How to Pick Wild Blackberries and Raspberries
Picking wild blackberries and raspberries was lots of fun as a kid. I got good at it and have some pointers to pass on.
You can pick wild blackberries and raspberries along a road or building or, you can opt for extreme berry picking. This article is meant for the more adventurous, extreme berry picker. Doing it this way is a challenge, a great nature experience and, fun. You can experience non thought in a Zen kind of way when picking berries.
Find a place where wild blackberries and/or raspberries grow either on your own property or ask to go on someone else's property. You can drive, ride a bike or walk to the location.
You will need long pants and a long sleeved shirt to protect you from getting scratched by stickers and thorny like protrusions. This will also protect you against sunburn and to some extent, from insects. High top shoes or hiking boots are good; I suggest wearing hiking boots. Don't wear gloves as they will stick to too many things. You will scratch and stick your hand a few times but this can't be helped. You need to have a container to put the berries in. You need to have some drinking water. A snack, hat and machete are optional.
After picking from the perimeter, you can slowly penetrate a berry thicket by slowing stomping down plant material with your boots and by breaking other material with your hands. As you do this take care not to damage the primary berry thickets themselves. You will be amazed how you can slowly work your way into a thicket that at first seemed impenetrable. Once you get back in a ways you are truly in your own little world. Having a machete to cut a swath is a decent idea but I never took one as I wanted to travel as light as possible. If it is a nice location you will have blackberries and/or raspberries all around you.
You will occasionally have blackberry and raspberry branches snag your pants and/or shirt. This may hurt a bit as a small thorn goes through your clothes and into your skin but don't panic. Just slowly and carefully grab the branch and pull it off you. If a blackberry or raspberry is too high you can sometimes grab its branch from below and pull the berry (or berries) down to you. If you cannot do this let it go; there will be some berries you just can't get to.
It is totally normal for your hands to get stained or discolored by contact with the berries.
Your container will slowly start to fill up with wild blackberries and/or raspberries in no time at all. It is a very satisfying feeling to watch the container fill up.
Don't forget to wash them when you get home. You then can eat them as they are or can make blackberry and raspberry jam. There are many possibilities. Have fun!
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