Heaven is man and Earth woman:
Earth fosters what Heaven lets fall.
When Earth lacks heat, Heaven sends
it; when she has lost her freshness
and moisture, Heaven restores it.
from: Art of Loving
by: Erich Fromm
It took some doing...
some detective work..
which Google didnt help much with this time..
to determine exactly what type of berry we have growing in our garden!!
David said they were huckleberries..
but when I went hunting ideas on what to do with our bounteous crop of berries that look like nothing I've ever seen before; none of the images looked anything like what is growing out there in our spot.
The more I searched..the more confused and frustrated I became.
I was convinced that I was going to have to go out there and break off a branch and take it in to the USU extenstion office and find one of those crazy knowledgeable plant men..or women...that work there and ask them what I had.
And then a brain flash...
Now thanks to modern internet marvels..I simply down loaded a picture from my garden file of pictures, attached it to an email, hit send, and off it went to the extenstion office, asking them if they knew what I had out there?!!
Just a few hours later, there in my email inbox, was a educated guess and a link to what he believed them to be.
I read the description...and its spot on!!
All without having to break off a branch and drive to who knows where with a random question.
And indeed it is a huckleberry...
A garden Huckleberry, which is most assuredly different than other huckleberries.
The link said:
Garden huckleberry or wonderberry (Solanum melanocerasum, syn S. nigrum guineense) is not related to true huckleberries, woody plants in the heath family. Instead, it is an herbaceous annual in the nightshade family, related to tomatoes, peppers, tobacco, eggplant and potato. An unusual crop for gardeners to try, garden huckleberry bears small jet-black berries that are cooked and sweetened, and often combined with other fruits such as apples, lemons and grapes, to make jellies, preserves and pies.
Culture of garden huckleberry is similar to tomato culture: start plants indoors in early April, covering the seeds with ¼ inch of soil. Germination should take one to two weeks. Transplant to a sunny location outdoors when all danger of frost is past and the weather has settled, in late May or early June. Allow two feet between plants.
Garden huckleberry plants resemble pepper plants, bushy and erect, up to two feet tall. Flowers, appearing in clusters in July, are small and white. Each plant will bear hundreds of ½-¾-inch berries, ripening from green to deep black. One plant should produce enough berries for a single pie.
The fruits are not edible until fully ripe and cooked. They are toxic if eaten unripe, and the raw fruit is quite bitter. The berries are ready to harvest about two weeks after they first turn black, when their skin has changed from shiny to dull, and the flesh is very soft. The interior pulp will turn from greenish to purple when ripe. The flavor of the berries is improved by allowing them to remain on the plant until after the first frost. The plants have some cold tolerance and may continue to ripen fruit after light frosts.
I've been doing more reading on them of my own...
And it looks as though the only real redeeming quality of these berries are its color. A vibrant blue/black. After that it sounds like its all about how much sugar you're willing to add to them to make them palatable.
This year..just cause we can and should, we will give them a whirl..making jam and syrup and maybe even give a pie a try...but Im guess that next year we wont bother with them taking up so much space in the garden.