Food for Free

Blackberries

There are many advantages to living on the doorstep of a wooded area. For instance, the abundance of wildlife. During the spring pheasants venture from the woods to look for potential mates, often ending up in our garden eyeing up our hens before deciding they are of course not suitable after all. Muntjac deer are beautiful to watch, especially on frosty quiet mornings. There is something very majestic about it.

Of course, sharing a boundary with an unspoilt area of natural beauty is far more appealing than beer swigging party crazy neighbours. Well, it is for me! The peace and quiet, nature, wildflowers and native trees are all beyond our back door. Woodlands tend to offer much more than what I’ve described, they also provide food. Blackberries and lots of them!

Our own cultivated variety ‘Merton Thornless’ is still a young specimen, fruit this year will be thin on the ground, the few berries it has produced will ripen late summer. The wild blackberries that we’re picking are plump, juicy and taste wonderfully sweet with full flavour, evoking childhood memories of foraging for blackberries to take home so that mum could make a pie. Yummy.

Do you prefer the taste of wild blackberries or cultivated varieties? Which cultivated varieties do you grow?