No pain, no gain… free food has its price

No pain, no gain… free food has its price.

Posted by thebigfatnoodle on July 30, 2011 · 94 Comments

Getting to that sweet, juicy blackberry is worth every scratch
Blackberry picking in our back yard

There are many, many reasons why I love living in the countryside but being able to forage for free food pretty much tops the list.

We’ll be picking blackberries for weeks to come
You can see the blackberry bush in front of the boathouse on the bottom right of the picture

One of the most abundant sources of said free food in mid/late summer is blackberries. They grow everywhere, even along the motorway. You don’t really want to pick those though when you can find pollution-free bushes along every country lane, in the middle of fields and hanging over numerous garden fences.

England in summer is a berry lover’s paradise. 

Gargantuan blackberry bush

We’re really lucky as we live near the canal and behind our back garden, there’s a wide expanse of common landalmost always full of grazing cows and horses. Right bang in the middle of thisflood plain is one of the biggest wild blackberry bushes I’ve ever seen.

Did I say free already?

This year’s weird weather has meant that everything has flowered early so instead of going blackberry picking in mid to late August, the blackberry bush behind our house is already overladen with fruit.

1 hour of pain, 1.5 kilos of pleasure

An hour’s picking today has netted us over 1.5 kilograms of plump, super sweet blackberries. This is just our first picking too as we’ll be able to harvest another bumper crop in about 2 weeks’ time.

Just… need… to…stretch… a… little…more….OUCH!

However, all that juicy free-ness comes at a painful price… I’m covered in scratches and nicks and am itching all over as I unwittingly brushed both arms (and legs) across a massive stinging nettle as I reached for a clump of berries (the largest, juiciest ones are always an inch out of reach, damn it!). But, like I said, no pain, no gain…

Getting to that sweet, juicy blackberry is worth every scratch

Another 5 apples picked off the tree nearby (again, more free food, yippee!)  and we should be able to make at least 2-3 jars of our own blackberry jam.

Stinging nettles – pure, unadulterated EVIL

I’m not the jam maker in the house so check back in tomorrow when the big monster makes his bigfatnoodle debut,  clickhere for his blog and bramble jelly recipe.


About laurascheaptricks

Laura is a mom entrepreneur who owns a successful television production company in the greater Washington DC area. As the daughter of a couple of WW2/victory garden parents she is a free - associative thinker and often explores new and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks and save money. "I come by naturally."
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