Unfortunately for us in the UK, fresh produce is not as easy to come by as more exotic and warmer countries. However, in late summer/early Autumn something magical happens. The sides of pavements are brimming with thorns, if you pass by a canal you’ll be cautious of spikes catching your legs, but if you look a little closer you’ll see something beautiful growing…blackberries.
It isn’t often that a fruit is so easy to forage in this part of the world, unless you have knowledge on the subject. But blackberries thrive at this time of year and it gives us all the chance to connect with nature and pretend that we are true foragers. It is an especially important time for children to have their eyes opened up to the delights that nature has to offer and take it home for a tasty treat later on. This is something every child should have the chance to experience.
That’s because it’s something that will never be forgotten. Food brings us closer together, that’s just a fact. But it makes a moment even more important when you are picking the food yourself then going home to enjoy it with loved ones.
Growing up, I was never particularly surrounded by nature. I’ve lived in a city my whole life and my parents weren’t great fans of the outdoors. So, it was pretty standard to be playing on the streets, avoiding cars passing by. Visiting my nana was always memorable, as I’d be having my hair pulled into tight plaits, spending time with family and fussing over food (I was a picky eater unfortunately). But, there was one time that I will never forget, the time we went picking blackberries.
Blackberry Picking with Nana
One day, staying at my nana’s she decided to take me out to pick some blackberries. It wasn’t much effort as they were 10 steps away across the road. As a child, there is something exhilarating about picking food, like you’re an explorer deep in the amazon rainforests, except I was by the side of a road, but that doesn’t matter when you have a child’s imagination. We collected the succulent berries, leaving pinkish stains on our fingertips and took them straight inside to be washed and enjoyed. Even now as an adult, I can’t help think of the little bursts of flavour jam packed into the blackberry bubbles.
Find this Blackberry and Raspberry Fruit soup recipe here!
But what’s the point of me telling you all of this? Well I think the most important thing to take is that it’s blackberry season, so if you’re in the UK or any other country where blackberries grow you should be taking full advantage of this. Pick them, eat them, freeze them. Frozen berries can be stored for months and used for smoothies, desserts and everything else in-between.
As well as this, it’s a small reminder of the importance of food in our lives and the memories it brings. Yes, it is just a humble blackberry, but going to pick fruit with the kids, then teaching them a recipe will be something they’ll never forget. So, this story is about seasonal fruit, but it is also about how food brings us together.