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17/09/2008 at 11:14
Blackberrying in country hedgerows was an annual activity for the Pasco family when we were kids. The essential tool for anyone considering a few productive hours picking over the next few weeks is .... a walking stick. You really need something to reach out and up to hook onto those 'out of reach' branches which, as you say James, always carry the biggest, juiciest fruits!
17/09/2008 at 21:31
I remember picking brambles as a child next to my Gran's back garden and she made the most amazing bramble and plum jam - together with her famous vanilla cream and scones it was heavenly! Cream teas ever since have always been a major let down!
18/09/2008 at 11:33
Before I moved house two year ago I had a blackberry which was really a wild one that I cultivated. It was vicious, but was a great cropper.and provided enough fruit to last more than one year.Pruning was great fun. The beast would fight back to the very end,but it's flavour was worth it.I had for 20 years. Now I am trying a thorn-less variety. I will have to be a little more patient before I have a home grown crumble
18/09/2008 at 21:41
This is the first year I've been blackberry picking since I was about 8. I took my kids with me and they loved it! We have been a few times now and frozen them, we've made Jams and crumbles with what we've collected. We go for a couple of hours at a time, great to get out whilst we can.
18/09/2008 at 21:42
I have been out today, here near the North/East coast of Norfolk in the most glorious weather picking blackberries, with the sun on my back and the thorns in my hand (only joking) but it was wonderful. I thought I had only been out for an hour and it had been two hours. Still, I have four large jars of jam to show for my prickles.....
18/09/2008 at 22:02
I wonder if anyone can help me I have some August raspberries that have come blind this year,I did everything right by cutting them down to the ground in March and they have grown well but with no flowers on them can you advise what to do
18/09/2008 at 23:37
please can i have the recipes for your wifes sponge puddings, I will try the jam as I do a lot of preserving, thanks for the inspiration
19/09/2008 at 11:54
I've made recent trips up Portsdown hill, to the scrub/chalk downland there blackberrying. It was lovely in the sun, listening to the crickets singing. What's more, I even found several wild-growing apple trees so didn't need to buy apples for our blackberry & apple crumble. Never seen anyone else up there blackberrying though.
19/09/2008 at 13:37
I was picking blackberries last week near a playground when I heard a child ask her Mum what I was doing. Her Mum explained and the child asked if they could pick berries too. I was shocked to hear her Mum reply "we don't need to, we'll get some in Tesco". What's wrong with people today?!! It's lovely (free!) food!!
19/09/2008 at 19:35
Is it possible to grow blackberries in pots as I don't have much garden. Oh and please please let us have the recipe for the sponge puddings. It's great going blackberry picking but I'm always stuck what to do with them so just eat what I can quickly!
19/09/2008 at 19:57
I went out earlier this week and was rather disappointed, came back with only a handful:(
22/09/2008 at 10:13
I have bought a thornless blackberry this year and it has grown to about 3-4 metres in three different directions. Do I need to prune it right back now or will the fruit grow on this years growth?
22/09/2008 at 12:27
The recipe comes from the very talented Skye Gyngell who runs the restaurant at Petersham Nurseries in Richmond. It can be found in her book "A Year in my Kitchen". It is called Baked Blackberry and Stem Ginger pudding and serves 4.

You need: 100g unsalted butter 100g Caster Sugar 2 Eggs 100g self raising flour Zest of two lemons 4 knobs of stem ginger (finely chopped) a pinch of salt 4 tbsp Golden Syrup 12 fat blackberries.

Preheat oven to 180C. Butter four individual pudding basins or moulds and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Add eggs (one at a time) beating well after each addition. Sift and fold in the flour. Finally add the lemon zest, ginger and salt. Fold in until evenly mixed.

Put 1 tbsp Golden syrup and three blackberries in each mould and spoon in sponge mixture. Cover each mould with a piece of buttered foil and stand on a baking tray.

Bake for thirty minutes until well risen and cooked through.

Run a knife around each pudding and turn onto a warm plate. Serve with cream and (if you have been lucky) more blackberries.

Delicious but it will not solve a glut problem. I have another solution for excess if you want.

22/09/2008 at 13:33
As a child my Dad took us foraging every year for blackberries, then later Sweet Chestnuts. Now I love to go out to the nearby country lanes on my bicycle, armed with my rucksack and an empty lunchbox. It's remarkably liberating, in spite of all the scratches. Nowadays I can't believe people can be so far removed from the source of their food. Fruits and vegetables do not grow in plastic containers on supermarket shelves. And who on earth would rather pay for something that is so readily available and FREE?!
22/09/2008 at 19:48
I would love your wife's recipes. I have gathered 30lbs of blackberries so far this year - I am lucky to live near such an abundance. There's still more fruit to harvest and I've run out of jam jars! Thanks
25/09/2008 at 14:35
I did not no so many still went blackberry picking.thats grate well i hope it will never stop and my grandkids pick blackberrys and their kids to i loved doing it and looking at all of you i don't think it will never stop do you?
27/09/2008 at 08:58
Does anyone have a recipe for chutney or relish or anything that could deal with a crop of apples? there is only so much crumble a body can eat!!
03/10/2008 at 11:28
yes, please dig out those recipes! They sound yummy.
12/10/2008 at 22:07
Is there a problem with Blackberry harvest this year? We've been out looking but the blackberries are most disappointing. Plenty of brambles but very little fruit on the bushes - most seem to have rotted before ripening..
14/10/2008 at 16:01
I noticed that the rain had caused some of the fruit to swell up too early and they seemed to fall apart but there still seemed a lot left.
1 to 20 of 23 messages