With most of the soft fruit in the garden now picked and a gap before the autumn raspberries are ready, it is to the hedgerows I have been looking for my fruit this week. The paths and field edges around Eco-Gites of Lenault are now laden with blackberries and the early ones are already ripe.
Last year I didn't pick many as the cultivated blackberry plant I have in the garden cropped magnificently ... and it has the added advantage that the fruits are huge and the stems are thorn-less. This year however it is having much smaller crop, possibly due to the heavy pruning I gave it but which will hopefully see it back to it's cropping glory next year, so I am out and about looking for wild fruits.
Now it is a case that with every dog walk, not only do I head out with dogs and leads in hand but also a pot to harvest these luscious fruits. Harvests are still fairly small but here are simply loads of immature fruit waiting to ripen ... possibly to the annoyance of the dogs. Leads mean walks and they are not impressed that I stop at regular intervals for what seems to them a complete waste of time. I mean why would you pick the fruit and place it in a pot? Surely such gems are for eating straight off the plant (both dogs do this with the lower fruits) and then it's on with the walk?! All this putting them in a pot (and NOT allowing us to eat them) is just wrong!
Sorry dogs - blackberrying may be my word of the week but expect many more walks over the next month or so waiting for me to put blackberries in that pot! And if it is any consolation, just look at the state of my hands. Not perhaps the best way to greet new gite guests :)