We are going to get all psychological here for a moment, so bear with me as it will become clear in time.
This morning at half past six, I was at Sharkham picking blackberries. The sun was just up in a cloudy sky, and the air was still. The berries were abundant and juicy. And I was struck by the thought that picking blackberries could be compared to life.
Let me explain; as you approach the tangle of brambles, there doesn't seem to be much fruit in evidence, it's only when you look closely that you see the abundance.
You can stretch for the berries that are slightly out of reach, as they always seem to be the best ones, but in so doing it's easy to ignore the ones that are easy to pick, and taste just as good. Also you can miss the ones under your feet, and can even squash them into the earth. There are sharp thorns, and nettles to contend with, and any worthwhile crop comes with scars and pain. The trick is to accept the abundance, and the cost, and keep your eyes open.
Phew! Back to reality.
In an hour, I barely seemd to reduce the number of berries but had 7lb.
With the ones I picked yesterday, this gave me enough for wine and jam, so when I got home, that was the next step.
6lb of berries went into making wine, boiling water and sugar were added, now I must leave it for 24 hours before sraining into a demi-john and adding yeast.
Next, I found the last of my blackcurrants and raspberries, adding these to the blackberries gave me 6lb of fruit, prefect for a batch of Mixed Fruit Jam.
Now I need more sugar, as I have plans for more Jam, or maybe some Bramble Jelly.
Tomorrow is Totnes Good Food Market, time for a visit to Evergreen Farms stall, and a re-stock of Pork and Marmite Sausages, Scotch Eggs and Rump Steak.
Also lunch from Linda at Red Earth Kitchens, and a look around Totnes, I just hope it doesn't rain.