Garden Huckleberry

jbraun_gwAugust 18, 2014

This is my first year of growing garden huckleberry. I just harvested only 2/3 cup on 10' . Info i read suggested this is a heavy feeder so next year I'll give it more.

My question to you is do I need to do something to increase the flavor? I used baking soda on the first boil, then continued boiling for another 45 min. I topped pancakes with them and used honey to get sweet but they were kind of bland. Was I expecting to much? Is it the perennial huckleberry that's more flavorful?

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dbarron(z7_Arkansas)

If by 'huckleberry', you mean wild blueberries, then...yes.

The garden 'huckleberry', is a relative of the tomato and probably not much like a blueberry at all.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 9:38AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I have raised the'garden huckleberry'. It has its fruits turned upward and they are purple. Let them get FULLY ripe as they are naturally tart. If you make pies of them [or anything] mash them up very well and be prepared to sweeten more than a dab.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 10:00AM
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Slimy_Okra(2b)

I have not grown them but have read that they are quite bland. You may want to try mixing them 50/50 with a more flavorful fruit, such as strawberries or peaches.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 7:22PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I think they have a strong unique flavor that may not and need not blend with anything else.

Slimy_Okra, These are not Wonderberries.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2014 at 10:27PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I have to wonder if anyone else here is talking about the 'garden huckleberry'. These fruits are borne with the blossom end sticking upward...not hanging down and small like nightshade.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:34AM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Not sure if jbraun is talking about the so-called "garden huckleberry", but I know I once purchased something by this name which, as dbarron said, is not truly a huckleberry, but is a member of the nightshade family. It may be purple, and it may look like a berry, but it doesn't taste anything like what I think of as berry flavor. It was bland tasting to me, sort of like a flat-tasting tomato or a tomatillo. I decided it wasn't for me.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 9:47AM
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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

Using scientific names would clear up this confusion.

Rodney

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:05AM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Yes, it would. Unfortunately, as in my case, I bought from a company that consistently never posted the latin names of anything. Possibly jbraun did as well. I don't buy from them now, but when I was just into growing some veggies for food, I didn't care at the time what the latin name was. :)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:15AM
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CaraRose

Usually "Garden Huckleberry" refers to Solanum Melanocerasum. This is also called wonderberry and sunberry. I think previously it was considered a variant of S. Nigrum

I believe the common name "Garden Huckleberry" is also used for Solanum scabrum.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 10:52AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

There is a garden huckleberry that is not wonderberry. Those things are a joke. The real one has large berries that look upward and packs some punch.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 4:29PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Wayne - you've got me curious now. What family is it in, the one you're talking about? Is it another solanum? I wouldn't mind knowing the name if you find out, and when you say "packs some punch", how do you mean? Is it sweet at all?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:22PM
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jbraun_gw

Sorry all,the plant was Solanum melanocerasum. I've been hit with common name confusion before. Won't happen again.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 8:40PM
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hortmajor

I have grown the huckleberry for 3 years now and trying to find a good use for them. Last year I made jam using 3 cups huckleberry, 1 cup blueberry and 1 cup gooseberry. It was very good. The huckleberry doesn't supply much flavor but does add bulk, color and texture. I understand they are best harvested after light frost. I am also interested in other uses. I suspect it might be high in antioxidants but have no research to support this.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2014 at 11:21PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

samhain, I am having trouble finding the real deal that I am talking about. The closest thing I have seen is the link below from macmex....though these look weak. The one I am talking about has a very strong upright growth in the plant. The berries are large and DO NOT hang down, but are looking up.

Not many dealers carried the seeds and even R.H.Shumway doesn't seem to have it.

Here is a link that might be useful: huckleberry?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2014 at 5:26PM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

Wayne - it's been so long since I've grown them, but that pic Macmex put up seems right. Maybe I just didn't cook them properly. But it could also be that I couldn't get past that tomato-y under-taste, if you get what I mean. I'm like that with foods, unfortunately. Take cilantro, for example. I can't stand it - even the slightest bit in a dish can spoil it for me.
I just followed the link macmex posted to Sand Hill Preservation Center, and see that what he had was, in fact, solanum melanocerasum. There's a detailed recipe for cooking at his post, JBraun. Good detective work, Wayne!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:14AM
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jbraun_gw

samhain10-I'm a regular at Sand hill and this is where the seeds came from. I also used the processing from his catalog to process the Solanum melanocerasum fruit.

On one other past post I saw that someone had much better success by using chicken manure. I planted about 10' and had about 10 plants come up for me. Of those plants I only harvested 2/3 cup. I left one plant for next years seeds. The seeds had turned from shiny to dull as was recommended for an indicator of harvest time.

The recipies that I got online called for garden huckleberries in pancakes. I now realize that that is the common name for blue berries as well.. Anyone have recipes for Solanum melanocerasum?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 4:59PM
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