Everything is coming up blackberries!

Hedgerows across the country are beginning to burgeon with the weight of scrumptious blackberries; elderberries and wild damsons. Foraging for food is a great past time – especially on warm summer days. I went a-picking at the weekend, and managed to pick over a kilo of wild blackberries without breaking a sweat! Just made a delicious blackberry and apple crumble with my bounty and had forgotten how delightful blackberries were!

In earlier years, it was considered unlucky to go brambling (the term used for picking blackberries) after Michaelmas, on September 29.  In any case, blackberries are past their best after this time because of the cooler and wetter weather by month’s end.  However, this year because of the cold winter, the season is only just getting going, so there will be plenty of time to forage well into September and beyond. 

Blackberries – of which there are more than 2,000 varieties – can be gathered as soon as they ripen from red fruit into dark, plump berries and can be eaten fresh (they only keep for a short time) or preserved into excellent jelly or jam. Wild blackberries are as good as strawberries and raspberries, and sometimes superior in a good year. Their perfume is quite exotic for something that grows so abundantly.

Note to self….. Must go ‘brambling’ again next weekend……………..

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