The Benefits of Gardening: Growing Blackberries with Blackberry Recipes

The Beauty and Bounty of a Garden

Christa's Garden-2010
Christa's Garden-2010 | Source

Weeding gardens

There’s a lot to be said about the word ‘dirt’ and much of it isn’t pretty. But, it depends on one’s perspective, doesn’t it? Because, when it comes to summer gardening, dirt is a holy word. Toiling in the garden can be good for the heart and soil…er, that’s soul. Mentally, it is helpful to go into the garden and weed.

Imagine this: you’ve had a long, arduous day at work with the boss yelling and breathing down your neck…or perhaps, YOU are the boss and the poor suckers working for you have brain freeze from standing around the watercooler too long. At any rate you get stuck in traffic, the vicious dog next door bares his teeth at you when you pull into your driveway, and the latest bill is greeting you from the mailbox. Whew! That’s a lot of stress.

So, what are you going to do? Pull a cold one out of the refrigerator and seek a vegetative state of detachment in front of the television? Well, that is one way to cope. However, if you are one of the lucky people who have a garden-be it vegetable, floral or a combination, you are going to roll your sleeves up and get to work pulling weeds.

Weeding is a win-win activity: YOU get to vent your anger, frustration and irritation on the little green buggers growing between the rose and peony bushes and they get to experience ‘breathing room’. Move on into the vegetable garden and for every handful of green stuff that you pull that does not belong, and you grant longevity to the green stuff that counts.

Before you know it you’ve forgotten about old what’s-his-name at the office, the traffic is a moot point, the bill can wait till pay day, and the dog next door is as calm as you feel. Ah, the art of Zen Gardening: breathe in...pull weeds...breathe out.

Additionally, because weeding is so physical you can eliminate any guilt of not working out at the gym. Any good weight reduction program has ‘yard work’ on their activity list. After all, one does burn calories during the battle of the weeds. Haven't you already done your squats, your tugs, your pull ups and bends?


Source

Summer Beauties

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A few colorful plants will brighten your porch steps.Lilies are a good choice to use as a border.Flowers add color to this rock garden.Hanging baskets of flowers can free space for sitting on a porch.Blackberry bushes are easy to grow because they are hearty.
A few colorful plants will brighten your porch steps.
A few colorful plants will brighten your porch steps. | Source
Lilies are a good choice to use as a border.
Lilies are a good choice to use as a border. | Source
Flowers add color to this rock garden.
Flowers add color to this rock garden. | Source
Hanging baskets of flowers can free space for sitting on a porch.
Hanging baskets of flowers can free space for sitting on a porch. | Source
Blackberry bushes are easy to grow because they are hearty.
Blackberry bushes are easy to grow because they are hearty. | Source

Aesthetic Benefits of Gardening

Aesthetically, a garden just makes smart sense. Give a person with a green thumb a tiny piece of land and they will find a way to beautify it with their talent for color and arrangement. Even small apartments with a balcony space will allow for flower pots or vegetable containers; window box herb growing or hanging plants.

Flowers bring joy and cheer to the cultivator and the spectators passing by. Vegetables bring a harvest to the successful gardener, supplementing family and friends with their bounty. And, let’s not forget the wonderful fruit trees and berry bushes, along with grapevines, grown during the summer months. These treasures can bring a myriad of delightful recipes both immediately, and in the winter months ahead, via canning or freezing. It is a true splendor to enjoy the richness of plants that have come from the earth we connect with in our gardens.


Blueberries with other fruit

Enjoying the fruits of one's labor is a taste of sweet success.
Enjoying the fruits of one's labor is a taste of sweet success. | Source

Blueberry Facts

Did you know that July is blueberry month? Apparently this is one of the ‘unannounced’ monthly focuses in states where blueberries grow abundantly. Michigan happens to be one of those states. Blueberries have been touted in health circles for their antioxidant value. Eat a handful of blueberries freshly picked, or add them to a bowl of cereal, pancakes or ice cream. Your heart will thank you for it.

Both of my daughters have inherited their green thumbs from ancestors other than me-I’m happy when my houseplants thrive. Although they may not be growing any blueberries in their backyards they have fond memories of blueberry picking while visiting relatives in the Upper Peninsula every summer. Now my grandkids carry on the tradition, traveling from lower Michigan to the Upper Peninsula, and with cousins close by, scouring the shrubs for the big, midnight blue berries.



Fresh picked blackberries

Artfully enticing
Artfully enticing | Source

The Blackberry growth process

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Backyard blackberry bramblesBlackberries in process of ripeningReady for pickingA bowl full of berries waiting to be enjoyed
Backyard blackberry brambles
Backyard blackberry brambles | Source
Blackberries in process of ripening
Blackberries in process of ripening | Source
Ready for picking
Ready for picking | Source
A bowl full of berries waiting to be enjoyed
A bowl full of berries waiting to be enjoyed | Source

An Interview with a Gardener

Instead of blueberries in her backyard, my youngest daughter has newly planted peach and pear trees, grapevines climbing her fence, strawberries in her vegetable garden, yellow raspberry bushes along her shed, and abundant blackberry bushes. I happened to ask her about those bushes, which were bending over from the weight of their fruit.

“Christa, when did you first plant your blackberry bushes?”

“About five or six years ago. I was four months pregnant with Marco at the time. Mark (husband) was pretty upset with me, because I was out there fighting with the shovel, digging up the yard. I didn’t use a rototiller.

“How many did you plant?”

“I only planted two bushes that were each a couple of feet high. They’re over seven feet high now.”

“Did you do anything special to care for them?”

“No. They are so low maintenance. I don’t use any pesticides, I prepare the soil in the spring and prune them in the fall. Otherwise, I just let them go and they spread.”

“If you could start over would you do anything different?”

“Yes," laughing, "I would not have planted them in my vegetable garden! They are taking over my whole garden space. I would have planted them in an area that would give them room and not interfere with other things."

“How versatile are these berries for recipes? You have such abundance.”

“We usually just eat them right off the bush, or I’ll freeze them. Sometimes I’ll make a blackberry sauce to go with a pork roast.”

“Well, they look delicious and I’m going to go pick a bowlful of berries right now for dinner.”


Berry recipes to enjoy

Blueberry Salsa: 15 min prep (serves 24)

2 c. chopped fresh berries

1 c. whole fresh berries

1 T. finely chopped jalapeño pepper

1/3 c. chopped red onion

¼ c. chopped red bell pepper.

1 fresh lime, juiced.

Salt to taste.

In a bowl, combine chopped and whole blueberries with all of the other ingredients. Mix and serve with chips, or for a meat topping.


Citrus Wild Blueberry Sauce 15 min prep-10 min cook (16 servings)

2 c. fresh wild blueberries

2 T. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest

½ c. orange juice

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ c. water

4 tsp. cornstarch

2 T. dark brown sugar.

In a small saucepan bring blueberries, orange juice, and lemon juice to a boil over medium heat. Stir in lemon zest and cinnamon; adjust heat to low.

Whisk water with cornstarch to form a paste. Stir cornstarch paste and brown sugar into the blueberry mixture until thickened. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 10 min. before using.

Stir over waffles or pancakes.

Blueberry Smoothie (prep=5 min) Serves 3

1 banana, chopped

1 kiwi, sliced

¾ c blueberries

1 c. ice cubes

1 8 oz vanilla yogurt

Combine all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.


Pork Chops with Blackberry Port Sauce 15 min. prep. 15 min. cooking (6 servings)

(6) Boneless pork chops

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp. olive oil (divided)

2 shallots minced

2 tsp dried thyme leaves

¾ c. sweet port wine

¾ c. blackberry juice (may substitute blueberry juice)

¾ c. chicken broth (low sodium or regular)

1 T balsamic vinegar

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp water

2 c. fresh blackberries

Season both sides of chops with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in skillet over medium- high heat. Pan fry chops until lightly brown and no longer pink in center, (approx 2-3 min/side). Set aside.

Heat 1 tsp of olive oil and cook and stir shallots and thyme until shallots become translucent, approx. 1 min. Pour in port wine, chicken broth, blackberry juice and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from skillet and dissolving them in the sauce. Cook until the liquid is reduced, (approx. 5 min). Mix cornstarch with water to form a paste and stir into the sauce. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly, (approx. 1 min). Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the blackberries. Simmer until berries are hot.

Return the chops to the skillet and turn to coat with the sauce. Serve hot, topped with sauce.


Blackberry/Raspberry Smoothie (prep=10 min) Serves 2

1 small banana

½ c. fresh blackberries

½ c. fresh raspberries

1 (6 oz) container vanilla yogurt.

1 T. honey

4 ice cubes

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Serve promptly.



A fresh plate of strawberries

Fresh from the garden
Fresh from the garden | Source

Ways to use berries

Blueberries
Strawberries
Blackberries
Raspberries
pancakes
tarts
cobbler
scones
muffins
shortcake
pie
pie
pie
salad
meat glaze
fruit salad
smoothie
smoothie
smoothie
smoothie
plain yogurt
crepes
yogurt
yogurt
cereal topping
ice cream
fruit topping
fruit topping
scones
jam
jam
jam

Gardening book

More by this Author


Comments 82 comments

ecomama profile image

ecomama 6 years ago from NC

Beautiful berries and awesome recipes! I can't wait to try the blueberry salsa!


fetty profile image

fetty 6 years ago from South Jersey

Delightful hub with tempting pictures and recipes. I have bookmarked this for later use. Thankyou!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Ecomama and fetty-thanks for stopping by to read the hub. I'm glad you were 'enticed'. Enjoy! :)


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

You had me at the First photo. That beautiful garden. The receipes were a pleasant surprise. Thank You.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Awww, thanks LillyG. I sure appreciate your comments and the time you took stopping by for the read. I visit my kids every summer and my daughter's backyard garden blows me away each year! I have been teasing her about making some wine out of those berries, but she hasn't taken the bait yet, LOL. But, there is much to appreciate from the harvest she gathers daily. The family eats very well and very healthily, to say the least. Thanks again.


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Never thought to make a salsa with blue berrys. Must try that one. Yes, the garden for me is an ultimate source of rejuvenating the inside landscape, while working on the outside landscape. Beautiful and content rich hub. Thanx.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Equealla-nice of you to 'stop by' the garden, LOL.

Thanks for your comments. I miss having a garden and I fully agree with you on the rejuvenation.


John B Badd profile image

John B Badd 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Great Hub, I have been gardening for a few years now and there is nothing as satisfying as a fresh tomato or cuecumber in my salad or ariving home to the beautiful blooms you helped grow.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi John, nice hearing from you. I agree. I really miss having my own garden. It was always soul satisfying working the soil and reaping the benefits. Hope your summer is going well.


lovebuglena profile image

lovebuglena 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY

Awesome hub. Very informative and I see it has some nice recipes to try. Thanks for sharing those.

I think gardening is great. It is relaxing for the mind and it probably helps to let go of the anger, not necessarily by pulling weeds, but that will definitely work.

I wish I had a garden of my own to work on. Maybe someday. :)

Lena


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

I wish I had a garden of my own as well. I really miss one and love Christa's. she does an awesome job. Thanks for your comments. :)


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Wow - that was great info and very entertaining too. I love gardening too and especially love fruit. Thanks.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello Elayne-nice of you to stop by and read the hub. Thank you for your comments. I love writing with humor, so I'm glad that it was entertaining to you, :)


chan0512 profile image

chan0512 6 years ago from Camarillo, CA

Nice pictures! I'll try your recipe of Pork Chops with Blackberry Port Sauce next time.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hey chan0512-thanks for stopping by to read the hub. Most of those photos I took...was driving my kids nuts walking around with my camera saying, "this will make a good hub", but, what are parents for? LOL Let me know how those chops turn out w/ the sauce. I appreciate the comments.


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Hi Denise, mighty congrats on the nomination for this hub, and good luck to you.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Dirt therapy??! I was smiling all through out your hub Denise! I feel summery and warm and happy and hungry-all of a sudden! This is one terrific healthy hub!

Now for the Official News! YES! YES! YES! This hub has been nominated for the Hubnuggets in the Home Category. Visit the Hubnuggets right here: http://hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/The-Hubnuggets...


CAH 6 years ago

I too wish I had a garden Denise. My sister has all the talent there. Mouth watering recipes! Excellent coverage as usual!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Great job and congrats on the nomination. You are going to blow us all away.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Lovely pictures and congrats on the nomination! Those berries look good enough to pluck through my computer....yum!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Equealla, Michelle,CAH, Elaine, & AK. I appreciate the comments and support. Yes, those photos look as tasty in the photo as they were! This week's articles are super. Stiff competition! :)


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Congratulations on your Hubnugget nomination. I agree that gardening is very therapeutic and some of your berry recipes sound delicious!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

Great hub. The pictures were great and the recipes a very nice touch. Well deserving of the hubnugget nomination. congratulations and good luck.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you CMHypno and Duchess OBlunt for reading the hub and commenting. Nice to meet you :)


Christa Constantino 6 years ago

Mom it turned out great. The pictures look great! Congrats on the nomination.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Christa, glad you liked it. After all, you and your garden were the inspiration for this hub. Love you, :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Fantastic Hub! Wonderful information. I love to grow my own fruit and herbs. Your recipes sound so good and I can't wait to try them. Congratulations on your hub. Thumbs up!


Wife Who Saves 6 years ago

I love berries. Your recipes look delicious. Great hub.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Vocalcoach & W.W. Saves- Hello. Nice meeting you here in the H.P. community. Thanks for reading the hub and the congrats. Happy cooking to you. I'll be checking out your pages as well. :)


equealla profile image

equealla 6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

Denise I was reading this hub again just now, and have to admit, this is a stunner. I am so glad for you to have taken the FIRST prize hubnugget with it. Keep them rolling, you can and you may!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Equealla-good morning to you from NC this Fri morn.

I had to chuckle at your comments. I WISH I had won the first place position. But, that prize went to the 50's retro kitchen hub by bayoulady. Still, I certainly appreciate all of your wonderful comments and positive feedback. It made my w/e!! :) I'm glad you enjoyed.


sagebrush_mama profile image

sagebrush_mama 6 years ago from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound!

Lovely hub...the berry salsa sounds intriguing! I'd think it was strange to combine Jalapeño and fruit, but I have a great mango chicken recipe that includes plenty of the hot peppers, and it's delicious, so I'll have to try this one!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I hope you like the salsa recipe. Enjoy :)


Seemo 6 years ago

Your right dirt is a dirty word. I love it. I live in MN so gardening season can be pretty short for the true gardener. For the last few years a group of us sign up at one of the local nurseriers and make flower baskets. It feels so good to go into the greehouse house, first smell the dirt and then you get to touch it. Making the baskets help make the winters a little shorter for us gardeners.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Seemo, thanks for stopping to read the hub and leaving your comments. The flower baskets sound like a wonderful project. I can imagine myself joining you doing that. My brother lives in MN so I hear the weather report throughout the winter! LOL


Joy56 profile image

Joy56 6 years ago

wow.... I came here from the forums and found this..... what a hub full of interesting facts. recipes and everything else. A winner indeed.... Will be back to read more, and maybe i will find your poetry somewhere. I am a very lazy writer so i seem to only write poetry


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello Joy-nice to meet you. Yes, the forums. I am learning a lot about the craft of writing from other hubbers, esp through the forums. My poetry: Truths of the Heart hub; also in Soul Work: Joy and Simplicity of Being. I just finished a hub about Silence that connects the last two hubs.

Re: your writing. Not at all lazy. I am amazed at how challenging poetry is for me. I like to challenge myself and really have no angst to 'produce'. I'd rather work with something as it comes to me.

I don't consider writing 'only poetry' being a lazy writer. I will be sure to check out your hubs as well. Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. :)


timorous profile image

timorous 6 years ago from Me to You

Hi Denise; Just dropped by to savor your garden. You're quite right..getting down and dirty is very relaxing, as long as your knees are up to it. LOL.

It really is amazing the bounty that nature gives us for free. These berries are absolutely delicious and oh so good for you as well. Nice recipes, and a very nice hub too.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks timorous. I had a lot of fun putting this hub together, as well as enjoying the 'fruits' of the garden.


jewelsofawe profile image

jewelsofawe 5 years ago from Oregon

I love fruit smoothies! Wonderful hub!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

So do I YUM. Thanks for reading and commenting.


LynnzeeB profile image

LynnzeeB 5 years ago

Oh boy...you have my creative juices flowing now! I have almost an acre where I have an oasis of trees, garden spots and flower beds and grass to mow. As I look out at the 5 foot high snow banks I am getting antsie....should I thank you for that of not???? HHHmmmm....kidding.

I love your post.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Lynn-I envy you your land. I would love to have the problem of what to plant and how to keep the grass mowed LOL

Enjoy the recipes. Part of the fun of winter is planning the activities, i.e. gardening, of spring and summer. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.


Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

I loved your photos they were beautiful. A great read and wonderful recipes. Thanks for sharing. Voted beautiful.

Sweet wishes Rhonda


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Rhonda, thanks for reading and commenting. My daughter's garden is awesome. She puts a lot of work into it. I had a blast taking the photos and writing this hub.


viryabo profile image

viryabo 5 years ago

Those berries look so good Denise, i could almost pick them off from my screen.

I have always been a lover of applesauce with my pork but have never tried them with blackberries. I certainly will, though i'll have to make do with the canned ones.

I'm not much of a gardener now, all i do is plant fragrant flowering plants. I have found that breathing in a 'large dose of my 'Queen of the Night' fragrance soothes my soul and erases all the built up tension of the day.

But i shall try out the 'weeding therapy' plus since its also a form of physical exercise i think i'll enjoy it and its good to give my plants some good space to thrive too.

Great hub. Great recipes too.

Godbless.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you Viryabo for reading this very long hub, LOL I'm glad you enjoyed it and I love your comments. BTW-those blackberries were scrumptious. Warm, ripe and picked right off the vine. I was so excited to take those photos and work on this hub. I was on summer vacation in Michigan with my family (my youngest daughter has this garden) and had just recently joined hubpages. I was driving my two daughters nuts with my camera taking photos everywhere we were. LOL Of course, I would always say, "this will make a great hub."

I said it so much, that by the time I had said it half a dozen times my kids would finish the sentence whenever I would start it. LOL

And, in the end, my oldest daughter, Cara, joined hubpages in December. She never mentioned it to me and I 'discovered' it from her comments on my hubs. Imagine that! (ps-she writes under the name cardelean)

I hope you do try the pork and blackberry sauce recipe, and I will try your wonderful Queen of the Night, if I can discover it here. Thanks for sharing.


Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

Nice photos Denise, I like the butterfly photo, great capture! I so agree with you about gardening as a stress reliever!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks FL I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment. I love photography and hope one day to really get some skill. In the meantime, I am somewhat 'lucky'. LOL


onegoodwoman profile image

onegoodwoman 5 years ago from A small southern town

Oh, I like my garden too.

It is the one thing within our family

that is truly " mine ". It is my

quiet time, my time of reflection,

pondering, study, thinking, and sometimes,

it is where I give myself " a good talking too."

Leave me be when I am in the garden. When I leave

there and sit on the yard swing, then, you can

approach me. It has always been the unspoken rule

of the family.

During the cold winter, my mind imagines the next

garden.........

Strange....God condemned Adam to till the soil, and some of us take such comfort there.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for visiting this hub, onegoodwoman. Yes, it is interesting how calming working the land can be for some of us. Thanks for your comments.


Debra Charney profile image

Debra Charney 5 years ago from United States

Loved the zen of gardening! That is sooo me! When I get mad everybody knows to leave me alone. I head to my flower garden and start pulling weeds. Cute! Enjoyed the read. Voted up and useful. Liked the addition of the recipes.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Debra-thanks for stopping by for the read. Glad you found something here that appealed to you. It was a fun hub to write and one of my first ones.


GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 5 years ago from USA

Our little raised bed gardens start out well then the intense heat, sun and lack of natural rain water get to them :o) Wonderful informative hub


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks--I know the feeling. I have not gardened here in NC for the lack of my attention on it. Even my potted porch flowers go bad before the end of the summer.


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

I remember as a child picking berries at my grandmother's. I don't know who benifited more...her or us. I think everyone needs a little dirt therapy every now and then.

Thanks for sharing so many wonderful recipes and pictures. I will have to try a few out.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi tlpoague-thanks for reading and commenting. I hope you do try some of the recipes. My grandkids love picking berries at their uncle's uncle's up north Michigan.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Gardening can be the most relaxing thing in the world. I so loved and related to this hub. Awesome pictures too.


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 5 years ago from California

Now this has me thinking about some serious changes to the yard. A little dirt therapy might be just what I need.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi acaetnna, I agree with you. I love gardening, although I don't do it now, here in NC--it's not my property so I only have houseplants. I miss gardening a lot. Thanks for your comments.

Mr. Smith, good for you! Hope the therapy turns out just the way you imagined. Have fun and thanks for reading and commenting.


prism3x profile image

prism3x 5 years ago

great article and loved the berry pictures! Thanks for sharing.


NotTooTall profile image

NotTooTall 4 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

Hi Denise Handlon,

I enjoyed your Hub! I love gardening, and do believe it is great therapy. I get lost in thought and loose track of time . . . gardening is a wonderful escape! :)

N T T


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Prism3x-I'm so sorry for the delay in my response...it didn't show up on my radar screen. Not sure why, but I'm glad to respond now. Thanks for reading and I am glad that you enjoyed it. Those berries were so delicious!

Dear NTT-Thanks for your read and comments. Gardening rocks-and I don't mean rock gardening, LOL Thanks for stopping by.


stessily 4 years ago

Denise, Gardening is indeed good for the soul and the soil! The photo of Christa's garden is splendiferous --- as indeed are all your photos. Your recipes are greatly appreciated. I'm looking forward to citrus wild blueberry sauce; I've always loved a splash of lemon with blueberries. Berries are photogenic, and your photos really capture their lusciousness. It is indeed "a berry nice world".

"Blueberries for Sal" is also one of my favourite tales for children.

UABI.

Thanks for sharing.

Kind regards, Stessily


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for reading! I loved writing this hub. I guess I got carried away and 'jam' packed it with recipes, photos, information...well, a little of everything. It was such a beautiful summer day and I was new to Hubpages and driving my kids CRAZY taking photos followed by saying, "this will make a great hub". LOL Now, I hear my daughter, Cara, saying those exact words and have to smile-it is contagious. Thank you for your comments and your feedback on my photographs. I think my confidence is starting to increase when it comes to posting my photos. Many Blessings.


jaswinder64 profile image

jaswinder64 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada.

Very interesting and long article. All pictures are so beautiful.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hahaha I just checked my word count on this one and it is over 1500. Well, it was one of the first ones I wrote and I have since learned to edit my story a bit. However, I try to keep it between 800-1200 words and definitely not less than 500. If I have a short poem I will place it in a group OR I will add an explanation to it to make the word count longer.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California

Your "Pork Chops with Blackberry Port Sauce" recipe looks irresistible! I can almost taste it! Blending berries with savory foods is one of my favorite techniques in the culinary world, they just bring so many wonderful flavor enhancements to meat in particular. Your photos are fantastic. I appreciated the information on blueberries, and all of the great stuff you offer here! Always a blessing to read and learn from you, ma'am! Thank you for sharing.

HubHugs~


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Always an honor to have you read and comment, India. :) Hugs to you. I'm like you-I think the reason I love Thai food so much is that very reason: the blending of different flavors that come out surprisingly well. Go for it-(the sauce), and let me know how it is. Haven't actually tried that one yet. :)


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Great hub! I haven't had much luck growing berries. We planted blueberries one year but they didn't take. We had some raspberries but the deer ate them down enough that they finally stopped coming back, and my one tiny patch of strawberries gives us just enough berries for snacking on when we're out working in the garden. But your berry recipes look great. Thanks for linking to my hub. I will link back.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Deborah-that's too bad that you haven't had much luck with berries. I would suggest "don't give up" I think once blackberry or raspberry brambles take root they take off. Good luck and thanks for the link.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA

Picking berries in the summer always reminds me of my childhood when we would go out early in the morning to pick blackberries or raspberries for our breakfast. As you say, gardening is therapeutic, and there's absolutely nothing as satisfying and delicious as enjoying berries that you've grown yourself! Beautiful hub, Denise!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Stephanie...I have fond memories of picking berries on hot summer days, barefoot, sweating and getting bit my mosquitos. Where ever we went this summer we would stop and pick if we saw some berry bushes. Thanks for your comments. :) Enjoy the rest of the summer. Am working on a hub about my visit to the Outer Banks. :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

Somehow I missed this post. Glad I found it today. I have fruit ready to use in one of your smoothie suggestions. Your photos are outstanding!


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

What a delightful and beautiful hub with amazing pictures!

Your flowers are so lovely and the recipe sounds so yummy. So nice to grow your own fruit and enjoy them in yummy recipes.

Voted up and pinned! Thanks for sharing!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM

Wonderful hub! I just love blueberries and blackberries. And your recipes sound wonderful. I love the idea of a blueberry salsa. A great mixture of sweet and hot tastes. And the Pork chops with Blackberry Port Sauce sound scrumptious. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Your photos of your gardens are beautiful and you give some great tips for growing flowers and plants. Voted up and shared!


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Although I love blackberries, really love them, but here in the pacific northwest they are a horrendous, invasive pest as they crop up everywhere. I pick and eat the berries when there are bushes in appropriate places ,but I would never intentionally plant them. People go to great lengths here to get rid of them in places where they take over and choke out everything in its wake.Apparently your area doesn't have the problem. That's really cool.

Your title talks about blackberries but we don't hear about them until the end. But the recipes look yummy.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, Dianne. I remember the summer I took those photos-I couldn't believe the size of those berries and the vivid colors of her flowers! Thanks.

What a lovely comment, ChitrangadaSharon. Thank you for sharing and I hope you are inspired to try a new recipe. :)

Hi Suzanne-thanks for reading and commenting. Enjoy your new meals, lol

Hello lambservant-thank you for hanging in there until the end. The beginning was how I was inspired to write the blog through my daughter's garden. What a problem that the berry bushes choke everything out. Here in the south we have other problems of 'flowering vegetation' that over runs things on property and buildings-like the Wisteria plant.


lambservant profile image

lambservant 2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Hi Denise, I was telling someone about this hub the other day and joking with her about your daughter growing blackberries, and she reminded me that there are different varieties and that perhaps the variety your daughter grows isn't the invasive type.

Oh no! Say it ain't so that the wisteria overruns your fair state. I had one once over an arch to our staircase leading up to the front entrance of our home (which was on a hillside, thus the stairway). It was stunning and I kept it trimmed every year and drank in the beauty and the scent. Funny how what's wonderful for one state is a pain in the keister for another.

Scotch broom here is a nightmare. I don't know if you're familiar with it, but it's a very pretty plant with bright yellow flowers and it takes over everything. It is Washingtonians worst allergen offender. My mom used to use it back in the 60's in her garden club flower arrangements. When I moved back here as an adult and saw their take over of the land, I called my mom and told her it was considered an obnoxious, hated, all invasive weed to Washingtonians. She defended it to the hilt. A friend of mine remembers them planting them along the highway near here and now they've take over everything. I am miserable while they are in bloom.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina Author

Such a bummer when the allergies kick in from plants! I didn't have any problems in MI but notice it here in NC during the spring! I hope you are not anywhere near the fires in WA? Thanks for your additional comments.


BWD316 profile image

BWD316 19 months ago from Connecticut

Great hub! I love the personal touch and experiences added in. I currently have raspberries (Fall Gold & Red Heritage), blueberries, some strawberries and a blackberry bush growing in my yard. The blueberries take some maintenance because they're in pots but besides the yearly trimming of canes on the raspberries and blackberries, they are super easy to grow and the blackberry bush produces high yields so far!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 18 months ago from North Carolina Author

Hi BWD316, thanks for your input on your garden. Blackberries seem to just explode all over the place with sun and mere water. My daughter's vines almost took over the garden. I hope you write a hub about your garden. :)

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