Joy is: gorgeous blackberries and magic summer sunshine

a bunch of blackberries ripening on the vine

Are there many things more fun and magical than simply hanging out with your  kids, whilst they enjoy nature’s playground, and do some of the fruit and vege shopping for you?

Quality control in action; sampling the blackberries that are being gathered

If there are, please let me know in the comments section, because it would take something pretty awesome to top our afternoon’s out at our local pick-your-own farm. We are actually very lucky to be living in outer/ Greater London .. also known rather pompously as The Home Counties .. not so much because I put ‘The Home Counties’ in my postal address, but because there is still enough space in between the ancient villages that comprise modern London suburbia that we can have amazing pick-your-own farms, allotments and producers growing fruit and vege that is truly local.

 

We are at the very beginning of the summer holidays at the moment and I’m intending that pick-your-own expeditions will be a regular weekly outing. It’s lovely to be able to show the kids their food growing, how to know when it’s ripe, how to harvest it, what it looks, smells and feels like to be in the fields.

putting the kids to work gathering blackberries for an apple and blackberry crumble

This is because I believe that it’s incredibly important to know where your food is from. It engenders respect for nature, for the environment and for the food itself. I find my kids are more willing to eat food that they’ve gathered themselves, that they are more interested in preparing and cooking it with me and that they are less wasteful at the table, too. It’s a wholistic win-win!

And so, to the first of our summer pick-your-own excursions. We gathered raspberries, strawberries, new potatoes, beetroot, some carrots, a few early cherries and overflowing punnet of the most amazing blackberries.

Those blackberries that survived the trip home made it into an apple & blackberry crumble on the weekend … but that didn’t last long enough to be photographed, I’m afraid.

 

Oh well … we’ll just have to head back to gather some more berries. For the sake of a blog post, you understand!

Do you have any favourite food-related summer  activities? Or blackberry recipes, for that matter! I’d love to hear them. Pop me a note in the comments below.

carefully selecting the ripest blackberries, and avoiding the thorns
Delicate work required delicate hands! Photo credit: Marion Wotton Photography – food, lifestyle and product images
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