8 Sep 2015

Blackberry Picking | Foraging

Blackberries are one of the best things about the end of the summer months.  Ripened by the last of the warm sun and transformed from green to pink and finally to a deep, dark blueish purple.

Other than the fact that they are delicious, my two favourite things about them are their abundance and that they're totally free!  Each year I try to forage for as much as I can to make all sorts of recipes including liqueurs, jams and good old fashioned apple and blackberry crumbles.
In a rush to get out before the rainclouds arrived, I totally forgot gloves and consequently got quite the collection of nettle stings on my hands and wrists, but my greed for blackberries most certainly did not put me off.

What I love about my favourite blackberry picking patch is that other than its absolute beauty, I get to share my experience with inquisitive horses chomping away behind the stone walls.  Speaking of stone walls, I did hop over a very low one to get a rather good crop of berries, when a lovely old lady walked past and gave me the strangest look of shock.  This was when I realised I was squatting behind a stone wall...just picture it.  I lifted up my basket and quickly said, 'I'm picking blackberries!  I realise how weird this must look to you...' and the poor woman looked so relieved.  We then continued to have a nice chat about what we like to make using blackberries (phew).

Over the years I have learned some good tips when picking blackberries, so here are a few for first time blackberry pickers:

• If the berries are low enough for a dog to reach, leave them (ew).
• Make sure to cover your arms, legs and hands to avoid being savaged by prickles and also stung by nettles who seem to love to hide in blackberry bushes.
• If you can't reach them, leave them for the birds (or horses is my case).
• Never pick all the berries from a bush, this is both bad for the environment and bad foraging etiquette.
• A wicker basket lined with kitchen roll is your best choice of blackberry receptacle, but plastic containers or clean plastic bags can work well too.
• Never forage by a busy roadside because of all of the yucky vehicle emissions.
• Don't worry if you feel like you have too many berries to eat before they spoil, they freeze really well.

If you're interested in some of my previous blackberry recipes, you can find links for those below.

Blackberry recipes:
• Boozy Blackberry and Elderflower Jellies (Vegan)
• Roasted Blackberry Bruschetta with Ricotta, Lemon and Basil
• Blackberry Basil Vodka Smash

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10 comments

  1. Haha, I love the story of the lady looking at you weirdly! I've actually never picked blackberries (they're not as common in Sweden as they are here), but I would love to. They're so delicious! And I imagine the wild ones would be even better than those you buy in supermarkets. Gorgeous photos, as always!

    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings

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    1. Haha yup, was rather awkward! Yeah they taste much nicer that shop-bought, however you do get the odd one every now and again which is just a bit bitter. Thanks lovely x

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  2. Blackberry picking is a quintessential pastime for us. So much so that when we were on holiday many years ago, we picked blackberries and our daughter remembers this holiday, as the 'one where we left the blackberries in the freezer'! I did laugh when you had to explain why you were 'hiding' behind a wall!!! Will definitely take a look at you recipes. Sammie www.feastingisfun.com

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    1. That's so sweet :) I didn't really get to do it much growing up, so am making up for lost time!
      Yeah it just a tad awkward haha! Awesome, thanks x

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  3. I love this so much. This is me right now!
    The blackberries are yet to fully come out and ripen here just yet, but I am so eager and ready to go! xxx

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    1. Thanks sweetie! I hope you manage to pick loads :) x

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  4. I have yet to pop down by our running spot to look for some, I think I might do that this week after being quietly reminded by your gorgeous photos!

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    1. Ahh mine is more of an ambling spot ;) Thank you, glad you like them x

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  5. I've never know about these black berry facts! Well make sense since i grew up in the city and only fantasy about fruit gardens and actually getting to pick fruits during the summer!
    Ah, if only.
    This is why i love your blog and i love living vicariously through your posts!

    x
    Running White Horses || YouTube

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    1. Oh that's so sweet, that makes me really happy thank you x

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