blackberry picking in Sicily!


So this happened yesterday: buckets of blackberries, all harvested by our little family… and all from the side of the road!

I’ve been wanting to go berry picking with Lena for a long time, but I never got my act together while we were in the States.  Back here in Sicily, I have never seen a pick-your-own berry farm.. and somehow I doubt that they exist here.

But who needs a berry farm?   Elliott spotted brambles laden with blackberries when he was out on a bike ride with his soldiers this week.  On Sunday afternoon he suggested we go back to glean and gather.  We’ve enjoyed scavenging for blackberries on walks and hikes every summer we’ve been here, and the prospect of unlimited berries sounded too good to be true for Lena and me.  We found a couple of buckets, loaded up the car, and drove through the sleepy summer afternoon to a quiet back road in the valley.


Note: we dressed completely inappropriately!  Blackberry bushes are covered in thorns (“brambles”) and we got scratched up badly, especially poor Gil’s defenseless toes.  (My bad.)  Next time… pants and close-toed shoes for everyone!


We quoted one of our favorite books — Blueberries for Sal — over and over while picking.  “Now Sal, run along and pick your own berries.”  Kuplink, kuplunk, kuplank!  “Sal picked three more berries… and then ate all of them.”  (So did Lena.)

becca-garber-blackberry-picking-sicily-5 becca-garber-blackberry-picking-sicily-8 becca-garber-blackberry-picking-sicily-9

^ Determination!


… and fortification.


Our buckets are full!


I think she ate almost an entire bucket’s worth of blackberries…


What were you up to this weekend?  Did you have fruit-picking adventures of any kind?

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8 Responses to blackberry picking in Sicily!

  1. Alica August 5, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh, what fun! What will you do with the berries…eat them fresh, or make jam or jelly? Lena looks like she had a wonderful time. I’m watching the grape arbor at our rental property closely, every time I mow. If the tenants don’t want them, I will be soooo happy!

    • Becca August 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      I’m in the process of making fruit crostatas with them right now, Alica! I’ll post the recipe and photos later. It’s my favorite baked fruit dessert, and I’m making double so we can share them with the farmers who live near us and are always giving us bags of their produce. I’ve also frozen about 3 cups of them for enjoyment later. If we pick again, I want to make some blackberry jam!

  2. Carrie August 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Cute pictures – that looks like it was a fun day!

  3. esther August 6, 2013 at 3:08 am #

    I love this. There are quite a few wild bushes on my dad’s property and we went picking a few weeks ago! I just read about a project in California that maps out all of the fruit bearing plants that are on public property and they have even started harvesting and then sharing at a public market. This reminded me of that!

    • Becca August 6, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

      What a great idea! California *would* be the state that would do that…

  4. SingingDrJosh August 8, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    So, on a scale of tobacco can peaches to pesce crudo, how did they taste (sorry, I just made up that scale off the top of my head)? If Lena ate a whole bucket worth, I’m guessing that they tasted better than the yuckies that we picked on the side of the road up to Mt Etna.


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