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Organic heirloom blackberries from JW Marriott San Antonio’s gardens spill into mojitos, muffins, more in May
We’re barely one week into spring, but that’s not keeping Hill Country blackberries from blooming. The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is already gearing up for its third annual blackberry harvest from the heirloom vines planted in the property’s organic garden.
The resort’s organic gardener picks the berries during a short, three week harvest in May when the blackberries are at their peak sweetness. She turns many of them into jams, while others find their way to the resort’s bake shop to be included in breads and muffins.
Once they’re harvested, the resort goes berry crazy, incorporating them into jams, muffins, breads. They show up on menus as Black and Blue mojitos, pickled blackberries served with sweet onion jam and house made bacon, blackberry jam served with house made biscuits and blackberry doughnut holes.
A bit of history: The Marriott’s blackberries are grown on heirloom vines donated to the property by Laura Chelikha, the resort’s director of finance. Chelikha’s grandfather grew blackberries on a 50-year-old farm in Shiner, Texas, roughly 100 miles from the resort. When he passed away, Chelikha requested that the blackberry bushes be replanted in the property’s organic garden to keep her grandfather’s spirit alive.