Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Plan Now for Berry Picking Family Fun in Warm Weather by J. Wayne Fears

12/29/2010 - With snow on the ground and winter winds blowing, few families are thinking about picking wild blackberries, dewberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries - all high in antioxidants - or any other wild fruit. However, if you wait until you start seeing the berries or fruit, you won't be able to pick as many big berries and fruit in the spring and summer as easily as you will, if you plan now.

Youngsters enjoy the adventure of picking berries and wild plums, but they don't like to wade through thorns, weeds and bushes, where many types of wild berries, particularly blackberries and dewberries, grow. If you know where there's a patch of wild blackberries, dewberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (the wild strawberry, Fragaria Virginiana, has a delicious flavor) or plums, go there now in the winter with your Woodman's Pal Long Reach and your Pro Tool Utility Pole Saw and/or Pro Tool Lopping Shears, and cut paths through these areas. Then in the warm weather when these regions produce berries and/or plums, you and your children can navigate through these places, picking berries or plums without nearly as many thorns to stick you or grab your clothes and take twice as much fruit quickly.

Once you have paths cut-through the berry patches or plum thickets, just before green-up in the early spring, take 10-10-10 fertilizer, and scatter it throughout the berry patches and plum thickets. By putting-out fertilizer then, the spring rains will carry that fertilizer down to the roots of the wild fruit bushes and trees and help those plants produce more and bigger fruit than they will have if you haven't cut paths and fertilized them.

Picking wild berries is a fun family outing in which all ages can participate. Nothing's more delicious or enjoyable for the whole family than making berry pie and berry and wild plum jelly. Visit to learn more about made-in-the-USA, top-quality hand tools with lifetime warranties from Pro Tool Industries to cut paths and to get more recipes for preparing wild berries and fruit.

Here's one of our family's favorite recipes.
Fresh Berry Pie
You can make this pie with any kind of fresh berries, including wild or commercial blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries or dewberries or commercial loganberries or boysenberries.

Filling for 9-inch pie:
1- to 1-1/2-cups sugar
1/3-cup flour
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups fresh berries
1-1/2-tablespoons butter

Filling for 8-inch pie:
2/3- to 1-cup sugar
1/4-cup flour
1/2-teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups fresh berries
1 tablespoon butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. After gently cleaning and washing the berries, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Then mix that combination of ingredients lightly through berries. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust with slits with a 1-1/2-inch strip of aluminum foil around the top of the crust to prevent excessive browning. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned, and the juice bubbles through slits in crust. Serve slightly warm, not hot.