Garden Huckleberries- when to pick, how to use, etc?

NurseNettie

Garden Ornament
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Points
79
Location
Northern Maine-Zone 4a
To be honest, I never thought they'd grow, but thought the Garden Huckelberry picture in the SSE catalog was fun looking. Well, I've got 7 or 8 plants in the garden, with large blueberry-sized fruits growing, and turning blue/purple-- so I guess I should find out when to pick them!!!!
Also-- I read they don't taste like much, but they make nice jelly-- how do you use them? And, will they keep producing when I pick them, or are they "done" once picked?

I'm hoping to have enough berries to make a few jars of jelly-- because if it comes out nice-- I'll be planting a LOT more next year since these plants are doing SO well!!! They've really surprised me!!!!
 

bills

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
529
Reaction score
66
Points
178
Location
Vancouver island B.C.
All my Huckleberry experiences have been with the wild ones that grow here on the coast. There are red and blue varietys.

I find that there is a window of a few weeks that you can harvest them. I pick the bigger berries, then come back from time to time as the smaller berries grow bigger. The wild ones are pretty tasty on their own. Pies and jams made from them are unbelievable!:p

Competition from birds, animals, and other humans, is pretty strong around here, so you have to be lucky to get a large harvest. I find the wetter summers are better for berry size, and numbers..
 

seedcorn

Garden Master
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
9,133
Reaction score
8,360
Points
397
Location
NE IN
Let us know how it works. We grew them when I was a kid, never found a time to pick them that they were good...........Look like blueberries, tasted like ()*&(*&)^.
 

NurseNettie

Garden Ornament
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Points
79
Location
Northern Maine-Zone 4a
It looks like I'll have a good bunch to pick in a few days, with a lot more growing. I'm probably going to freeze the berries til I have them all picked, then make juice, then jelly... or jam-- not sure how they'll cook down, but I'll decide when I get there. They're supposed to make great jelly--- here's hoping!!!

seedcorn said:
Let us know how it works. We grew them when I was a kid, never found a time to pick them that they were good...........Look like blueberries, tasted like ()*&(*&)^.
 

cwhit590

Garden Ornament
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
277
Reaction score
1
Points
84
Location
SW Michigan
I was looking thru my Sand Hill Preservation Center catalog today and read that they have "discovered the secret to edibility" with garden huckleberries....apparently they send their recipe free when you buy a packet of seed, or you can get it if you add 50 cents onto your order...?

:idunno

Sorry...that's not much help NurseNettie....but the people at Sand Hill evidently know "the secret".....anyone order from them or know their recipe???
 

NurseNettie

Garden Ornament
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Points
79
Location
Northern Maine-Zone 4a
I've been reading a lot about them today, and found that #1-- they are the same as a "wonderberry" ( which my friend grew last year, but I never saw them since she lives distant from me), and that #2- cooking and sweetening them is the "secret" that makes them good. I guess they don't taste like much, or taste really BAD uncooked. I also learned that they're best after they've ripened to a glossy shine, then gone beyond, and lose the gloss. And each plant yields enough for a pie! And they can and freeze well..... And Mother Earth News has an article with loads of info!

Now I can't wait for the harvest-- and hoping I love them, because I'll plant a LOT more next year!

cwhit590 said:
I was looking thru my Sand Hill Preservation Center catalog today and read that they have "discovered the secret to edibility" with garden huckleberries....apparently they send their recipe free when you buy a packet of seed, or you can get it if you add 50 cents onto your order...?

:idunno

Sorry...that's not much help NurseNettie....but the people at Sand Hill evidently know "the secret".....anyone order from them or know their recipe???
 

cwhit590

Garden Ornament
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
277
Reaction score
1
Points
84
Location
SW Michigan
NurseNettie said:
I've been reading a lot about them today, and found that #1-- they are the same as a "wonderberry" ( which my friend grew last year, but I never saw them since she lives distant from me), and that #2- cooking and sweetening them is the "secret" that makes them good. I guess they don't taste like much, or taste really BAD uncooked. I also learned that they're best after they've ripened to a glossy shine, then gone beyond, and lose the gloss. And each plant yields enough for a pie! And they can and freeze well..... And Mother Earth News has an article with loads of info!

Now I can't wait for the harvest-- and hoping I love them, because I'll plant a LOT more next year!

cwhit590 said:
I was looking thru my Sand Hill Preservation Center catalog today and read that they have "discovered the secret to edibility" with garden huckleberries....apparently they send their recipe free when you buy a packet of seed, or you can get it if you add 50 cents onto your order...?

:idunno

Sorry...that's not much help NurseNettie....but the people at Sand Hill evidently know "the secret".....anyone order from them or know their recipe???
Yeah, in Sand Hill he says that "I tried growing this for years and wasted pounds of sugar before discovering the secret to edibility."
Maybe the "secret" is to wait till they've lost their gloss? special cooking technique? I dunno...

Well let us know how it goes! Sounds like a good deal....hopefully you like the taste!
 

NurseNettie

Garden Ornament
Joined
Apr 3, 2008
Messages
177
Reaction score
0
Points
79
Location
Northern Maine-Zone 4a
Well, I guess I'll figure the secret out on my own, lol.... As much as I'm curious, I can't see paying for them to say something silly, LOL

cwhit590 said:
NurseNettie said:
I've been reading a lot about them today, and found that #1-- they are the same as a "wonderberry" ( which my friend grew last year, but I never saw them since she lives distant from me), and that #2- cooking and sweetening them is the "secret" that makes them good. I guess they don't taste like much, or taste really BAD uncooked. I also learned that they're best after they've ripened to a glossy shine, then gone beyond, and lose the gloss. And each plant yields enough for a pie! And they can and freeze well..... And Mother Earth News has an article with loads of info!

Now I can't wait for the harvest-- and hoping I love them, because I'll plant a LOT more next year!

cwhit590 said:
I was looking thru my Sand Hill Preservation Center catalog today and read that they have "discovered the secret to edibility" with garden huckleberries....apparently they send their recipe free when you buy a packet of seed, or you can get it if you add 50 cents onto your order...?

:idunno

Sorry...that's not much help NurseNettie....but the people at Sand Hill evidently know "the secret".....anyone order from them or know their recipe???
Yeah, in Sand Hill he says that "I tried growing this for years and wasted pounds of sugar before discovering the secret to edibility."
Maybe the "secret" is to wait till they've lost their gloss? special cooking technique? I dunno...

Well let us know how it goes! Sounds like a good deal....hopefully you like the taste!
 

bills

Deeply Rooted
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
529
Reaction score
66
Points
178
Location
Vancouver island B.C.
Didn't know about the secret you mentioned..we usually just pick the wild ones, when they are big and juicy. If you leave them to long on the bush they dry up pretty quick..

The domestic variety must be different then the wild ones? I used to enjoy eating them right off the bush..lots of flavor and fairly sweet.

I know for pies, we do add brown sugar and a touch of vanilla to them.
 

cwhit590

Garden Ornament
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
277
Reaction score
1
Points
84
Location
SW Michigan
bills said:
Didn't know about the secret you mentioned..we usually just pick the wild ones, when they are big and juicy. If you leave them to long on the bush they dry up pretty quick..

The domestic variety must be different then the wild ones? I used to enjoy eating them right off the bush..lots of flavor and fairly sweet.

I know for pies, we do add brown sugar and a touch of vanilla to them.
I think we're talking about different plants here...:p

We're discussing "Garden Huckleberry" - an uncommon plant that you would grow in the vegetable garden. It is not a true huckleberry and it is in the nightshade family. The scientific name is Solanum melanocerasum.

bills, it sounds like you're talking about true huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.)...the kind that come from bushes, and are similar to blueberries...?

:idunno
 
Top