Blackberries are a fantastic berry for September. They are full of vitamin C and anti-oxidants. If you forage for them they are also free. If you have never gone blackberrying with your children before here are a couple of pointers to make the experience all the more enjoyable. If, like my family, you are seasoned blackberry pickers then you are bound to recognise our notes below.
- Never wear white or cream coloured clothes. Your arms and legs will always find those overripe blackberries just waiting to spurt their indelible juices all over you.
- Never go barelegged (especially no shorts for the children) If it is not the prickles that find those bare patches of skin, then the every present stinging nettles will.
- Acquire at stick. Useful for knocking away any brambles and stinging nettles. They are even more useful to pull down those more heavily ladened branches. The largest, juiciest and ripest blackberries are always just out of reach of the tallest member of the picking party.
- The jury is out on whether blackberries on the roadside are polluted. They may have some chemicals on them, but perhaps no more than hose which are commercially grown. Many people suggest only picking those up high on a roadside because of dog pee.
- Take a container with a lid and use the lid. Once you place that unlidded container on the ground someone is bound to step onto it, spilling all those hard picked blackberries.
- Tear up all the above rules. Get stained, prickled and stung, but most of all have fun making precious family memories.