This is what a rookie blackberry picker looks like, after she is done picking her first batch of blackberries.
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!