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Berry Tips For Novice Berry Lovers

It's no secret I love berries and even though I grow berries all year round, I really do get excited when berry season rolls around. As I was enjoying a plump strawberry today, it occurred to me that there are people who would really love to get into the spirit of berry season, but don't know the first thing about buying, growing or preparing berries. This article goes out to you.

Store Bought Berries

Now, if you're just getting into the berry world you probably don't have berry plants of your own. This means store bought berries until you are able to cultivate some. Don't despair, store bought berries can be just as scrumptious as home-grown berries if you know what to look for.

First and foremost, look for plump berries. No matter what type of berry it is you are buying, the plumper the better. If a berry looks skimpy or wilted, it's no good. Pass it up and look for the big, fat, juicy ones.

When you find some plump, juicy berries, make sure there are no leaves or stems on them (except in the case of strawberries). Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries should all be free of leaves and stems.

Packaging Counts

When you buy berries, inspect the packaging as closely as you do the berries. Berries should be loosely packed and there should never be any "grime" or signs of decay in the container.

Growing Your Own

Once you know which types of berries you like best, buy some berry plants and grow them at home. It doesn't matter what time of year it is or where you live... If the climate near your home isn't conducive to berry growing, simply grow them indoors until you can enjoy an outdoor garden.

Using Your Berries

If you're new to the berry world, I suggest enjoying your berries raw to get a feel for them. Then, once you have come to appreciate the textures and flavors of fresh berries, you can begin to use them in cooking and baking. Experimenting with new berry recipes is half the fun and over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some delightful berry recipes with all of you.

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