BLACKBERRIES

Who can resist a deep purple blackberry as they walk past the brambles? Not me.

There’s a certain nostalgia attached to blackberry picking. I always imagine a picture lifted straight from a 1960s Ladybird book with a happy family, wicker basket in hand wandering along a country lane on a sunny autumnal afternoon. Possibly with the prospect of a picnic at the end, complete with red gingham tablecloth and bottles of pop.

The reality of our blackberry is picking is slightly less romantic as I lean precariously over ditches, stand on tiptoe to reach high branches and debate the lowest height of a pickable blackberry (answer – no lower than a large dog can cock his leg).

blackberry dyed wool

But blackberries aren’t just for eating. Did you know that you can use the stalks and the berries for dyeing yarn and fabric? It’s surprising how many different colours you can get by using different mordants and modifers.

If you’re looking for something different to do with blackberries, perhaps because you’ve already made blackberry jam and had your fill of blackberry crumble and apple and blackberry pie, take a look at this little booklet Making the Most of Blackberries, which has more ideas for using blackberries or click on the recipes below.