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Wild berry scare

My three youngest children ate some wild berries today.

I didn’t know about it.

Wild berry

I had no idea what kind of plant this is.

wild berry

I have told them a zillion and one times to never eat any plant, berry or lost candies they find outside.

wild berry

They clearly didn’t listen.

Vilay called the poison center in Zurich which said that they would most likely have started vomiting after a few hours if it had been poisonous.

I asked someone that lives near us and they told me the berries were harmless and would turn red when they were ripe.


I decided to teach my children a lesson.

I told my kids that the woman I asked thought that the berries were the good ones but if they instead were the bad ones (that look almost the same) we would know by tomorrow.


Because their eyes would have fallen out and only a doctor could put them back in.  It would be very, very, very painful.

I am an evil mother.

Good thing is that my six year old was scared enough by her eyes falling out that she actually listened to me explain why you can’t eat plants or berries that grow wild outdoors. Afterwards, I did tell her that I fibbed so that she would be scared.

She told me she was really scared by the thought of her eyes falling out.  She, also, told me that she was sorry that she had scared me.

That was the understatement of the year.

I was terrified by the thought of three of my four kids being harmed at the same time without my being able to do anything to stop it.

I asked what they would do to punish their children if their children had not listened to them and ate wild berries.  They told me that they would send them to their room and not let them play outside for a long time.  So, I sent them to their rooms and they are not allowed to play outside for a week.

Lesson learned…I pray.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • might i add...? June 21, 2009, 9:26 pm

    I think they might be gooseberries. Here are a couple of links to pictures I found on the internet:

    (green) gooseberries http://www.boxtedberries.com/mail/fruit-news.html
    (red) gooseberries http://www.victoriananursery.co.uk/soft_bush_and_cane_fruits/gooseberry_hinnonmaki_red/

    I remember being forced to try them at camp when I was a child. Really tart. I didn’t like them.

  • expatraveler June 22, 2009, 3:20 am

    Ouch! I’d rather let them play outside but I think helping you do something in place of doing this might be a good deed on their part. That is so scary indeed and I am happy those berries are harmless as well. Possibly the oldest will help be the judge next time and make sure they all don’t dare eat anything foreign! By the way, I’ve been shown some incredible tasting vegetation that is edible around Switzerland, yet I would never dare to do that on my own either…

  • christina June 22, 2009, 9:21 am

    Wow, I’m so glad they’re OK! I think they probably learned their lesson just seeing the look on your face. When I was about 5 I ate a wild mushroom off the lawn when I was at a babysitter’s and everyone but me got into a tizzy. It turned out not to be poisonous, but I sure learned never to do that again!

    Those are gooseberries – Stachelbeeren in German, groseille a maquereaux in French – totally harmless, although quite sour when they’re not ripe. The worst you’d probably get from them is a stomach ache. Tons of people grow them in their gardens in Germany.

    Maybe you should get a neighbour to go out with you and the kids and show you which berries are safe (not that they should eat them without asking you, but at least they’d know) and which should never, ever be eaten?

  • anne June 22, 2009, 4:59 pm

    I was just going to say what Christina has said…yes these are Gooseberries…look out for them when they are red!!

    what a scare that can be though…pleased for you that it all turned out fine :-)

  • SwissGuy June 23, 2009, 3:24 pm

    …also known as redcurrant. They are edible when ripe (red), though quite sour. You can use them to make ice cream.

  • Pumpkin June 23, 2009, 3:38 pm

    Thanks everyone! Your comments have double reassured me. I may have to go pick some when they turn red without telling the kids so that we can enjoy them! :)

    I hope that they never do that again!!!!

  • christina June 23, 2009, 5:27 pm

    Now that I look at them again, they COULD actually be currants. If they’re really small they’re unripe currents, and if they’re bigger than a marble, they’re gooseberries. The two must be related because the leaves are suprisingly similar. Whatever they are, they ARE edible.

  • Pumpkin June 23, 2009, 6:36 pm

    They are small so they must be currents. My Inlaws have two bushes in their garden and they look exactly like those but the berries are green instead of red…most likely because the berries aren’t ripe yet.

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