This Instructable was a totally spontaneous idea. There was no planning and no preparation behind it. It was made on the spot with hardly any material, just what we had around us. It turns out to be such an effective little device that I feel it's worse sharing the idea.
Last week-end, during a picnic with friends the kids spotted a blackberry bush and sure enough, as soon as they got our approval (we checked that it was really some blackberries!) they were all happy bunnies picking berries. Unfortunately, it’s late in the season so they were not the first one. People and birds had already picked the front rows, but there were a lot of big berries left in the middle, a bit out of reach and protected by the thorns. This is how the idea of making a berry picker can out. We took some empty bottles (ketchup, mineral water, etc) and fashioned some berry pickers. The end product is very effective and very compact. It’s now in my backpack for our next trip in the outdoor!
The idea was so simple that before posting this Instructable I searched to see if anybody had already done it. I found various designs but none as simple as this one. All the other designs require some special material (PCV pipe, heat gun, pliers, razor blades, etc) that you won’t necessarily find in your backpack when you are in the outdoor.
Step 1: Material
For this Instructable all you need is a plastic bottle of some sort.
Tip 1: Choose preferably a bottle made of hard plastic like a ketchup bottle. It will give more strength to the picker. A bottle of mineral water will work as well but will be more fragile.
Tip 2: Choose a bottle with a large top so you can get the berries out by unscrewing the cap.
Tip 3: Choose a small bottle so it can get in and out of the bush easily.
You will need a small knife to carve the bottle. But I guess, if you are out in the outdoor you are most likely to have one.
Finally, you will need a strip of cord or string. Alternatively, some rubber bands or some duct tape to fix the berry picker to a wooden stick.
Note: Since this was a spontaneous idea, I didn’t think of taking some photos on the spot to show all the steps. So for the purpose of this Instructable, I rebuild entirely the berry picker using a similar bottle and did a proper set of photos. For the sake of clarity (and not making any preferential advertising) I also removed the label of the bottle.
Step 2: Building the Berry Picker
The concept is very simple. First, you need an opening in the bottle large enough to get a berry inside. Whether it’s a circle or a square it really doesn’t matter.
Then you need a small hook to help cut the berry of the branch. Think of a ‘W’ shape, like two small teeth. To illustrate that I draw some outlines on the bottle. Just cut the outline and you are done.
The plastic is surprisingly sharp so you don't need a fancy shape to cut the berry.
Step 3: Assemble the Berry Picker
Now all you need to do is to attach firmly the bottle to a stick. Just make sure it won’t slide of the stick when you pull, as it can get caught on some branches or some thorns.
Step 4: The End Product in Action
Your berry picker is ready. Now the next step is to find an instructable on blackberry pie!