Boxing Day and a lovely morning, blue cloudless sky.
People in the UK have been snacking on blackberries for generations – so long, in fact, that their seeds were found in the belly of a Neolithic man uncovered by archaeologists at Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex.
In Britain over 400 microspecies have been recognised, each one differing slightly in fruiting time, size, texture and taste. In some varieties you can detect subtle hints of plum, grape, apple or lemon.
Bramble bushes were once planted on graves to deter grazing sheep and cover less sightly weeds, but also probably for magical and ancient hopes of keeping the Devil out and the dead in.
Don’t eat blackberries after 29th September
The story goes that Lucifer was chucked out of heaven on Michaelmas day; also sometimes said to be on Old Michaelmas Day; 11th October – and he had the misfortune of landing in a big patch of brambles. He cursed the brambles from that date on by – depending on what countries’ folklore you believe- scorching them, spitting on them, wagging his tail at them or throwing his cloak on them. He swore that anyone who ate blackberries after that date would become cursed or ill.
Blackberries are packed with vitamin C just one cup of raw blackberries has 30.2 mg. … they’re high in fibre, most people don’t get enough fibre in their diet. …great source of vitamin K. … high in manganese. … may boost brain health. … and helps support oral health.
The blackberry is an edible fruit made by any of several species in the Rubus genus of the Rosaceae family. The wild blackberry shrub is called “bramble” in Britain, but in the western U.S. “caneberry” is the term is used for both blackberries and raspberries.
It is a widespread and well known group of over 375 species which reproduce by apomixis. The plant sends its strong suckering roots amongst garden hedges and shrubs and will grow fast, taking over uncultivated spots very quickly. They are native all over the temperate Northern hemisphere and South America. The blackberry grows to about 3 m in height. The plant tolerates poor soil very well. In some parts of the world, such as in Australia, Chile, New Zealand, and the Pacific Northwest of North America, some blackberry species are regarded as weeds.
Indigenous Europe and northern Africa, common teasel was first introduced to North America in the 1700’s for the textile industry and has since spread from coast to coast. Most often seen on roadsides and waste areas, teasel also invades agricultural fields and pastures. It is often spread by the practice of mowing standing plants after they have formed seeds.
Fuller’s teasel a cultivar was widely used textile processing, providing a natural comb for cleaning, aligning and raising the nap on fabrics, particularly wool. The cultivar differs from the wild type in having stouter, somewhat recurved spines on the seed heads. The dried flower heads were attached to spindles, wheels, or cylinders, to raise the nap on fabrics to tease the fibres. During the late 19th Century, teasels had been largely replaced by metal cards, which can be made uniformly and do not require constant replacement unlike the teasel heads which wear out. However, some traditionalists who prepare and weave wool still prefer to use teasels for raising the nap, claiming that the result is better.
Common teasel is not considered toxic, but the plant has been used for medicinal purposes so caution is advised in using this plant without further research or exposing livestock to it in large quantities.
They are also grown as ornamental plants, and the dried heads are used in floristry.
December Reflections and Colours.
Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or gingko also known as the maidenhair tree, is a species of tree native to China. It is the last living species in the order Ginkgoales, which first appeared over 290 million years ago. Fossils very similar to the living species, belonging to the genus Ginkgo, extend back to the Middle Jurassic approximately 170 million years ago. The tree was cultivated early in human history and remains often planted in gardens and parks. Ginkgo leaf extract is commonly used as a dietary supplement, but there is no scientific evidence that it supports human health or is effective against any disease. Conservation status. Endangered in the wild
In 1806, William Hamilton wrote to Thomas Jefferson that he intended to send him three trees that he thought Jefferson would “deem valuable additions” to his garden. Ginkgo biloba or the China Maidenhair tree was one of the three. Hamilton went on to say that it produced a “good eatable nut.”
The Gingko is a large, hardy, deciduous tree with delicate, fan-shaped leaves that turn bright yellow in fall, and it has been used medicinally for thousands of years. The female trees produce edible fruit.