I can’t believe that tomorrow I’m leaving the farm. On Monday afternoon it suddenly struck me, and I started frantically making a list of all the things I meant to do while i was here and hadn’t got around to yet. One of these was going blackberry picking and making blackberry and apple crumble for dessert - yum! Since I left home for university, I’ve very seldom been at the farm during the right season, Christmas or Easter time being far more likely. I was a little late for this year’s berries, but there were still a few to be had thank goodness.


Blackberrying requires a special uniform (unless you’re an eedjit). Long pants, long sleeves (I ignored that one and have lovely scratches to show for it), hat, solid shoes, bucket and mobile phone. The mobile phone is not protection from the sun or blackberry prickles or to put blackberries in, it’s in case you get bitten by a snake. In the Olden Days, we used to take two way radios, or lots of people, snakes really like blackberry bushes.


Mum came along with me luckily, as I wouldn’t have gone so far afield on my own even with a phone, and the little suckers were pretty scarce - we only got a few off each bush. We roamed about 20mins walk from the farmhouse to get two handfuls of berries. Above, you can see a bush carefully guarding a wombat burrow, feet for scale. Wombats are big.


We made it to our favourite spot eventually, the dam wall. I can remember picking berries here in good seasons that were as big as a thumb (almost), but this year it’s been too hot and a lot of the berries were sunburnt. We got enough though to come home and make my favourite ever dessert.


Blackberry and Apple Crumble:
1. Peel, slice and cook a few (homegrown) green apples, place in a dish and sprinkle in as many blackberries as you could find.
2. Top with crumble made from coconut, sugar, flour and melted butter.
3. Toast in the oven till golden.
4. Gobble with cream.


We managed to have homegrown tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and potatoes in the same meal, and could have been eating completely home-produced if we’d thought to take some goat out of the freezer!

Tomorrow we’re heading to the Field Days, a bit like an agricultural show, then I’m staying with my dad a couple of days then a brief stop with the in-laws in Melbourne. I fly out Sunday and will be back in London at the crack of dawn Monday morning. Sob! I’m not quite calling it a holiday, as farms are pretty hard work in general and we’ve been running around like headless chooks (chickens), but it’s certainly been a break, and a fabulous restful one at that.

Ciao! x

10 Responses to “Fruits From the Garden”
  1. Elisabeth says:

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for some time and am very impressed with it, tutorials, fibre entries and all! ll the wool from the last pictures looks so wonderful and I want to dive in. But today I ended up being hungry for dessert by reading it - and here in Sweden it’s only just after breakfast….

  2. Ruth says:

    Snakes?? Yikes. I haven’t had breakfast yet and now I want crumble.

    You evil woman. Yet I miss you. Have fun on your last week!!!

  3. Marianne says:

    A lovely post Diane. Hope you don’t come back to a gloomy UK…we have missed you! Still, I now have an article of yours to read in my new Spin Off mag!

  4. Yogicknitter says:

    OMG that crumble looks fantastic, it is the first time this week I have seen food and wanted to eat any!

  5. Jewel says:

    Blackberries are one on my favorite but the snakes I don’t like so much. I bet its going to be hard to leave your mother but it looks like you’ve had a wonderful time!

  6. Daisy says:

    That crumble looks so tasty! Can’t believe you’re heading back so soon - the time’s just flown past!

  7. Beth P. says:

    I am soooooooo jealous! I have to wait until July here in the middle of the US East coast for fresh blackberries. They are one of my favorite things, luckily I have plenty of them on my own property. I think I’ll have to try your crumble recipe this year, looks perfect!

  8. Joanne says:

    We’ve been picking blackberries for the last few years on the biological preserve managed by the university. It is much the same experience that you have, minus the wombat burrows and snakes. We have snakes too, but generally they don’t bite unless you really annoy them. What we did have, last year, was a really big game bird. We flushed a wild turkey in the blackberry bramble. I screamed. Actually, my husband and his colleague were surprised too. It was a big bird and a pretty astonishing encounter!

    I agree with you, visiting family is often hard work as well as somewhat restful. I hope you get to enjoy it all, especially the local foods, and capture these moments for when you’re back in the big city!

  9. AlisonH in California says:

    Wow. I mentioned wombats on my blog recently (and had to go look them up to see what they looked like), and now I have a better idea of how it would be to have one burrowing under a road–wow, that’s a big hole!

  10. Amanda Cathleen says:

    mmmmmm, that looks so good! Hope you had a safe trip home

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