Summer collection of blackberries
An activity that reminds of my childhood is the summer collection of blackberries on our farmland.
It gives me a feeling of self-reliance, collecting all these puffy berries while the thorns scratch the skin of my legs.
As a matter of fact, I’m so proud of the minor injuries every foray amid the brambles provokes on my body.
Perhaps this is the same sense of fulfillment our ancestors experienced when their survival exclusively relied upon soil fertility. In contrast to our illusion of being in complete control of our livelihood.
Whereas actually our consumer lifestyle makes us dependent on the supply chain and the ups and downs of the food market. That results in lower-quality but cheaper products. As well as expensive ones that you pay for their “trendy” labels that promise to sell you “healthier” food.
The matter is rather more complicated than that. Particularly because our current production system isn’t sustainable at all. Indeed, it doesn’t represent a viable long-term solution to satisfy the food requirements of the global population.
But of course it’s difficult to figure it out when most of us have no connection with food production. At the end, we can find anything we want to eat on the shelves of a supermarket or in some restaurant, fast food…
There is no need of gathering the food in the wild or growing it on our own. And we’re grateful for this modern comfort. Despite the fact that because of it we lose the ability to understand the actual value of the food we consume every day.
Especially since we don’t take into account the workload that any farming activities requests. Also in terms of harvesting. Like in the case of the summer collection of blackberries.
I spent two mornings to collect the ripe blackberries. It’s a very meditative operation to detect them amid the brambles and gently handle them. It’s necessary a great deal of focusing, because at any transient absent-mindedness episode you risk dropping a precious berry. And the truth is that I never felt so much in touch with myself before.
Gathering the blackberries corresponds to my yearning of valuing the gifts our land gives to us. Treasures that I use to make jams, compotes and canned fruit.