If you happen to be visiting Debed Canyon during the summer months, be a little more cautious and careful, because the colorful berries are “humbly hidden” among the emerald green meadows, deep forests, and lofty mountains. Here, nature has endeavored in every way to take care of people’s physical welfare, soul harmony, as well as aesthetic elegance providing aromatic delights(strawberry, raspberry, wild strawberry, blackberry, red and black currant, gooseberry, hawthorn,  as well as blackthorn and rosehip in autumn). Covering with dense shrubs and sometimes even thorns, nature seems to be trying to carefully cherish its boons, so that they grow exclusively in natural conditions, absorb natural nutrients, and not be polluted by civilization.

It is no secret how vital the importance of berries is, especially for the inhabitants of the provinces. From the very first days of summer, walking in Debed Canyon, you will meet ladies, boys, elderly people, and children following in the footsteps of the gifts of nature with the special containers and the “brduches” (sandwich with cheese) in their hands, laughing and singing happily. You are welcome to join the adventurous journey. The locals will amicably explain the “character” of each berry, will present how much care and attention should be paid to collect these blessings of nature.

You will learn that strawberries and wild strawberries should be found quite close to the ground. Despite their bright colors, the more these berries mature, the more they bow down and hide under the green leaves, trying to be as close to nature as possible. Raspberries (“noble berries”) require a special attitude typical to noblemen-you should be very delicate-a little extra movement and it will fall to the ground and be damaged. For sure, you can not pass by the fragrant blackberry, which has covered its stems with thorns, but grows in easily accessible places( in bushes, on the banks of rivers, streams, canals, forests, and roads), attracting everyone with its dark, saturated colors. Next are the delicate and colorful currants registered in the Red book. Debed Canyon is the home to the red and black currant species. Despite their delicate appearance, these delights have incredibly beneficial powers; they are an excellent way to recover your body weakened by the heat and quench thirst. 

Everyone who visits the region of Lori during this time of year will discover that berries are quite special to the locals. Many people grow them in their gardens and greenhouses to sell. Berries have become a source of income for many individuals. 

Over the years, people have really learned to “work” with berries, to get the maximum of all the graces that nature has endowed them with. They can be used both fresh and processed to make jams, juice, fruit puree (jam), fruit marmalade, dessert wine, fruit liqueurs, tea, etc. They are also used in the production of confectionery and soft drinks. Fresh and dried versions are used as a decorative, useful, and of course very delicious supplement to the recently popular mueslis, granolas, yogurts, and smoothies.

The power of berries is invaluable for the health of both the body and the soul. They are also widely used in traditional and scientific medicine and have a number of healing properties, especially in the treatment of inflammation, colds, circulatory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. Nutritionists and pediatricians pay special attention to these boons. 

By the way, while exploring Lori’s natural beauty, be sure to stop by the COAF SMART Center to taste the most delicious and colorful raspberries and blackberries from our “Smart Garden.”