which we all desperately need. I’ve been humbled so many times through my gardening experience and while certain aspects of gardening can be so frustrating, I appreciate the awe for the God of Creation that it instills in my heart. I will pray that God will reveal to you some answers. On a positive note, I’m glad to hear that while you were toiling away in your garden, God was growing delicious, organic brambleberries for you and your family (as well as providing you fresh apples for the fall). I can only imagine how many nutrients are in those berries!! Much love,

  7. Katzcradul

    Bite the bullet and add nitrogen to your garden…it will perk up almost immediately and vitality will return to your plants. Hurry! It’s probably not too late.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Search Posts

Blog Categories

Archives by Date