Autumn has finally arrived, which means the blackberry season is over. The rain we’ve had this year has provided a bumper crop of delicious plumps fruits…and a bit earlier than normal. I have a large blackberry patch at the end of my road and over a couple of weeks, managed to fill nearly half a freezer draw full of fruit from that area alone. Then about a week later we went up to the big park to find hundreds and hundreds of ripe blackberries, and they were huge. I was like a kid at Christmas!
I’ve decided blackberries are natures practical joke. You can pick the fruit in front of you but the fattest juiciest ones are normally just out of reach. So you end up stretching to pick them in a very undignified pose whilst getting clawed by brambles through your clothing. It’s definitely an activity that favours the brave. I like to think nature puts some out of reach so there are some left for the birds after humans have taken their share.
I’ve made a bit of jam – there were 2 punnets of redcurrants that would ended up in the bin at work so I took them home, added some blackberries and made a jar of jam. I also have some boxed in the freezer ready to eat through the winter in crumbles and rice pudding.
I’m already looking forward to blackberry picking season next year!
Blackberry picking tips
- Avoid low down blackberries because dogs and foxes urinate on lower areas of bushes
- Avoid picking blackberries along busy roads as they can absorb pollution
- Don’t strip a plant bare, these tasty fruits are foods for animals too
- Wash and dry your pickings and freeze them for the winter
- The berries are ripe when you can remove them from the plant without tugging at them
- When picking, put your blackberries in Tupperware boxes rather than a carrier bag so the fruit doesn’t get damaged when you carry it home