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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tips For Picking Blackberries

I picked blackberries again this morning.  I did not get quite as many as I did yesterday.  

I like to collect them in an old fryer basket.  The large spaces retain the berries and allow them to be rinsed easily and flush out debris and bugs which may be accompanying the fruit.

I began picking around 10 in the morning.  I didn't find as many as I found yesterday.  But with a little effort I was able to almost fill the basket.  I'm fairly sure more will ripen during the afternoon.

I have stashed away slightly less than one gallon of frozen berries so far. I hope to multiply that amount several times so I will have berries in the winter. 

When they are frozen they are hard and remind me of those Christmas candies I had as a child that looked like berries. You probably remember them too and how when you crunched them there was a sweet filling inside.   

Today I decided to wear a long sleeved jacket while picking. The jacket enabled me to avoid being sliced by the thorns. The thorns are sharp. The jacket also enabled me to press further into the center of the bush and grasp the berries which would otherwise not be picked and eaten. Not by humans anyhow.  

This is what I've noticed, when it looks like you have gotten 'all' the berries look again.  Go back over the same place at least twice.  I added a full third of a basket to what I thought was all I would find by doing that.

Even though wearing the jacket enabled me to reach more berries I had the thought that I would make a stick with a hook on the end to pull the furthest berry branches close enough to pick.  The berry patch is a wild one.  No one planted these berries.  The good Lord saw to it that they began growing here. As a result the berry patch is an incoherent tangle of branches, leaves, thorns and of course berries often dappled in sunlight filtering down from above.  

The fruit in the depths of the bush is often the sweetest. I think this is because no one has gotten close enough to pick them before they were fully ripe.  So finding a way to get them without needing bandages when the task is complete is helpful and a stick or board with a hook or nail on it will be a simple berry picking aid.  At least in theory.

To the right is another view of the berries picked this morning.  I had some for breakfast with a banana and whole wheat toast with peanut butter.

Below are the berries I've picked and frozen in the last two days.  As you can see I have managed to pretty much fill a gallon sized freezer bag.  I've dated it and they will be there when the cold rain starts to fall. Hopefully there will not be a power outage that lasts too awful long.  Que sera sera and that's how you have to take life as well as the prospect of berries.

by David H. Roche

(C) 2014

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.