We soon found some big fat blackberries and picked those that we could reach vowing to come back with a walking still to pull the top ones closer another day. Mum kept striding ahead seeming to forget that we were there but she did stop at each road and junction of paths to ask which way so I relaxed a little!
Jasmine was rather pleased with her bag of blackberries and when we got home Sue had made some blackberry muffins to have with a cup of coffee.
I love free food and have noticed hundreds of nibbled hazlenuts strewn across the road on my morning walks. I have a hazel tree in the garden too but the squirrel always gets there before me.
I've been growing veg this year too. I have a couple of gro-bags with tomatoes in and two old kitchen cupboards on their backs with spinach and a courgette plant. I also have a two raised beds which have mange tout and sugarsnaps in but the kids don't know about those so I eat them when I'm watering!
This morning Mum went home and I had a Tots and Twigs session in the park. I had had no planning time with Mum here so took some plastic bags and decided to do some foraging. We're lucky enough to meet in the Community Garden at John Coles Park in Chippenham (Tuesdays 9.15 to 10.15!) We always begin the session with a look at what is growing and this week picked green beans, blueberries, a courgette and pulled an onion too. Then we set off with our bags to a wild part of the park near the gate.
We found loads of blackberries and also nightshade which we didn't pick but noticed the difference. We had a lot of chat about where blackberries grow, why the biggest are always out of reach at the top (but are they though?) How to avoid thorns, what else stung or scratched you and what we could do with the blackberries. My favourite thing to do is make Blackberry Vodka, recipe below.
Rose was happy eating them as she went and Joe wanted to have a taste test with the blueberries we'd picked at the Community Garden.. We all headed back and tasted both berries and a single raspberry that we'd found. Whilst we were doing that Henry found a caterpillar in his blackberry bag so we returned it to the garden and wondered if it needed some cherry pie but decided green leaves were better.
Then we found a Harvestman and debated if it was a spider or not. We read Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider and went on a search for webs. We had some string and twigs so made ourselves some eight legged spiders, sang Incy Wincy very loudly and headed home.The children left with beans, courgettes and blackberries
- Fill I kilner jar (or any jar) 2/3 full of blackberries - frozen work just as well.
- Add about 1/8 to 1/4 (of the jar) sugar
- Top up with vodka
Give it a gentle shake
Taste every day until you love it. Strain and bottle. Great as pressies with a purple bow and a handwritten label but remember to keep some for yourself too.
Keep the vodka soaked blackberries in the freezer and have them with vanilla ice-cream, ADULTS ONLY mind you!