How to Harvest & Store Blackberries

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To harvest and store blackberries, pick the berries off the vine just a week after they turn black, soak them in some water to wash the dirt off of them, and store them either in the refrigerator for a few weeks or in the freezer for up to a year. Enjoy blackberries all year long with advice from a sustainable gardener in this free video on gardening.

Part of the Video Series: Gardening Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment, we're going to talk about how to harvest and store blackberries. Now, blackberries are really a delight, and they taste really good with pie or you can kind of boil them down and add some sugar and put them over ice cream, and they're just really a nice, nice addition to your fruit garden. And so when you're growing blackberries, they make a big vine. And so as long as the vines are grabbing onto something, they will grow and you trim them back as needed, and then they'll produce gorgeous, gorgeous blackberries in the late summer to fall. And so when you're harvesting your blackberries, you don't want to harvest them when they're too red because if they're still red and they're more seedy and they're not real plump, then they'll be very bitter. But yet, you don't want to wait to the point where they're going to be just mushy and fall right off. So you kind of want to do in-between. And my rule of thumb is as soon as that blackberry turns black, give it at least another five to seven days after that for it to sweeten up. And especially if there's a really hot, warm weather, then they'll get really sweet because sometimes in early summer and the fall, they're not very sweet because they're not getting the sun. So you wait 'til they turn black and give it another week or so until they're really plump. And when you touch them, they just kind of give off a little bit of a juice will come out, but you don't want them just turning to mush, either. So when you're storing them, the easiest way I've found is after I've picked them, I put them right into a bowl of water and let them...the dirt and any of the dust and the pieces of plant -- sometimes little pieces of leaves will be mixed in -- and then you separate it out and you wash the berries. And then you can store them right in a bowl in the refrigerator for a few weeks. But I like to freeze my blackberries, too. So I just put little portions together in bags or into glass containers, and then just freeze it for six months to a year, they'll survive, and they taste really good. And you can always add a little bit of sugar to your blackberries, too, because sometimes they're a little more bitter, or even honey because that'll sweeten them up a bit. But there's lots of ways that you can use blackberries, and they will store in the refrigerator for three weeks -- even a month -- and they'll store in the freezer for even longer than that. So they're a great addition to your fruit garden.

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