Girl out of Water - Blackberry Picking

| 7/17/2012 10:19:55 AM

Tags: blackberry picking, blackberries, farming, berry harvesting, Maura White,

We are in the middle of a drought that is setting records all over our country.  But  before the lack of rain gripped us, we were working are fingers to the bone, literally!

We have a thousand blueberry plants, several hundred nectarine and peach trees, along with lavender, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, and stevia.  That all takes work and sweat to grow and harvest, but what was killing me was picking the blackberries!

Most of our blackberries have thorns, so picking them is a hazard.  But if someone who has ever picked blackberries can tell you, the biggest and fattest blackberries, the ones you absolutely want the most, are always two steps into the thicket of thorns!  I do a contortion act trying to get to those big fat berries without getting caught on the barbed wands swaying in the breeze.  Nature somehow knows where the front of the hedge is and puts the smallest and most dried-out berries there within close reach.  And then Mother Nature laughs to the point of holding her sides when she watches us all try everything we know to reach those just OUT of reach.

I have tried using a tennis racket and a firefly net.  Neither was as good as my own hands, but the net was more efficient than the tennis racket.  Though they both knocked the berries off, the net actually brought them closer; they seemed to roll right off the tennis racket.

I have worn flannel shirts and my thickest jeans to wade through the brambles, to no avail.  I still emerged with scratches and bleeding cuts. I have worn extra tall thick boots to keep the brambles off my shins and legs, and it was wasted effort.

Last summer I planned to outsmart these blackberry bushes!  I took a square of plywood with me, laying it down on the ground and standing in safety on it while squishing the berry plants under it.  I would then gingerly work the plywood out from under me and lay it in front me of again, making a flattened path into the blackberries in order to pick those wonderful fat ones.

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