Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blackberry Rookie No More!

Day 42

This is what a rookie blackberry picker looks like, after she is done picking her first batch of blackberries.  
I am a city girl.  I have never picked blackberries before.  When my friend asked me if I wanted to come pick blackberries I was so excited.  She said some key words in her email that any normal person would catch on to, like "thick" and "scratched".  I, however, did not catch on to these little clues.  So, I showed up in shorts and a t-shirt (thankfully I had a sweatshirt in my van), with Anna strapped to my back.  Thankfully my friends have a great sense of humor, and are also helpful people!  One friend gave me her gloves and offered to hold Anna while I picked.  The other friend let me follow her around and watch what she did for a little while.
 These are the scratches I got on my legs.  You can't see them very well, so just take what you do see and imagine them all over my legs and arms, and finger tips.
I had to dig out two thorns from my flesh.  The picture above with my hair all crazy...yeah, it wasn't THAT crazy when I went in to the patch, I promise.  I say, "went into" because I literally went into it.  I disappeared from view into tall thorny bushes.  IT! WAS! CRAZY! COOL!

I was a bit timid at first, picking only where I could safely reach, staying on little paths other people had made in their trail blazing.  But picking berries is addictive.  Once your bucket starts to fill up there is really no stopping you.  It wasn't long before I was on my hands and knees (no lie) crawling on the ground, through thorny blackberry bushes, trying to reach clusters of ripe blackberries, just calling to me.  At one point I was practically laying on branches and reaching for berries.  I also found myself unable to stand fully upright in spots (and that's saying a lot, because I am not tall by any means), so I would hunch over and pick berries.

So here are the things I learned from my blackberry picking experience:
1. Denim is a must.
2. Boots are very helpful.
3. Gloves with the finger holes, and the mitten cover you can pull over them are ideal.  The mitten part can be kept off, and used as extra padding when pushing thorny bushes to the side.
4. It is more fun to pick with another person (or more) there.  Then you can feel each others pain as you cry out from thorns scraping your flesh.  Someone will know how hard you worked for that bucket of berries, even if it isn't your husband.
5. A hat or head covering of some sort is helpful in keeping your hair from getting pulled.

Overall it was a great experience.  I am so glad I got the chance to do it.  I hope to go again next week.  I came across several patches of berry laden branches that were not ripe yet.  It will be the mother load in a few days or so!  And when I do go back, I will not be a rookie!


  1. You are the cutest, coolest thing ever!

  2. There has to be something addictive in those things because I've seen and experienced it many times - the inability to stop reaching for one more blackberry :)