The blackberries are ripe and ready for foraging nice and early in Rabbitswood so get out and get picking.
How To Forage Blackberries
Blackberries are a brilliant berry to start off our foraging year with because they are pretty simple…and trust me I need to start simple! The clue is in the title when it comes to blackberries, the berries are ready when they turn black, like the picture above. They’re not that hard to find (most woodlands or hedgerows have brambles somewhere in them) and, in my experience, they can be found all over Britain and probably lots of other countries of a similar climate. They usually start to ripen late summer/early autumn, but this year in Rabbitswood, most of them were ready for picking by the middle of the summer, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for them starting to turn black from the start of August.
When they are ripe, you should be able to pick the blackeberries off the bush pretty easily, but just be a little bit careful of the sharp prickles on the rest of the plant. Also, the juice from the berries does have a tendency to stain everything purple, so it’s probably not a great idea to wear your best clothes when foraging. I was always told to leave the ones close to the ground and go for the ones a bit higher up instead. (I’m sure you don’t need me to say why it’d be better if an animal like a dog or cat couldn’t reach the blackberries you intend on eating!) Wherever you get them from though, please remember to wash them before eating them (I give them a quick squirt with a water bottle if we’re eating them while we’re out and about).
‘Food that night was more blackberries (there never seemed to be a shortage of those in these overgrown gardens) and a couple of chestnuts for the fire, fallen fresh from the tree they were sheltering against.’
Yummy Things To Make With Blackberries
I will probably be adding to this as I go along because I’m sure we’ll do a few more rounds of blackberry foraging this year, but here is what we have made so far. This is all a bit of an experiment, but at the end of the year I will properly write up all the recipes of anything I make that turns out really well so that you can try them for yourselves.
Rabbitswood Blackberry And Apple Crumble
This was DELICIOUS and will definitely be one of the recipes I will be writing up properly for you all to try. It was slightly different to a traditional blackberry and apple crumble (just because of what we had in the cupboards at the time) but it was really yummy and it is certainly the recipe I will be following from now on.
Rabbitswood Burst Berry Juice
This was a tasty, super quick and easy to make fruit juice and my girls loved it, especially when we mixed it with some diet lemonade to make it all bubbly. I’m still playing around with quantities and I think our first batch was definitely a bit nicer than the second, but the girls seemed to really enjoy both of them.
Enjoy your own blackberry foraging adventures and please let us know how you get on…and of course stay tuned for more mouthwatering Rabbitswood creations! 🙂