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A summertime delicacy 

By Allen Hamrick, Clay County Free Press

CLAY, W.Va. — What is a brambleberry? Brambleberies, as they were once called and in some circles still are, are the berries that grow on thorn laden, bee biting, snake infested brush along roadsides and edges of the woods. These areas are sometimes called a summertime hillbilly picnic area or they a forest salad area.  Either way, these areas produce over a hundred types of berries in the USA; locally, its more rasberries and blackberries than any other type. 

These berries are unmistakable with their hues of red and black and can stop a berry eater driving 60 miles per hour in their treads. Blackberries are also known as black caps due to the fact that when picked the body of the berry stays in the blackberry while the raspberry stays on the stem.

In the older days, grown up areas became the harvest fields for apron wearing women who could turn the berry into some of the finest jam to spread on a biscut.  With sweaty kids in tow, they never left a field without at least a couple of gallons of the fruit.  Berry pickers lined the old roads where the berry vines hung thick as homecoming mashed potatoes. 

A berry picker can get this fruit anytime between June and August during the hottest times of the year.  So, it takes people with a strong constitution to withstand the elements. 

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