Blackberry season has arrived. They can be collected between august and september. You will find them anywhere in the country or in your gardens if you let blackberry bushes grow within your hedges. But as these bushes have formidable thorns, you will rather find them on the sides of dirt paths in the country or in forests.
Cultivated blackberries are the fruit of the brumble – either black, red or white - from the Moraceae family, whereas wild blackberries come from a type of brumble called Rubus fruticosus, from the Rosacea family. Wild blackberries have several advantages: their sugar levels are lower than those of cultivated blackberries. They are also more flavoured and contain more fibres.
To collect them, it is best to wear old clothes with long sleeves in order to avoid thorn scratches. It is also advisable to pick the highest fruit, as they wouldn’t be soiled, and pick those who have ripened in the sun and taken a beautiful dark colour. They will detach themselves easily and will taste better. If possible, avoid collecting blackberries that grew on the side of cultivated fields because of pesticides.
Brumbles are useful for biodiversity
The Rubus family contains hundreds of species. They are honey-producing plants, bearing a lot of fruit and endowed with great adaptability as well as an ability to colonise spaces between country and forests rapidly. Learning to understand them is wiser than systematically looking to eliminate them.
If you have a vegetable garden or an orchard, a hedge of blackberry bushes nearby would be a great advantage as brumbles attract pollinating insects, birds and a fauna that would be useful for natural regulation.Their strong branches endowed with thorns create thick bushes allowing birds to nest inside safely.
Often situated at the edge of forests, blackberry bushes then create a protection, a habitat and a food supply for a great number of animals like deers, birds, foxes and many other small mammals. They also constitute an excellent windcheater.
The benefits of blackberries
Very rich in vitamin C, almost as much as oranges, but also in vitamin E and B9, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, blackberries are the allies of tired or anaemic people.
Thanks to the antioxidants they contain, blackberries reinforce your immune system, protect your eyesight and maintain the acid-base balance of your organism.
Blackberries are also useful for their anti-inflammatory effect. They are beneficial to people with blood circulation problems as their skin contains flovonoids, which invigorate the walls of blood vessels. In short, they represent a good and natural way of preventing cardiovascular diseases!
Regarding digestion, wild blackberries are very rich in fibres and therefore favour digestive transit as well as improve intestinal microbiota.
How to savour blackberries
Blackberries can be eaten raw in fruit salads, with yoghurts, cream, or sugar. Their woody flavour will do wonders with custard. You may also cook them and prepare delicious jams or jellies, pies or crumbles. Blackberry tart is a very fortifying snack for tired people.