As a rural area, Cornwall has many hedgerows that contain plants like brambles and blackthorn. In late summer and early autumn these plants produce their fruits - blackberries and sloes (a kind of wild plum). Picking fruit is still a popular activity in Cornwall, with many people using it to make jams or sloe gin. Years ago, this fruit was an important part of the diet because it could be preserved to provide vitamin C through the winter, when fresh fruit and vegetables were harder to find.
As the autumn moves towards winter blackberries naturally start to go off and rot. According to legend, the last possible day to pick blackberries is 10th October. This is known as “Old St Michael’s Day” and it is said that after this date, the Devil spoils the berries by spitting on them.