I love picking blackberries

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Call me crazy, fighting with all those thorny brambles, but I love picking blackberries. Recently, on days when I’ve really had to fight the system, having to put lots of energy in but getting nothing out; I found some kind of sadistic pleasure fighting the brambles, knowing that at least I’d get something out of that system. It’s rewarding to come back with a billy full of first class berry goodness.

But it’s not just that. I like the excuse to get outside, to hear the birds chirping as I whittle away at the brambles, choosing the berries not just by colour, but also by feel. Picking the ones that are plump and moist; knowing so because they have just a little give when you touch them.

Blackberries make beautiful fruit when they grow near a water source. If you want to be thorough, you can get quite muddy and pick a load of the plumpest blackberries imaginable. But if you just like the sound of running water, you can meander around, picking those from the edges.

I find it easiest to pick blackberries from spots along a fence line, they don’t grow too deep and they’re tall enough for you to not need to lean over all the time.

I am even lucky enough to have a blackberry friend who grows up in a hawthorn tree, so I needn’t even bend over for the picking.

I have a hat I wear when I go blackberrying. It’s an old, beaten up felt hat that belonged to my Grandpa. I love it. I was all set when I inherited his fabulous gumboots. I find it a little extraordinary that we took exactly the same size shoe. I tuck my pants into my boots and go out into the world, armed with an old cardboard box to use as a shield, preventing the brambles from catching on my pants or shirt as I learn into their depths. I take Nan and Pop’s billy with me. I guess it’s medium sized, with an old cord around the handle from which to hang it around your neck. I am content when I fill that billy. I know it’s time to go home then. But I am somehow just not satisfied if I can’t fill it. A few days ago I was stoked to fill the billy twice in one day; picking in several spots not a hundred metres from the house.

Nan has a blackberry growing over her driveway fence. When I first arrived, Pop wanted to spray it, but I begged him to wait till I’d picked its fruit. The other day Nan and I were sitting by the driveway for her garage sale. I was admiring the ripening blackberries growing on a curvaceous branch when she said aloud, “look at those blackberries!” I barely had a chance to say yes, before she was saying how ugly they were. I told her “beauty must surely be in the eye of the beholder, for I’ve taken quite a fancy to them”.

I love picking blackberries.

Do you?

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5 Responses to  I love picking blackberries

  1. Chas Spain says:

    The thought of blackberry and apple crumble or just blackberries and ice-cream – yum – if you can wait to get them home. A shame they are just a bit too keen in our environment to be good plants.

    • Susan says:

      Indeed Chas! I’ve been doing all sorts of things with them. I love to eat these later season ones as is. My Nan makes a mean blackberry pie though! I am hoping to make a batch of blackberry wine too. Of course, that’s on top of the jam, cordial and dessert sauce I’ve been making with them to sell at the market and online!

  2. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Lovely post, Susan… and you’re really getting the hang of the camera! Nice work.

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