Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Berry Patch


 Berries are a great low maintenance and nutritious way to increase home production.  They are absolutely one of my favorite crops.  I have a variety of berries and continue to add new ones each year.  Some are in my landscape and some in the garden.  There is so much you can do with berries.  The absolutely most rewarding thing about berries is fresh eating. They are the one crop my children, grandchildren, and extended family love to help harvest.  I've noticed since I don't have kids home, volunteering to pick berries, I end up with a more abundant crop.  In addition to fresh eating they are easily frozen, canned, turned into juice, jelly, and pie fillings.  Berries provide an essential source of antioxidants and vitamins and also the leaves, flowers, and berries have medicinal purposes.  They are a must for the serious gardener or homesteader. I will be doing a separate post on care and harvesting of each type but I wanted to introduce you to the variety and beauty of available berries for home production.



 My garden include three varieties of raspberries with three maturity dates so I have berries all season.  I have Kilarney, Taylor, and Caroline.

 Jostaberries are a cross between a gooseberry and a currant. They are a large, beautiful bushes.  The berries are tart like a sour grape and ripen to deep purple.  They make great desserts and jellies

Pink Champagne Currants

I have 3 types of currants: black, red, and white.  The white or pink champagne can be eaten off the bush.  All three can be used for juice, jelly, and medical purposes.

Pink Champagne Gooseberries


I think blackberries are my favorite.  I grow the semi erect varieties.  Beautiful plants and so delicious!

Strawberries

The large bush with white flowers is an elderberry bush

Elderberry bush in flower.  A very productive plant.  Birds love these.

Gooseberries.  This variety ripens to a deep rose color.  Deer resistant because of all the spines.




Elderberry flowers

Nanking cherries, not a berry but a great landscape plant and very productive and used like a berry.

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