Pick Blackberries With a Ladder





Introduction: Pick Blackberries With a Ladder

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

Here some blackberries are growing on a hillside. The lower canes tend to be picked over by passing hikers and cyclists, but the blackberries grow all the way up.  The best and ripest blackberries are always out of reach.  Bring a ladder to reach new heights and the biggest, juiciest blackberry.

Step 1: Set Up the Ladder

Extend the ladder to full height, position it underneath the motherload of just-out-of-reach blackberries, and drop it down on top of the canes.  It's rare that any canes actually break, and I don't worry much about it because the canes are biennial and the ones with berries are going to die at the end of season. The root of the plant is perennial, and will continue growing new canes over top of the dried, dead ones.  In fact, climbing up on the hillside aided by ladder, I've never seen the ground underfoot; this particular hillside might be composed entirely of dead blackberry canes.   

Step 2: The Blackberry Ladder Technique

Jessy demonstrates the technique.  Climb up, pick blackberries, be the envy of everyone passing by.  

Toddlers are excellent berry pickers, although not so great berry collectors.  Here, Corvidae works the mid-altitudes. 

Step 3: Advanced Techniques

Use old shoe laces and a plastic take-out container to free up both hands for picking.  

I brought a tarp thinking I would place it underneath the ladder, but found this unnecessary.  I also brought some rope to pull the ladder away from the hillside, but found I didn't need that either.  

My inspiration for imagining ladders everywhere, was at Burning Man several years ago.  In the events leading up to the actual burn, there are performances and such around the Man.  Since it's flat, only the people in the front can actually see what's going on at ground level.  So, I biked back to camp and brought out a ladder to make an impromptu viewing platform.  



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    11 Discussions


    1 year ago


    Oh that's a brave little kid there - those prickles are sharp. The ladder is a great idea

    You could also take advantage of the "articulating" nature of that particular ladder to have a more stable platform.

    why didn't I thought of that :-(
    I had to put on a sweater, long pants, and sweat me to death :-(

    For blackberry patches on flat ground, use a board or scrap plywood for a walkway. The old dry vines are brittle and will break, the new stuff will be pulled down with your weight. Gives you a lot more access to berries you can't reach otherwise, much easier than cutting a path into the thickets...

    The fruits of your labor looks awesome. Now get baking! :-)

    Oh wow! Look at those beautiful berries! I miss being able to eat fresh picked berries! Thanks for sharing!

    Ill try the ladder, leaving for the Man in 9 hrs.
    Looks like it works on berries, no bloody arms :-)