It's that time of year again; the hedges have been loaded with blackberries for the past few weeks. However, Harvest Fair day (23 September) was the deadline that the older folk round here had for picking blackberries, none were ever picked after that date. And of course there's the old tradition that Ulster-Scots Presbyterians were/are nicknamed 'Blackmouths' because of the quantity of blackberries they had to eat (the juice stained their mouths - there's an interesting piece on the BBC Ulster-Scots website with a fuller study of the term - click here and scroll down). And here you see the term being used on official government census forms in 1911. The great Scottish Presbyterian minister, Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661), uses the term 'black mouth' in at least two of his renowned Letters, but these might just be poetic references rather than cultural. A great wee fruit and seriously under-rated. It definitely does 'tak langer tae clim the loanen whun the blackberry's on the bush'.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Posted by Mark Thompson at Wednesday, September 28, 2011