Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Known as the wild allspice. Gather the spiceberries in late summer, early fall. They are before peak right now.
I did not harvest this plant, but the friends that did were told what they had by a native to these mountains. That person claimed that branch lettuce was becoming rare due to over harvesting. It can be eaten raw in a salad, or cooked in bacon fat.
The autumn olive, as usual, is producing controversially bumper crops!
This invasive species is ripe from late summer (now) into early fall. Each bush varies in flavor and sweetness throughout the season. It is not difficult to harvest gallons per hour making this a good berry to put away for throughout the year.
Although it is not a berry it is considered aggregate it's bright red color makes it easy to spot and it's wonderful sweet tart taste makes it hard to gather. I tend to eat more than I gather. Three cups can be enough for a pie or muffins,Jam, or you can eat them in only a few minutes. It does not seem to have a preference to shade or sun although some sun adds to the size and sweetness. We are around 3000 ft. though I have seen them at higher elevations.It is a non native coming from China through Europe. Considered by some to be invasive. One of my favorite berries.Prefers slopes with good drainage and woodsy soil.
After high temperatures in the 80's for a couple of weeks, we finally got a reprieve of low 70's. My son and I took the opportunity to wade through brambles and thick weed growth to gather these delicious berries along a fence line. They were not overly sweet, due I'm sure, to recent rain. They also seemed a bit smaller than last year. We managed to harvest enough for 3 pints of jam, leaving quite a few to continue to ripen.
Sweet Cherry: Prunus avium
Ripe in Independence, but only a few on the trees due to a late frost. Disappointing because they are delicious!