'Tis the Season

The season of eyeing suspiciously anyone walking with a container in his hands, I mean. Is he carrying blackberries? Where did he get them? Has he found our favorite picking spot and picked the bushes clean? It's a cruel world out there, and you gotta protect your secret blackberry stash like the precious possession it is.

Not that any English blackberry bush belongs to anyone. They grow wild, pretty much all over the place. But blackberry season is when you stake a claim. The bushes in popular communal spaces (parks and roadsides especially) get picked clean pretty fast. Only suckers go to such obvious places to "scrump" free berries. Oh no, you must be much more clever if you're going to get a good haul.

So we're constantly on the lookout for good spots no one else has found. For example the cemetery. It has tons of blackberry bushes overgrowing the tombs. Is it wrong to pick berries in a cemetery? I always feel a bit like I'm robbing dead people. But we carry on picking.

Our particular advantage in the blackberry race is that we are mostly up against old people (this being Kenilworth), who aren't prepared to walk great distances. So miles into the countryside we venture, wellies protecting against the stinging nettle everywhere, to the blackberry motherload, more free berries than we could ever pick.

We are bringing in the harvest. {Does it count as a harvest if the plants are wild and they're on communal land? oh well} We go out nearly every day and pick a new haul. Yesterday we filled the basket on my vintage bike with berries, and I felt so happily old fashioned. They're free, so we can't stop hoarding. Is that frugal and wise? Or just greedy?


Beth Rhoades said...

The trail around McKay Dee Hospital has monster blackberry bushes and I am drawn to them nearly every night. The problem with these blackberry bushes is that they are "monster" bushes. Really! They have claws (okay, thorns) that really rip your cloths off (Sam really likes that thought....) but they scratch you and bite at you. You have to be daring or bring your bee-keeper outfit to get to the loads that are deep within the belly of the bush. I LOVE THOSE BLACKBERRIES though and consequently have scratches all over my arms.

Super L said...

oooooh, are you going to make peach and slightly-fermented-blackberry pie? The best, Jerry, the best.

becky said...

Pick on my lovelies, pick on. Just leave a wee bit to the birds. Black berries are $2 for only a few, but the peaches are so good at the Borski Farmers Market, especially with Dreyers half fat vanilla ICE CREAM!!