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Anyone growing garden huckleberries, solanum melanocerasum?

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Anyone growing garden huckleberries, solanum melanocerasum? Empty Anyone growing garden huckleberries, solanum melanocerasum?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/12/2011, 5:02 pm

Garden huckleberries, solanum melanocerasum (not the woody huckleberries found in the forest), is a member of the nightshade family. This spring I planted seed from Seed Savers Exchange, and transplanted six of them to the part of the garden still in rows. Much to my amazement and delight, they appear to have done well, and have set some nice fruit, some of which is turning black. I'd love to hear what others know of these berries, and glean some recipes you've found successful. Thanks, Nonna
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Post  littlejo on 8/13/2011, 3:22 pm

I got some seed when I ordered something from a flower cat. I did not get them planted. Is it a type of fruit? Have you tasted yet? Maybe some jelly if you have enough?

Jo


Last edited by littlejo on 8/13/2011, 3:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spell check needed!)
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Post  Goosegirl on 8/13/2011, 3:39 pm

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/1983-03-01/garden-huckleberries.aspx



Here's a link I thought had some good tips. I have wanted to try these berries for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe next year I will do it!

GG
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/13/2011, 4:25 pm

Thanks for the site, G.G. I knew I'd read a good article about the huckleberries somewhere some time ago, but could not remember where. I shall re-peruse it. Would still like to hear from some of y'all with hands-on experience with them. Nonna
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 8/23/2011, 7:47 am

Hi,
I grew garden huckleberries last year. The berries did well but I was unimpressed with the fruit. I had awful flea beetle problems! Anyways you can treat them like blueberries. Enjoy.

Patty from Yorktown
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/23/2011, 9:19 pm

Thanks, Patty, for the info. Unimpressed, huh? How did you use them? Were they just not that tastey, or what? Nonna
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 8/23/2011, 10:48 pm

The birds enjoyed the berries much more than I did. I let them have at. I did save a lot of seeds, should I decide to grow them again. Sorry to rain on your parade.

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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/23/2011, 11:29 pm

Hmmmm, Patti, I'd not considered bird netting until getting your post. Haven't seen any feathered friends hanging around the bushes, and a lot of the berries are just now blackening up nicely. thanks for the heads up, I'll see what I can do to save the crop for us to try, then if they aren't good enough to freeze/can, we can let the birds have them. Nonna
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Post  Goosegirl on 6/4/2012, 9:23 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Hmmmm, Patti, I'd not considered bird netting until getting your post. Haven't seen any feathered friends hanging around the bushes, and a lot of the berries are just now blackening up nicely. thanks for the heads up, I'll see what I can do to save the crop for us to try, then if they aren't good enough to freeze/can, we can let the birds have them. Nonna

Nonna - How did your garden huckleberries turn out? What did you think of them? I have seeds for them on the way. From what I have read, they are to be eaten only after being cooked and sweetened.

GG
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/4/2012, 9:29 pm

We didn't love them. Having said that, perhaps we did something wrong in the preparation, there are different ways of fixing them. For whatever reason, I'm inclined to taste bitterness that, say, PapaVino does not. the bitter in the garden huckleberries put me off. We may grow them again this year, because they were very, VERY generous with their seeds, and the fool things are coming up everywhere! Garden has been expanded, so I may save a couple of bushes to give them another try. Good luck with yours, and keep us posted as to your success or whatever:lol: . Nonna
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/4/2012, 9:31 pm

Post script, GG, our Pacific Northwest birds are not sophisticated enough to eat the garden huckleberries, so netting was a non issue. Nonna
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Post  Goosegirl on 6/4/2012, 9:37 pm

Thanks Nonna! I look forward to trying them. If we do not have an issue with the bitterness, I think these will be a good thing for one of the new boxes by my herb bed. There they can resow themselves all they want and not interfere with my veggie boxes.

PS - I was just reading about when to harvest, and the article I read says they are not ripe until they change from shiny black to dull black. Also, flavor is improved when left until after a light frost.

GG


Last edited by Goosegirl on 6/4/2012, 9:47 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added PS)
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Post  FamilyGardening on 6/4/2012, 10:08 pm

we found the bitter got sweeter if left on the plant longer......

hugs

rose
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 6/4/2012, 10:23 pm

Okay, folks, I'll definitely leave three garden huckleberry seedlings to grow and produce another crop. This time, I'll let them produce past September in hopes of getting a sweeter berry. Thanks to y'all, Nonna
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Post  LittleGardener on 7/31/2012, 6:00 am

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Garden huckleberries, solanum melanocerasum (not the woody huckleberries found in the forest), is a member of the nightshade family.
I'd love to hear what others know of these berries,
Thanks, Nonna
Yes, Grampa (& most other families) grew them in Germany, and they are soo good, provided you
Pick them only after they have turned black, & are no longer glossy/shiny, AND the fruits begin to soften.
Not ever eaten raw, you cook & sweeten them, like 1+part sugar to 4 parts berries.
The cooking softens them more, so it's almost like a Fruit-syrup, in pies, over pancakes, etc. - Yum, soo good Very Happy

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Post  Goosegirl on 7/31/2012, 6:45 am

I planted some this spring and not a single one sprouted! I will try again next year...

GG
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 7/31/2012, 4:45 pm

Thank you, LittleGardner, for the info. I think I tried the berries from our bushes too soon last year. This year, I have several coming and will try again. Could be the variety we grew isn't one of the tastiest. We'll see.
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Post  littlejo on 7/31/2012, 5:42 pm

I have 1 very large bush growing, lots of black berries on but are still shiny. I tried 1 once they turned black, will wait til the shine is gone! I hope they turn out ok, but 1 plant is all that made it.
Jo
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