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What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Posted by treehugger100 z6MD (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 10:43

Thanks for everyone's help with my berry endeavor. We are having a nice harvest this year despite my mistakes. This is today's pickings from one Duke hb blueberry and five strawberry plants. This makes me wonder about the 30 blueberry bushes that should produce next year. In reading all of the threads, folks share they have hundreds of fruit on just one tree and so on. What do you do with all of that fruit? I can only make but so many jars of jam and tarts like Mrs. G. I'd like to have a plan before it rots on the trees or bushes. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

The local food bank and shelters accept fresh -but not home processed- fruit. I've given away bags of my own apples to neighbors and never heard a complaint. We've harvested fruit from a friend's orchard for the food bank too.

Nice problem to have!


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Invite a neighbor or two over. Brady


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Hi Treehugger. Those are nice berries!

I don't have a huge garden since I have such a small back yard. I grow everything in containers so I don't have a lot leftover to share but when I do, I've never had anyone turn down a gift of homegrown anything :). The food bank sounds like a great idea too. So many people can't afford the fancy fresh berries.

I washed a good portion of my blueberries and washed and cut up strawberries and put them in the freezer. I have a yogurt maker and an ice cream maker. I'll use the fruit for those later when the fresh fruit stops. The frozen fruit is good for pancakes and muffins later on when your bushes have stopped producing. You're so lucky to have so much space. :)


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Blueberries freeze really well - better than strawberries, imo. And they don't need any processing.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

  • Posted by lkz5ia z5 west iowa (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 15:59

Freezing, drying, and canning are the main ways, and helps to be a fruit glutton while in season.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

I do freeze what will fit and can and dry. We live in very rural PA so most neighbors grow everything, too. I guess I will budget for a full freezer and find some place to put one. The food bank is a good idea. Maybe our church, too. I guess I will think positive on all of the fruit coming and figure it out when it happens. Maybe we can sell at a farmer's market if there is that much. Mrs. G posted about hundreds of plums. Hundreds! On just one tree. Maybe the glut is not every year depending on weather and other factors so canning for leaner years would make sense.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 12, 13 at 16:19

For blueberries, freezing is the solution. I freeze them in 4-5 lbs bags, and over time (say, by March) the bags turn somewhat red inside, but the berries are still good. They never make it to the end of winter, no matter how many you put away - just about everyone in the family eats them for breakfast every day. Strawberries, better to eat them all fresh.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Do you have the time to harvest hundreds of berries from each of 30 bushes? You need to have help lined up ahead of time.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Consider giving to a residential care facility for the mentally ill, or alternatively to a nursing home.

I am on the board of an RCF. I know it accepts such donations.My wife works for a nursing home. It accepts garden donations.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

My parents used to send big bags of fresh vegetables to the local nursing home and they loved getting them. It was funny to see all the residents grabbing handfuls of tomatoes and running to their rooms to hide them.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Treehugger! Great looking berries! A friend brought over a quart of her fresh strawberrries, she complained that they were sour this year. They were fabulous. Mine are still green.

I do have pals lined up for my plums as I am in a small city and of all my friends I'm the only one who grows fruit, or anything for that matter. I do have takers! It is amazing though to see a tree loaded with plums. Maybe its just a great year for my tree. Mrs. G


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

As for ideas...freeze, dehydrate them (dehydrated blueberries are wonderful) or make wine if you have enough. Donating the berries and produce if you have enough is a great way to see others enjoy the literal fruits of your labor.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 13, 13 at 19:44

Also, since no one mentioned, you ought to get a blueberry comb per picker. It goes a lot faster.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Oh my god that looks so good!


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Everyone who put up with my stupid questions and disaster is responsible for this gorgeous fruit. I thank you again! Mrs. G, I wish we lived close. I love plums!!! Glib, good idea about the blueberry comb. I have seen one somewhere but I could not figure out how to use it. I will do a Google search.
insteng, bamboo_rabbit, mark_roeder, larry_gene, glib, those are all great ideas. I live in a town pop 5,000 so I'll do some research on where some nursing homes might be. I'm so happy that I don't have to let the fruit rot. We have animals with a very special diet and believe it or not, all of this started because I needed to grow organics for them. I do not think certain stone fruits will be grown that way though now that I see what a battle it is even with sprays. But the berries will be. Any overage will go to us and then church, nursing home, retirement homes, etc. What a great bunch of generous folks are on this forum!


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

I see that Raintree has the combs, and I saw one last fall at the local Ace Hardware.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 11:50

which animals need blueberries, if you don't mind me asking?


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Bearded dragons. I am a professional breeder. They need blueberries, kiwi, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and other fruits (and tons of veggies). I was buying organic but the price has just gotten too much. So, now we grow.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Googles bearded dragons. OMG! They are amazing colors and the number 1 selling pet today! Congrats! I'd feed them my extra plums! Mrs. g


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

I macerate the strawberries to a mush, fill up Freezer bags with it and blend with apple juice all Winter and into the Spring. Yummy, apple strawberry juice! Macerating sure cuts down on the used freezer space.

If growing blues, I concur, freeze them whole.

Of course, being generous and sharing your bounty with those in need is certainly a noble gesture well worth your time.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Vacuum seal and freeze or dehydrate and then vacuum seal and freeze is a great way to store fruits.


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 17:20

wow! I would send you seeds of my super-productive italian chicories, they would give you much of the greens you need. But you can find them also on several sites. Here is a list of greens (since they need mostly greens) that require no work, germinate easily, and self-seed. For fruits, you could check tromboncino, and serve it when the squash is about two feet long.

bekana (similar to many other brassicas recommended for dragons)
cutting chicory (similar to escarole)
red giant mustard (brassica)
real dandelion greens (dandelion greens are just another chicory)
arugula (brassica) will give you two crops in a season, the second by self-cropping
purslane


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RE: What If There Is Too Much Fruit?

Invest in a large chest freezer. It will be worth it! Nice fruit, MMMM.


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