Today, September 29th, is Michaelmas, or the Feast of Saint Michael (Michael’s Mass, similar to Christmas – Christ’s Mass). Traditionally, this was the end of the harvest and the day rents and loans were due. Old British legends also said that this was the day that Saint Michael defeated Lucifer and cast him out of heaven. Lucifer fell into a blackberry bush and either spat or peed on them and spoiled the fruit, so blackberries should not be harvested after Michaelmas. In other versions of this superstition, it’s the pooka – a Faerie creature – who spoils the blackberries at the end of harvest time.

Ripe and unripe blackberries on the vine.
The tastiest blackberries are totally black and have lost their shine, but today is supposed to be the last day to pick them before they’re spoiled.


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