Thursday, 24 September 2009

Collecting Berries

I was very amused this summer to see on the BBC's coverage one of the RHS garden shows (Chelsea or Hampton Court) an enthusiastic presenter singing praises of a berrypicker. "You can get it in the plastic version or a deluxe wooden version." The plastic pickers' prices began at about £8. At this point I nearly choked on my cup of tea. Goodness knows what a deluxe wood version costs!

My shock was because this wonderful new device has been on sale in Czech ironmongers for centuries. And you can bet they don't cost very much at all and they are made of wood. At the Museum of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice I saw a lovely film from the late 1940s of lorryloads of Czechs hitting the Sumava forest with buckets for the fruit and berrypickers. They were picking bilberries and cranberries. So my advice is if you want a deluxe berrypicker take a cheap flight to the Czech Republic, better still get several for presents for Christmas. You might get your money back and you get a great holiday as well.

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