Friday, August 05, 2011

blackberrying {a guest post by Libby}

 To me, blackberrying is the the end of many things, and the beginning of even more. The first opportunity to harvest these juicy fruits usually arises the last week of the summer holiday, but we've been waiting for them to ripen since late July. We spot these berries, rotund and deep purple, and we know. We know that our fridge will soon be filled with containers of easy jam--the kind that doesn't required setting and jelling, but is more like a preserve. We know that in a few weeks, school will have started and the halcyon days will have passed. And we know, that on cold November mornings, a bit of blackberry jam on toast will be an instant reminder of summer.

Even though I often come home with bramble-induced cuts on my arms, as I am invariably inappropriately dressed, blackberrying is one of my favourite things. It is just me, my parents, and our dog. Sallydog loves blackberries. She loves sticking her nose deeper and lower into the bushes than we dare go, and sourcing as many berries as possible. Whilst that crazy dog is occupying herself, we gathered handfuls of blackberries. Of course, only the ripest will do. They must be so ripe they burst slightly when you pull them off the bush, leaving some purple stains on the tips of your fingers. The purple en grains itself on my hands, a tattoo and reminder of the nearing of autumn.
{those brownish clusters? they're unripe berries}

Right now, I'm waiting for those stains, waiting for ripeness and Sundays spent making blackberry-based treats in the kitchen and a lasting reminder of lazy summer days. Our blackberrying expeditions are the best memories of summer days, moments where I am just in a field, picking berries and not doing anything else. We are lucky enough to live in a small village, surrounding by three different farms where we can walk the dog and pick blackberries to our heart's content. It's so much more open than visiting a fruit farm where you can pick your own, because this is real--and I'm a big believer in real. These are the bushes that line the farms that produce the wheat. This is finding my home. This is living

 Is there anything in particular that feels like those last few precious days of summer to you?

I'm Libby, England, thirteen.I weave many words, take lots of pictures, and dance in lovely dresses. I blog about the beauty in the everyday, and chart my days as I try and be a more positive girl. Oh, and I like blackberries.


  1. Ohh, I love blackberrying. Although we primarily have black raspberries in this area of the world. One of my favourite summertime activities!

  2. I love this! It's the perfect summer activity. And now I want some blackberries. :)

  3. Where I live (the southern tip of Alabama)the blackberries are all dried up, shriveled, and dead by the end of May. It's just too hot. Strange to think that, in other parts of the world, they don't even ripen until the end of summer or just before autumn.


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