Advantages One of natures free fruits
Roll up, roll up, food for free!
That statement has a certain ring attached to it doesn't it?
I know that Richard Mabey has written a very much talked about book on the subject of what nature can offer us in terms of nourishment. Sadly as yet I haven't read it, in fact I have just been very tempted to order a used copy from Amazon at just a little over £6.
I have to admit to being a fan of Ray Mears and although I hold my hands up to only being a fan I love to watch Ray pounding his berries and making weird and wonderful concoctions using gatherings from the hedgerows.
Yes you can buy cultivated blackberry bushes to plant either in your garden or allotment but I would far rather go and hunt for my treasure.
Blackberry bushes start to produce flower in the Spring ready to produce fruit late Summer to early Autumn.
The bushes grow tall and wide and will make a takeover bid if they are left to their own devices.
The blackberry bushes have medium sized rich green leaves that are deeply veined and jagged edged, the fragrant blossom produced during the the Spring has the palest of baby pink leaves
I know exactly where to find my Blackberries and that is the spot that I will revisit every year to gather my fruit.
It is strange though, all of the plumpest juiciest berries are at the top of the bush and being somewhat vertically challenged I have to try hedge climbing ( I keep the crampons in my anorak pocket ).( If crampons are not available then take an umbrella with a hooked handle )
Although wild blackberries tend to be smaller than the cultivated variety more often than not they produce a healthy crop. The berries resemble the fruit of a raspberry but have a different flavour.
I find that Blackberries aren't as tart as a raspberry can possibly be, they have a fuller richer flavour.
It is a very good and sensible idea to leave the fruit at the bottom of the bush exactly where it is, dog walkers are allowed to enjoy the beauty of the fields too but our four legged friends are choosy when it comes to cocking their legs!
Aim for the juiciest looking berries that sit in the middle of the bush, fill your bag with what you are going to use and no more. If you take far more than you want or need then others will miss out altogether.
If you want to put some in the freezer then they do freeze well, lay the well washed blackberries out on a tray and open freeze them first, when they are solid then gather a useful amount to freeze and seal them into a plastic bag. If they are initially frozen together then you will end up with a big soggy mass when they are defrosted.
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