A Mellow Michaelmas


It’s a calmer and drier day here at Talking Trees ‘Headquarters’ in rural Shropshire. A calm seems in the air and a fruitful mellowness in our old apple orchard. We know Autumn can be an unpredictable season but at it’s best is a glorious, with somewhat watery sunshine, celebration of seed heads, fungi, turning leaves and late fruits. However today is Michaelmas Day and traditionally the last day to pick blackberries for fear of them being interfered with by ’Himself’ as he landed on a blackberry bush on his expulsion from heaven and either spat, pissed or cursed on them depending on local folklore. An old Irish proverb goes:

“On Michaelmas Day the devil puts his foot on blackberries”.

it is almost certain that this idea of a last day for blackberries refers to what is now known as Old Michaelmas Day on the 10th October as the calendar change interfered with many of nature’s indicators. We have blackberries that still look very edible and will be following the ‘Old Calendar’ and continue making/eating apple and blackberry crumbles.