Monday, July 10, 2017

Backberries

On the back of our farm we have wild blackberries growing.  Strawberries in May, peaches in June, blackberries in July.



When I was a child, picking blackberries was something we did to provide extra income for our family.  My mom was a single parent of nine children and each time on the way out the door we would hear our mom reminding us to "carry a pole, wear rubber boots and take a dog."   "And don't eat more then you pick"!  So down the long gravel driveway, six or seven of us kids would pull a few wagons filled with one gallon buckets to the fence row where the blackberry bushes grew wild.



We knew what mom meant to do with each item we took.   The pole was to shake the blackberry bushes free of unwanted snakes.  Blackberry bushes and grape arbors are favorite places where snakes like to hide.

The pole was great to bring the branch toward you, so you could reach the berries that were hard to reach.  Of course, the boots were to protect yourself from snake bites.   A dog was great to keep a snake from crawling out towards you if it came out from under the bush.  

We knew of a neighbor man who was picking blackberries one summer day who got bit by a copperhead snake. Luckily, he was okay.  I guess he didn't have a mom to remind him to take a pole!

We would bring home a wagon filled with gallons and gallons of berries.  The next morning, mom would let the older children set a table up out in the front  to sell the berries.  In those days, we got seven dollars a gallon.    It was a very hot job and the part I disliked the most was when thorns would cut your hands and attach to your clothes. There was no such thing as thorn-less berries.  That would have been nice!

Did you ever pick berries as a child?
I would love to hear from you.


4 comments:

  1. Megan would be a happy girl as she loves blackberries! When I purchase them they are gone almost as soon as we are home.

    I never picked berries as a child. If I ever do as an adult I will rembember to bring a pole! :)

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    1. :) Blackberries are yummy! I saw in a seed catalog, they now have a thorn-less and seed-less blackberry bushes. My blackberries are near a creek, making it a higher chances of having snakes around. I am thinking about planting tame blackberries in our yard one day. Thank you for coming by.

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  2. Yes, when I was little I picked blackberries at my Grandparents...a great memory. We have them here on our homestead, but they are so covered in weeds that I wear long sleeves, long pants, boots, and gloves. I, like you would like to plant some in our yard.

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    1. It would be much easier to have them in the yard then in weeds. It was for us as well.

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