More and more, people are becoming fascinated with growing their own food. Whether it'a a patio garden of herbs and a few vegetables, or climbing vine varieties around a doorway or overhang; it seems that the benefits are beginning to outweigh the research of growing these "gems" and the work involved.
Here, in Georgia -- on our little two-acre plot of land -- my husband and I grow and experiment with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Hence, many of our neighbors and Facebook friends ask us multiple questions. One of the most popular is "What are some of the easiest things to grow?"
Blackberries for one.
Not only are these little wonders succulent and sweet when ripe and eaten plain or with a splash of cream, but they can also be frozen or sealed in jars (canned) for later use. There are many ways to prepare this fruit: In pies, cobblers, as a topping for ice cream and pudding, jams, jellies, even salads, and last but certainly not least, chutney. And each one is just as tantalizing as another.
They do rather well in the Georgia heat, even during what seems to be a neverending drought, with very little water. Additionally, the cost for starter plants is rather reasonable. We purchased ours from the Burgess Seed and Plant Co. And to my surprise, as adult plants, they bear rather large blackberries.
And that's not all...
Blackberries contain vitamins A & C, folic acid, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and Omega-3 fatty acids. And due to the anthocyanins in blackberries, they serve as antioxidants as well -- protecting against chronic diseases and cancer. And because blackberries are part of the rosacea family and frequently called an "aggregate fruit," each containing its own seed, they rank among plants with the highest fiber content.There are other benefits as well, but these are the most prevalent.
Don't worry about needing a "green thumb," this one -- with very little effort -- will burst with the beauty of tiny, white, dainty flowers in masses on each plant in the spring. And it will bountifully produce into the smoldering hot days of summer.