Sunday, 24 August 2008
Today I have had my first proper picking of blackberries - about a pound and a half I reckon. I am just coming to the end of the 30 lbs or so I had in the freezer from last autumn, so they have lasted well. I don't know if this year is going to be so rewarding - the ones we have are relatively late and not terrifically prolific, so I will have to look further afield I think. I love the total relaxation of just wandering along, lost in thought, usually with the sun on my back, and butterflies fluttering from flower to flower. Today the sun was there one moment and gone the next, to be replaced by a stiff breeze, and the only butterfly I saw was a solitary cabbage white . . . As I pick, I think of other blackberry picking sessions, some from childhood when I used to go "down the back" with my mum to pick blackberries around the site of the old brickworks. I remember when I first moved to Dorset, blackberrying along a field hedgerow and my friend's brood mare, Mouse, getting in on the act and bagging all the biggest and juiciest!
There are no bees to be seen in my garden, though there are a few worshipping the wild flowers in our top field - Yarrow, Self-Heal, Betony, Common Centaury, Clovers and Meadow Vetchling.
I look forward to Autumn every year, when I can add wild fruits to my freezer and storecupboard. I make Jams, Jellies, Chutneys and Wines, and fruit liqueurs (Sloe Gin of course, is a must). I give a lot of my jam away, as I am the only one who eats it, but I can't NOT make it!