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Letís go berry picking
The complete guide to growing your own fruits and berries : everything you need to know explained simply
by Karen Szklany Gault.
Ocala, Fla. : Atlantic Pub. Group, c2011.
Many of the fruits and berries in your refrigerator have roots in countries outside the United States, but some, such as blueberries, are native to the United States and Canada. Those same fruits and berries are exported to your local grocer, but you could be the one doing the growing in your personal garden. Homegrown fruits are most often much healthier than store bought produce, which lack important nutrients. Not only are these foods easy to grow, but also they hold key ingredients that are a vital part of staying healthy and in some cases alive. For example, research has shown that blueberry extracts were proven to reverse the common signs of aging. Other homegrown berries, such as crushed Alpine strawberries, are natural bleaches for stained teeth, liver spots, and skin blemishes. However, many fruits and berries are difficult to grow without the proper soil, weather, and care. The Complete Guide to Growing Your Own Fruits and Berries: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply will lead you through the process of starting your own garden of fresh fruits and berries. This extensive tool will teach you easy step-by-step methods for planting, harvesting and caring for your berry bushes, shrubs, and fruit trees. Author and long-time gardener, Karen Szklany Gault, will direct you through your journey with personal anecdotes and case studies from other gardeners and leading professionals, as she provides easy-to-follow tips for mishaps and harvesting the most perfect, personally grown fruits. This book will completely explain the preparation and maintenance that each fruit or berry requires, from pruning and picking, to preserving a pest-free environment around your plants. Furthermore, Gault provides you with reader-friendly tables of exact measurements for planting conditions, including certain fruits and berries that thrive in particular regions, sunlight exposures, and soil mixtures. From the simplest fruit tree to the most fickle berry bush, this book will be your guide to a vibrant garden for years to come. Top gardening professionals around the country have contributed their own tips and tricks for effective growing of your new fruit trees and berry bushes. We\'ve spent hours compiling this essential information just for you, the at-home gardener. Whether you are just beginning or you are a seasoned gardening veteran, this simple, instructional guide will engage you with fun facts and stories, leaving you ready to get your hands dirty. With this book, any prospective gardener can start enjoying the sweet fruits of their labor.
     
Cooking with wild berries & fruits of Illinois, Iowa and Missouri
by Teresa Marrone.
Cambridge, MN : Adventure Publications, c2010.
We all have our favorite wild berries and fruits, but do you know when's the best time to pick them? Are you aware of the look-alikes that may be poisonous? These topics and more are covered in this incomparable field guide. It features every detail you'll need to locate and identify the region's berries and fruits.
     
Wild berries & fruits field guide : Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri
by Teresa Marrone.
Cambridge, MN : Adventure Publications, c2010.
We all have our favorite wild berries and fruits, but do you know when's the best time to pick them? Are you aware of the look-alikes that may be poisonous? These topics and more are covered in this incomparable field guide. It features every detail you'll need to locate and identify the region's berries and fruits.
     
Berries
written and illustrated by Roger Yepsen.
New York : W.W. Norton, c2006.
"Berries reintroduces us to these delightful fruits, including neglected varieties that have nearly disappeared from the American diet and garden. Roger Yepsen offers advice on finding wild berries, growing your own, and preserving them for year-round enjoyment. Sixty delicate watercolors depict berries from black currants and wild strawberries to the exotic salmonberry and Achilles Red gooseberry. And while it's hard to improve on the fresh item, Berries includes almost a hundred recipes: blueberry buckle, raspberry soup, elderberry wine, and black currant crepes."--BOOK JACKET.
     

Heading off to a strawberry or blueberry farm on a sunny summer's day is a fun way to spend your time with family.

If you are familiar with ďpick-your-ownĒ farms, you know that all you need to bring is enthusiasm. It is a good idea to pick the fruit when it is dry. If the fruits are moist, you'll have less time to prepare them to eat, as mildew will set-in quickly, thus destroying your freshly, picked treasures.

Picking Berries

Select ripe berries as they do not ripen off the plant.

Pick from the middle of the plant where others have missed.

A shallow container will not bruise the fruit on the bottom

Don't wash the berries until you are ready to use them.

more tips

Cultivated blueberry bushes are easier and faster to pick than wild blueberries that require you to bend down on your knees or squat to pick. Varieties of blueberries, strawberries, and other fruit will ripen at different times. Some berry pickers believe the earliest are the biggest and nicest. Cultivated varieties can be up to one inch in diameter. By planting different varieties you are able to pick berries in Missouri from late May through August.

Enjoying fresh fruit while picking is one of the benefits of picking your own fruit. Watch how people who often pick berries try to find the furthest bush or berry field. Don't be surprised to see them, and you, enjoy nibbling just to ensure they are ripe!

Besides eating berries fresh, or as a jam, berries are often made into drinks. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are commonly made.  And what can be better than a pie or cobbler made with the fresh berries you picked?

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff