Pick some berries < Back

Blackberries season is in full swing on the Loop Head Peninsula in September-October. Go for a long walk and treat yourself with the goodness of the rich hedgerows! Blackberries are the essence of country life and have many uses. Since neolithic times we have been eating blackberries. Picking blackberries captures the essence of country life conjuring up romantic images of rustic walks and country lanes. Positive foraging experiences like collecting blackberries can lift the soul. This is especially true with children as it also helps to set a life-long interest in nature and natural un-processed foods. After all, wild foods are totally organic, requiring no human intervention to thrive and best of all, you don’t need your wallet to cash in on the yields. Blackberries are among the best of hedgerow fruits for various reasons. They’re easy to recognise, can be munched straight from the hedge and they are tasty, nutritious and bountiful.

Blackberries grow in large clusters. The lowest berry, right at the tip of the stalk, is the first to ripen and the fattest and sweetest of all. It is best to eat this raw. Berries ripen gradually from August, through September to early-winter. Get picking as soon as possible to ensure a quality yield. There are superstitions around picking berries after the end of September. It is said that they are then to be left for the fairies, (or the Púca). This coincides with the fact that the berries tend to be mouldy and quite unappetising by that stage.

Blackberries are bursting full off berry goodness, being mineral rich and high in magnesium and potassium. They are an excellent source of dietary fibre and it is said that some varieties have more dietary fibre, weight for weight, than wholemeal bread. They are a good source of Vitamin C, so feasting on blackberries is a pleasurable way to build up resistance to winter colds and flus.

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