We received an email late last week from the Woodland Trust and the subject was all about a Blackberry, or Bramble, shortage that appears to be nationwide two or three friends have mentioned a late crop and a shortage in their area too. Well, in West Norfolk and particularly in our little acre we are living in a Blackberry or Bramble Eden.
The knee high grass has been trimmed back in the old orchard but the briars remain as vicious as ever, just like military barbed wire. No wonder the foxes and deer make a bed for themselves in these heavily defended and sheltered positions.
We think this year's steadily ripening crop is so good because of the natural shelter that the orchard itself offers, that and the long stand of poplars provide a superb windbreak from the prevailing winds. When you are in there picking and getting snarled up on the briars there is hardly a breath of wind, just the the wind rattling the poplar leaves and making a sound like water running over gravel and stones.
Next comes the jam making, the apple and blackberry turnovers and if we're lucky some pancakes.