Saturday, July 19, 2008


This week I bought 1/2 gallon of blackberries that were fresh picked. I made a cobbler right off and the rest is frozen for future cobblers. As I was washing the berries I was thinking about when I picked blackberries when I was a kid. We got our buckets and usually headed for the neighbors farm since she had the best places to pick and she always gave us permission. We put kerosene around our wrists and ankles to ward off the chiggers. We also wore long sleeves and pants with our socks usually pulled up over the legs of our pants, also in an effort to keep out any unwanted chiggers and other bugs. The cows usually had nice paths through the blackberry briars and it was pretty easy picking. Sometimes you had to work yourself into a thicket to reach some juice luscious berries that you didn't want to get missed. I don't recall eating that many of them but just the occasional one. Many times my parents went with us and sometimes it was just me and my brother. Oftentimes it was just me and my Mom. I didn't worry about snakes but you did see a black snake every now and then. They didn't bother us and we didn't bother them. It was hot work and when a breeze drifted by it was deeply appreciated. After getting home and getting washed up then we'd tend to the berries. It seems like even with the kerosene that some of those chiggers would find their way to parts of the body that are not ladylike to scratch in public. That reminds me of a little poem I recall about chiggers:
A chigger is no bigger
Than the head of a small pin
But the bump that he raises
Itches like crazy
And that's where the rub comes in.



Blogger Fred said...

I can remember picking raspberries as a kid. I hated them, but my grandma would give me a buck. She told me she would make a pie with them. I later learned it was to keep me busy.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Yeah the above comment was me. Spend a week with you and can't spell your name.
Chiggers are the worst. They get you know matter what.
Great sign Rachel.

5:36 PM  
Blogger b13 said...

I love when I come across wild blackberries and snack right off the tree. I recently found a few in my neighborhood. Any idea what the correct name is for sweet white berries that look like blackberries? Those are tasty too!

5:52 PM  
Blogger cityfarmer said...

black berries....YES

I have a mantra today~~~~ with a pounding head cold I find such comfort "dress" over at cityfarmer~~~

5:56 PM  
Blogger zzop357 said...

Deep woods sportsman off....It works.But if you stay in the sun too long you will sunburn.
I have put up 3 cases of blackberry jelly this year. I picked them all by my self.Thats about 4 or 5 gallons of blackberries.
I did get a few chiggers, from sitting in my chair.Taking a bath then sitting in my chair again.LOL
I should have taken a bath right away.The chiggers got on my chair from my clothes. Duh.
I also had 1 tick...This stuff works. I'm not picking anymore, its too hot.
Bless you Rachel.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Diane@Diane's Place said...

I like blackberries but the fresh ones I'm real cautious about. I threw a handful in my mouth one time and there was a stink bug (punkin bug to some) on them! Eww, that was nasty! Didn't take me long to spit that out, and made leery of eating unwashed fruit ever since. ;o)

I don't get many chiggers usually but they do seem to congregate in the X-rated places, don't they? LOL!

Love this week's sign!

Happy Sunday, Rachel!

Love and hugs,


8:10 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

My favorite thing to eat in this world is blackberry cobbler. I got some blackberries when we went to Amish country, made a cobbler, and ate the whole thing. I love it with milk on it! My twins used to eat the berries chiggers and all when they were little and I took them to pick berries. I love the poem.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Scarlet said...

What a beautiful sign! Love it!

I also happen to love blackberries, but can never find them anymore in Miami! :(

I will dream of that cobbler of yours and maybe settle for cherry. ;)

7:28 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Never heard that chigger poem before...cute. I bet those berries were very good.

Hope you have a great Sunday and week ahead.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

I will have to teach my grandchildren the chigger poem. They are building some great memories at Granny and Grandpa's as they were able to pick cherries and now blackberries for Granny to make cobblers immediately. Also this weekend two of the grandchldren harvested our potatoes and picked the cherry tomatoes. I grew up in the city so this country discovery of 10 years ago is as fun for me as for the grandchildren.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Rachel! This was a nice story. Well everything but the chiggers.
Great Sunday sign. Lisa

5:43 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hi Rachel -- As usual your church sign is wonderful!
I'll bring the biscuits if you've got the jelly. That sounds sooooo good.
We opened the Blogstock Cherry Jam Friday, it is delicious!
When we lived in New Hampshire we could pick all the wild blue berries we wanted where I worked, on a nearby hillside.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

Hi Rachel,
Enjoyed reading of your blackberry picking memories. I've often heard my Dad talk about chiggers as he was born and raised in KY.
They sound very pesty.
Love your Sunday sign too!

7:11 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely memory Rachel...Picking Berries as a kid...Very Sweet! I bet the Cobbler you made is delicious!
You know I had not heard the word Chiggers until the other day on the View...and now, here it is again! Can you believe, as old as I am, I have never heard of them till Friday?? LOL!

12:11 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

We don't have chiggers here. Too far North. We have a broad assortment of annoying insects.

It will be at least a month before we have blackberries. The raspberries are just beginning.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I love blackberries!! My dad's favorite dessert is blackberry cobbler, and he passed that love on to me.
Courtney got her ankles bitten by chiggers recently, and she was miserable for about four days until the swelling went down. She still had scars on her ankles when we were at Blogstock.
I liked reading about how you used to pick blackberries. I can just see little Rachel out there picking them berries!!

5:59 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Thanks for the memories Rachel. Mom used to make jelly from them. A tedious project but I'll never forget the outcome. Great stuff. We picked a lot of them too. Marilyn and I have been talking about planting a patch of them.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Jerry said...

I love blueberries. The town of Plymouth, IN has a big blueberry festival over Labor Day.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

I managed to acquire some blackberries a while back. I'm down to my last bag in the freezer though. How sad is that? I sure enjoyed reading of your memories of picking with your mom and brother. What a treasure.

Excellent church sign. You've got me watching for them all over the place now. I rarely have my camera with me, tho.

6:37 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hi Rachel -- Thanks for peeking in on my June Bug post, you got me started in that you know. You have green ones, ours are brown.

Thanks too for checking on my Wordless Wednesday post. I take it you watched your step when you walked in that pasture with me!
We hiked up a hill (mountain??) in Colorado with our friends for a picnic. About that will be in my next Colorado posting.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

You sure brought up some good memories for me too. We used to go pick dewberries. We would wear the long sleves, socks, jeans and a hat. Mom would put sulfer in our socks and around our ankles and wrists. It worked pretty good, but we did have times that a chigger would get by. Dad told us not to move when we saw a snake, to just let it go by and then Dad would make dewberry cobbles and make all of the work worth it.

Love the "Up to date" church sign.

3:01 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Rachel my dear....I'm glad you enjoyed my post about The Dasylirium Flower Stalk and THE BEES.....
I am going to post some more on this same plabe and MORE Bee pictures, too!
I just love that the Bees are around and enjoying the "fruits" of my garden!

7:21 PM  
Blogger Sammy said...

What a nice memory. I've never heard of using kerosene to ward off chiggers, but we don't really have chiggers around here so there was probably no need. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what they even are.

Mmmmmm, blackberry cobbler. I could go for some of that right now!

11:39 AM  
Blogger Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Rachel! Happy weekend to you.

When you have time, stop by my blog. There is something there for you. Lisa

10:28 AM  

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