Now through August is prime berry picking time in Tennessee. Blueberries are already available in abundance across most of the state, but domestic blackberries are also beginning to show up on farms and at farmers markets.

Domestic blackberries are typically larger than wild blackberries, and their canes have no thorns, making them easier to pick. Indigenous blackberries are more tart and their briers are famously thorny.

If you're picking, look for berries that are fully ripe, plump and pull free easily from the plant. Berries do not ripen at all after picking.

Get your picked berries out of the sun as soon as possible and cool them as soon as possible. Berries can remain fresh for a few days before immediate use, but are easy to freeze and use later.

Find local pick-your-own berry farms, farmers markets, recipes and more information about Tennessee farm products at