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Summertime Berry Picking

Updated on August 15, 2017
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Christine, a wife, mother and homemaker for over 30 years, has an NVQ3 in Childcare & Education & loves cooking, music, health & nutrition.

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If You Go Down To The Woods Today...

Picking wild berries, particularly blackberries, is something I have been doing for around 45 years. It has taken me up onto the English South Downs and woods in Sussex and Kent to the large forests in Bavaria, Southern Germany. It has been an activity that for me has become a bit of a hobby, although I'm not particularly interested in any other berry picking and it is somewhat seasonal.

I have spent many happy hours with my children, armed with picnics, old clothes and plastic tubs amongst the brambles on lazy, summer days. Despite the thorns and thistles we have enthusiastically attacked the bushes as if the unwitting wild berries were to be our only source of food for the next few days. Even the big juicy ones hanging seductively on the branches that would be far too high for the normal person to have any interest in, just have to be acquired, no matter the cost. I have even discovered one child standing on his brothers shoulders to reach it and many cuts and grazes later, triumphantly places it in his tub. No matter if the younger members of the party seem to have so few in their tubs- although the red lips did tell a story of their own, which I never did believe had anything to do with sunburn.

Before long the weight of the tubs demand a rest and refreshments and tiredness is soon forgotten by the sight of a tree to climb or a stream to check out. I have also enjoyed many happy hours picking wild berries on my own. It has been my time to get away from it all and just enjoy the sounds of nature, to feel at one with it. At the end of the day, there is something exhilarating about being out in the fresh natural surroundings, away from the noise and pollution of the town and returning home with delicious wild berries ready to test the culinary skills!


A Healthy And Educational Outdoor Activity - How important is this?

How important is such an outdoor activity for your child?

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Which Berries Should You Pick?

The berries are ripe and juicy when they are black.

Leave the red ones to ripen before picking.

Blackberry Jam

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Serving Size

Serves: several jars, depending on the amount of berries

7 Easy Steps For Making Jam- Ingredients

  • blackberries
  • lemon juice and sugar
  • jam jars

Instructions

  1. Place the blackberries in a colander and wash thoroughly in the sink, gently turning with your hands as you do so. Watch out for any foreign articles, discarding everything but the blackberries.
  2. Weigh the drained blackberries and make a note of how much you have. This can be proudly announced to the family of their achievements!
  3. Place in a large jam pan and add 2x15ml spoons lemon juice for every 1.5kg blackberries. Simmer gently until well cooked and softened.
  4. Add the same weight of sugar as the blackberries, stir over low heat until dissolved.
  5. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 30 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Make sure your jam pan is large enough to allow to boil steadily. The method I use to test is to turn off the heat whilst you place a teaspoonful onto a cold saucer and place in fridge until cold. Skim your finger gently over the top and if it is set it will wrinkle. If not, allow to boil for a bit longer and test again.
  6. Pour into warmed jam jars, filling as near to the top as you can and place lids firmly on top.
  7. When cold the jam should be set and ready to eat. Enjoy!
5 stars from 1 rating of My Blackberry Jam Recipe

Making Jam Is Much Easier With The Right Equipment

Cooking Kit - Jam Making Set
Cooking Kit - Jam Making Set

Everything you need for making jam, including funnel for pouring, muslim for straining, long spoon for stirring, labels, discs and more!

 

The Proof Is In The Eating!

How do you best enjoy blackberry jam?

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Blackberries For A Healthy Diet

The nutritious value of blackberries: are high in antioxidant vitamins A and C, potassium and calcium as well as containing high dietary fiber and heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats.

8 Reasons Why Berry Picking Is Good For You And The Kids

  1. It gets you out in the fresh air.
  2. It provides great exercise,such as walking and stretching.
  3. It's a natural way for children to develop their senses by touching, smelling, listening, tasting and seeing everything that nature provides.
  4. A great way to learn about nature by actually being there.
  5. The blackberries provide a natural source of minerals and vitamins, including sunshine (hopefully at this time of the year- August/September) to get your vitamin D.
  6. It is something the whole family can do together
  7. It involves children in the preparation of food to excite them in eating natural, healthy food.
  8. It teaches children to contribute, share and to work together for a common purpose.

The Berry Picking Guestbook - Please leave your comments here-

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    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 3 years ago from Royalton

      I have wild raspberries, black raspberries and blackberries growing here on my farm. I also sell jams made from these berries at farmers markets. Wild berries are delicious and a wonderful source of food. It is very important to teach our children which berries to pick and encourage them to eat a wide variety of wild foods.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      I have wild strawberries growing my garden :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Always love to stumble across a mulberry tree!

    • ArmchairBuilder1 profile image

      ArmchairBuilder1 4 years ago

      I picked berries with friends as a kid. Probably should have known more about what we were doing. This lens would have come in handy.

    • bolsen19 profile image

      bolsen19 5 years ago

      I use to go berry picking with my grandparents. It was a great memory to have.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Blackberries are delicious and we have both tame and wild ones. I haven't picked blackberries in years either. I had planned on going out this year but the weather turned hot too quickly and the berries didn't last long. Getting outside and doing anything is great. We always enjoyed sightseeing and traveling with our children. Happy Holidays!

    • ElizabethSheppard profile image

      Elizabeth Sheppard 6 years ago from Bowling Green, Kentucky

      This is a great idea for family fun. I never did pick berries as a child, except for wild berries, but I think it would be fun (if not all day...)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love berry picking and there are lots around our cottage. Sometimes, we see cars parked on the sides of the road with signs: Berry Picking.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      I love blackberries, but haven't picked any since I was a child. I'm not sure where I can get them where they haven't been sprayed.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 6 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I love berry picking- I've lensrolled this to my Blackberry and apple crumble lens, and also blessed and added it to my SquidAngel lens! Thank you!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I have very fond memories of berry picking as a child. Nice lens. Thanks for adding it to RocketMoms Healthy Living Group for Session 3 and Beyond

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love, love, love berries of every kind! Just put a loaf of banana bread in the oven to which I added a heaping handful of blueberries. Delicious! Fond memories of picking blueberries with my kids.

    • jodijoyous profile image

      jodijoyous 7 years ago from New York

      Mmm berry picking. That does bring back memories of walking along a road in the UK, picking and eating wild blackberries straight off the bushes.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      We loved blackberries when we had access to them in B.C., Canada. Berry picking was fun, nutritious, inexpensive...

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 7 years ago

      This is something which I have happy childhood memories of - although I have not done this for years.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      I enjoyed this article. Brings back fond memories. :)