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

cwhit590

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bills said:
Hmm..I didn't know the Garden variety differed so much from the wild..until I looked it up..interesting..wonder how the name Huckleberry got affixed to this plant. Good article on them..

http://www.liseed.org/solanunusual.html
Good link!
That says a pinch of baking soda removes biterness....maybe THAT'S the secret to cooking w/ them. :D
 

seedcorn

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Grew them this year. Started the very late but they come on like gang busters. Loaded. Made my first pie with them. It’s never going to replace wild huckleberries but I thought enough that I’m going to can 6-7 quarts to use in pies later, First key is to allow them to ripen until they don’t glisten black. Next key is a 10 minute boil with baking soda-they do put off a slight offensive odor. Green foam everywhere. Rinse. Then a boil with lemon juice added to soften. It’s all on the Internet. Haven’t decided IF I’ll grow them again next year.
 

Zeedman

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My plants were stunted (along with everything else in the rural garden) but recovered enough to be 1/2 of the size I saw in SSE's gardens. Still loaded with a heavy fruit set, the berries hold for a remarkable time on the plant (only a few have dried). True to accounts I've heard from others, neither bird nor rodent has touched them - so maybe they won't become a weed, as ground cherry, tomatillo, & litchi tomato already have. I've been waiting for a frost to harvest them... which is already a week overdue, and not even in the 10-day forecast. :idunno Thanks for the tips, @seedcorn , I'm looking forward to trialing their culinary usefulness. Maybe I'll mix them in a pie with the copious amount of ground cherries that are curing, which could add some flavor.

An interesting plant for Fall decorations, if nothing else.
 

seedcorn

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It hasn’t frosted here yet. I picked the duller berries that had some “give” to them. I tried the “jam” stage before putting in the pie crust (I did a terrible job in that) was unimpressed. One writer said theirs got tough skins after day 1-mine didn’t but I boiled it longer than 20 minutes with lemon. I believe the pie had better flavor after day 1. It lasted 2 days & it was gone.....

Looking forward to your thoughts.
 

Zeedman

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wild birdie food?
Birds seem completely uninterested in those berries. Especially odd, given that they feed on buckthorn berries nearby, which are also black & shiny. But then, they don't feed on the litchi tomato berries either... maybe they just don't recognize them as food. Or they know something we don't? :idunno
 

flowerbug

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Birds seem completely uninterested in those berries. Especially odd, given that they feed on buckthorn berries nearby, which are also black & shiny. But then, they don't feed on the litchi tomato berries either... maybe they just don't recognize them as food. Or they know something we don't? :idunno

they may be food later in the winter, if the plant holds them or the berries fall and end up as seeds for foraging later. i really don't know for sure with these plants, but if they are human edible then they're also likely birdie edible even if they end up being a later winter snack.
 

seedcorn

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Made the second pie. Giving the extra time gave the berries much better flavor. Thought I added enough corn starch but should have added more. Other than that, has a real blueberry flavor.
 
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