Saturday, April 21, 2012

Blackberry Pie ( How To Make )

                   Hello! We hope you are having a good day today, this is Ken and Marilou from Garden The Easy Way.  

                   We shared with you on our last Garden The Easy Way blog, how to plant and grow your own Blackberries. Today we would like to share with you how to make a delicious Blackberry Pie. Blackberry Pie is for sure one of everyone favorites Pies.

                    I can remember back as a boy, when we would pick wild Blackberries, we always ask Mom to make a Blackberry Pie, you know yet today nothing is better than a big slice of blackberry pie with a glass of milk.  Enjoy !      

                                      Blackberry Pie        ( How To Make )  

Things You Will Need:  

* 5 cups of blackberries
* 1/2 cup flour ( whole wheat )
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 2 deep dish pie shells  for the top of Pie
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 2 tablespoons of brown sugar  


1. Combine the blackberries, flour and sugar. Mix well until there is no white coating on the berries.

2. Put the berries in a deep dish pie shell and cover with a second pie shell. Crimp the edges of the top pie shell to secure to the bottom shell.

3. Brush the top pie crust with milk. Sprinkle it with brown sugar.

4. Bake the blackberry pie in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Other Options:
    * You brush the bottom of the pie crust with egg white before adding the blackberries to prevent the crust from becoming soggy.
    * You can also add a few tablespoons of butter on top of the berries before putting on the top crust for a more buttery flavor.  

Tips & Warnings:

* If you are using frozen blackberries make sure that the berries are well thawed before making the pie.

* The pie is best made with freshly picked wild blackberries, but tame blackberries also make a very delicious pie too !  

                Well that's it for today, we hope to talk here again on Garden The Easy Way. This is Ken & Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blackberries ( How To Grow )

                  Welcome back here today with us on Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken and Marilou and today we want to talk about Blackberries.

                   Blackberries are one of Americas favorite berries and you can prepare them in many different ways. You can make a delicious Blackberry Pie or Blackberry Cobbler, Blackberry Jelly or delicious Blackberry Jam.

                    I can remember back many years ago as a small boy, picking wild blackberries outside of a little country town in Southern Missouri by the name of Birch Tree Missouri. You could pick a 5 gallon bucket of blackberries in about an hour at the little country store down town, they would give you $2.00 for a 5 gallon bucket, not much money for being in the hot sun and getting the blood scratch out of your arms and hands back and legs. The wild Blackberries have sharp thorns. Oh yes! we always had to pick off a lot of ticks, but back in those days there were not very many jobs out there for a boy out of school for the summer, so we picked wild blackberries. My Mom would can blackberries around 200 quarts every year in the summer in a old granite cooking kettle, it held 7 quarts jars, it set on a old wood cook stove that set in the yard. My brother and I would keep putting wood in to keep the fire going. Fresh blackberries are very delicious as a boy looking back, I remember my brother and I always had dark purple lips and tongue while picking berries.

                   We were poor country people but we were happy people, back in those days and after all the years have past us by I now know what the older people meant when they said back in the Good Old Day!

                   We still have a lot of wild blackberries here in Southern Missouri, we even have a few in our backyard, but there are lots of different kinds of tame blackberries. Some of them are thorn less, and they are the most popular because they are thorn less. All blackberries grow best in full sun, and almost all varieties are self-fruitful, meaning that you need to plant only one cultivar. As a rule of thumb, five or six plants will produce enough berries for a family of four. Each blossom will produce a sweet, juicy blackberry. But there is one blackberry thorn less that is most peoples favorite blackberry to plant. It is called  "Triple Crown Blackberry " Sweetest Thornless Blackberry

                   All blackberries taste good but there are some that taste sweeter than others. The Triple Crown Blackberry is the number one choice for those people that want to plant blackberries. All Blackberries will grow just about anywhere  and today we would like to share with you how to plant and grow the Americas number one choice of Blackberries, the " Triple Crown Blackberry".

            Triple Crown Blackberry    ( How To Plant )                

Things You Will Need:  

* Garden Tiller  
* Shovels and Pick
* Garden Hoses
* Manure ( Aged Cow Manure )
* Mulch  
* Plants
* Fertilizers 10-10-10  
* Two 8' pressure-treated 4x4

                  Since blackberries are perennial plants that come back year after year, it's worth your time to get the soil prepared correctly. Blackberries grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. Blackberries do best if the soil pH is slightly acidic, somewhere between 5.5 and 7.0. Take a soil pH test and if necessary, add lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower the pH. The best time to plant blackberries is early Spring or late Fall.

1. Always choose a site that gets full sun, the more sun your blackberry get the better they will do, they must have a lot of sun to produce a lot of berries. Pick out a spot that will be out of your everyday living because you are making a permanent bed.  

2. Get your garden tiller and work up the soil well. pick out all the rocks and roots. Go to your local nursery and pick out your plants.

3. Build a Trellises. Blackberry trellises are simple to build and require only a few dollars worth of materials. To build a simple trellis, sink two 8' pressure-treated 4x4 posts 3' deep in the ground. If you're working in sandy soil, you can add a quick-setting mortar mix to anchor the posts. In clay soil, simply tamp down the soil to hold the posts in place.

    The posts can be set anywhere from 10' to 20' apart. Make two marks on each post, one mark at 2-1/2' off the ground and the other mark at 4-1/2' off the ground. Then, at those marks, attach 9-gauge coated wire to the posts with staples.    

    During the first growing season, blackberries don't need to be trained to a trellis. Starting the second year, the canes should be tied to the trellis. One method involves loosely tying primocanes to the wire as they develop. The best time to start is before the buds swell in early spring. When the canes are tall enough to reach the top wire, tie them horizontally along the wire. Another method some gardeners use it to train only the floricanes to the trellis and let the primocanes sprawl on the ground.

4. Dig your hole about 16 inches deep and about 16 inches across in the bottom.  

5. Put about 3 inches of age cow manure in the bottom of the hole, put about 4 inches of good top soil, no rocks or roots and mix up well with your shovel. repeat until you get to the top.

6. Using your hands, dig out the soil and manure that you just put in the hole to the same depth as they were in the nursery,  put all root down deep and cover well. After planting water well.

7. Spacing 4 feet rows 12 feet apart, spread 6-7 ft.    

                          Triple Crown Blackberries ripen late July, enjoy your delicious Blackberries!!!

                  Well that's it for today from Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken & Marilou  hoping to talk to you again soon, until then Happy Gardening Always!!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apricot Jelly ( How To Make )

Hello,  and welcome back with us today on Garden The Easy Way, this is Ken and Marilou. On our last blog we shared with you how to plant apricot trees, and how to grow the delicious apricot !

Apricots are so delicious to eat fresh off the tree, but when you have your own tree or trees you will have so many apricots you will need to do something with them all, You can give a lot of them away, or if you like apricot Jam and Jelly with your morning toast you can, make it your self it is very easy to do!

 Today we would like to share with you how to make a delicious apricot jelly ! Most recipes always want you to put a lot of sugar in your jams and jelly but if your fruit is sweet you can, cut back on a lot of that sugar, as we all know too much sugar is not good for us. Another good thing about making your own jam or jelly you can put as much or as little sugar as you want !  We hope you like this apricots jelly recipe.   Enjoy !

                                                       Apricot Jelly


7 cups peeled pitted chopped apricots
2 1/2 cups water  
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cups sugar
2 (3 ounce) envelopes liquid pectin  


1. Combine apricots and water.

2. Over medium heat bring mixture to a boil.

3. Reduce heat to a simmer gently for 5 minutes.

4. Take pan off heat; skim and let set 30 minutes.

5. Sieve the apricots and strain juice from pulp (use pulp in apricot jam).

6. Line sieve with 4 layers of clean damp cheese cloth.

7. Strain; cover the juice and refrigerate overnight.

8. Ladle the juice from container, being careful not to disturb the sediment from bottom using 3 cups of juice.  

9. To make the jelly, combine juices when they are warm add sugar.

10. Stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved, bring to a rolling boil.

11. Pour pectin in, bring to a rolling boil again, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

12. Remove pan from heat; skim off foam.

13. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space.

14. Water bath for 15 minutes.  

              Well that's it for today, we hope to talk here again on Garden The Easy Way. Until then, this is Ken & Marilou wishing you all Happy Gardening Always.