Blackberry picking plans

By 29 January, 2014 17

Having moved to ACT 18 months ago, I’m keen to take the family out for first season of Blackberry picking soon.

Hoping some RIOTees could assist with:

  • Best time to pick (I have to organise sister in law to travel from Sydney for the weekend to assist)
  • Best place to pick this season
  • Do I need to weak snake proof boots?

Any advice / guidance would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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17 Responses to Blackberry picking plans
#1
molongloid4:44 pm, 29 Jan 14

In case you’re looking at places other than berry farms… Blackberry is a Weed of National Significance and as such is managed through clearing and spraying. If you intend to pick regardless then please confirm with the land owner, or for public land research spraying periods, chemicals used and their half-lives, toxicity etc and pay attention to signs. For the ACT see http://goo.gl/6O0nFZ for details.

#2
CBRFoodie4:52 pm, 29 Jan 14

Yep, what molongloid said. You can see from this list on a recent ABC story as well http://blogs.abc.net.au/canberra/2011/03/where-blackberries-are-sprayed-in-the-act.html?site=canberra&program=canberra_drive that most of the parks (including national parks) cop a spray as well. Might be safer to buy it somewhere cheap like from a farm that sells it direct to the public?

#3
CBRFoodie4:54 pm, 29 Jan 14
#4
qbngeek4:57 pm, 29 Jan 14

Your best bet is to get far off the beaten track. We drive well into the bush and then quite often go for a decent walk away from the car.

Anywhere that is frequented by the public (Cotter/Tidbinbilla/Googong) will be sprayed. Most areas of Namagi and the Brindies that are easily accessible by car will be sprayed.

If the leaves are yellowed and/or the fruit shrivelling then that is a good sign it has been sprayed. However, not seeing those signs is not a sign it is safe. It may have been done recently and not started to die off.

I have a few select spots I go to but they are not large and if you go there then there won’t be any left for me.

The safest bet is on private property, with the owners consent of course.

#5
Queen_of_the_Bun5:36 pm, 29 Jan 14

They are hard to find these days, best go for an android or iPhone.

#6
Masquara6:18 pm, 29 Jan 14

We stopped picking ANYWHERE years ago because the blackberries can look perfect for ages despite being sprayed. And blackberries in isolated spots get sprayed. If they are on a large property (and lots of properties outside Canberra are over 20,000 acres) you may not find the homestead easily, or the owner at home to ask.

#7
Masquara6:19 pm, 29 Jan 14

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

They are hard to find these days, best go for an android or iPhone.

++

#8
CraigT6:42 pm, 29 Jan 14

http://www.tams.act.gov.au/parks-recreation/plants_and_animals/invasive_species/managing_invasive_weeds/information_on_invasive_plants/blackberry

It’s not likely you’re going to eat some sprayed berries – If they’ve been sprayed, you’ll notice.

You could meet your sister halfway(-ish) – where the road to Bathurst crosses the Abercrombie there used to be plenty of blackberries (and on surrounding properties).

Your basic strategy should be to ignore berries unless they are growing in gullies or creek banks. Too little water and all you get is a mouthful of seed-grit.

As for those suggesting you’ll be better off if they come wrapped in plastic – pish!

#9
chris8206:42 pm, 29 Jan 14

Blundells Flat area in the Brindabellas is easy access and often choked with them.
And +1 to the comment about getting far enough away from the road, because of the spraying.

#10
Pork Hunt6:56 pm, 29 Jan 14

Go to the pine forests between Brindabella and Tumut. Acres of blackberries an hours (2wd) drive away.
Take lunch and plenty of water but don’t get lost.
Three years ago I went in March but this years berries will ripen sooner due to the hot weather.

#11
housebound7:31 pm, 29 Jan 14

Like good dentists, the location of certain trees, and other secrets, if we told you, we’d have to …. well, you know.

(Confession: we haven’t blackberrying in the ACT for a few years.)

#12
Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd8:55 pm, 29 Jan 14

When I was a kid we used to just go to the first and pick bag fulls. So sad that is no longer a option.

#13
basic11:00 pm, 29 Jan 14

Some great advice, thanks all. A little concerned re. spraying however not totally deterred.

Was hoping for an opportunity to do some quick picking with the 3 and 4 year old kids… all this talk of pine forests and properties sounds exciting however possibly unmanageable with little people in tow.

Last year I saw plenty people diving in to the brambles during my bike rides around lake Burley Griffin. Was thinking that could be fun, however the plants are looking very sad of late. I guess spraying and / or lack of rain has taken it’s toll.

#14
Maya12311:08 pm, 29 Jan 14

I picked heaps of blackberries around the lake last year and bottled many jars, but I will give it a miss this year as I still have many jars on my shelf. I also pick wild apples and plums and bottle them too. Too good a resource to waste.

#15
JessP9:59 am, 30 Jan 14

Queen_of_the_Bun said :

They are hard to find these days, best go for an android or iPhone.

Best laugh of the morning!

#16
s-s-a10:47 pm, 02 Feb 14

TAMS can someone please update the spraying list on your website to the venues being sprayed in 2013-14.

#17
Chop714:29 pm, 03 Feb 14

I too thought you were after a phone plan of around $60 per month

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