Blackberry grows wild in the forest, in a hedgerow or the edge of a wood. In September and October the berries ripen, and they are delicious both raw or as marmelade, jam and stewed fruit. They are also fine in sorbet, pies and as served to a venison-dinner. Wine, snaps and liqueur are made from blackberries, which are also used in cosmetics like in a French Eau de Toilette from Yves Rocher.
It is not advisable to use or eat blackberry growing close to busy roads.
The evergreen leaves are important food for deer. In ancient times the leaves were used as a medicament against infections of the mouth , diarrhoea and abscesses. Superstition holds that blackberry should not be picked after 15th September as the Devil has claimed them, having left a mark on the leaves . After this date wett and cool weather often allows the fruit to become infected by moulds - so there is some value to the legend.
The blackberry was consumed by humans for thousand of years. A forensic evidence from an Iron Age find, the Haraldskaer Woman in Jutland, shows that blackberry was consumed 2.500 years ago.
photo: grethe bachmann