A few weeks ago I took the kids blackberry picking and we had a great time! They picked for about.. hmmm… 5 minutes? And that is pretty generous! But, while I picked they played with sticks, found animal poo (this was VERY exciting for little boys and has been a conversational piece for weeks), threw rocks, explored the woods, pushed dead trees down, stepped in stagnate water in the ditch, collected rocks, flowers, and other treasures in their pails and had a great time!
I’m a cheapskate and didn’t want to pay to go blackberry picking. I just have a hard time with the concept of paying someone a higher price to let me pick their blackberries! Often it’s cheaper just to buy the blackberries already picked… I don’t get that! Also, trying to pick organic is even more expensive! I don’t have that kinda money to throw around! 😉 So I went scouting.
All through early July I was driving in the slow lane looking along the sides of all the roads I traveled in northern Virginia looking for bushes. I would go down residential streets, neighborhoods, highways, and gravel roads, searching! And I was victorious! I found quite a few places that I never would have suspected!
The first time a friend and I went together and the kids had a good time playing while we picked… although it was a bit wild, as in bushes were everywhere, and we had to carefully wander through the brambles. Poor Aisling was on my back and she got a few scratches on her legs. Poor baby! Also, since this was in a quieter area I think a lot of birds and small animals were eating the berries and didn’t leave much for us. I think we each only picked about 2 cups in about 2 hours! Not super productive! But at least we had a good time together!
The second time we were in a neighborhood and Mom and another friend went with us! This time in about 1.5 hours we picked 5 cups! Much more lucrative! It was also a cooler day and better for picking!
Brian has been asking for a blackberry pie or blackberry cobbler, but it is just too expensive to buy enough blackberries to do that! I thought by picking wild, maybe I would get enough that I could do that for him… Sorry baby! I’m not going to use those precious 7 cups of berries for one cobbler or pie! I’m planning on making some berry jelly, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I froze the berries so that they would be ready when I am! I also use blackberries for flavoring my Kombucha and will use the frozen ones for this as well.
It was a great summer activity and I’m going to attempt to do it again come next summer! Hopefully they will pick a few to add to the bucket, but I’m not going to get my hopes up! As long as they have fun and enjoy nature I’m happy with that!
I encourage you to do some roadside hunting! You will never know what you will find! I was surprised at the abundance of blackberry bushes I found! They grow well in sunny areas! Happy hunting… next year! However if you are interested in a you pick your own farm, then click here and there is a great site to help you find a place to do that!