Blackberry (mora) season has arrived here in Southern Chile. Here in Chile blackberry bushes are generally considered a plague. They are invasive and with no nature predictor here they tend to take over just about any cleared land that is not maintained. What this means for people like me that love blackberries, and blackberry marmalade, is that with a little work we can collect all the blackberries we want for free.
Blackberry season here is from about the end of February till the end of March; depending on the weather. Last year the summer was mild and wet and we did not pick till the end of March. This year, we had our fist picking this weekend. My girlfriend and I had just the baby and so we got in two hours on Friday and another couple on Saturday and pick about 3/4 full of a regular size Coleman cooler. We have already picked about 50% more than last year and we had marmalade for most of the year. We plan to go again next weekend and will take the grill and bathing suits. The areas we pick are next to the Rio Voipir and so after the picking we will go swimming and make a picnic of it.
The blackberries are all on ice right now and marmalade will start being made Sunday night. The blackberries will be put in large pots, mix with a little sugar and slowly cooked on a wood stove till they are the right consistency for marmalade, then jarred. None of us here mind the seeds and so we don’t the extra week of filtering them out.
March 22, 2011 – We got (12) 1/2 liter and (4) 1 liter jars of blackberry marmalade from this years picking. We estimated about we picked about 14 – 15 kgs. and we got about 10 kgs of marmalade. This should last the year.