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Anyone growing Bilberries?

(24 Posts)
LittleSweetPea Tue 31-May-16 16:15:31

Hello, I am thinking of growing some Bilberry bushes. Just wondering how many I would need to grow to make it worthwhile?

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 16:20:23

Hundreds!!!!! I go bilberry picking every year and am a bilberry expert grin. Me and dh have to spend at least a couple of hours trundling all around the foresty bits picking from millions of bushes before we get a reasonable haul.

'mucky mouth' jam and bilberry pies are the food of the Gods...time

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 16:21:32


Should have been 'yum'

LittleSweetPea Tue 31-May-16 16:31:36

I guess its not worth trying to grow my own then. We don't have any growing wild round here so was hoping I could grow my own sad

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 16:32:45

Whereabouts. ...approx are you?

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 16:34:13

I am in sw Durham but I go to north yorks for me bilberries

LittleSweetPea Tue 31-May-16 16:48:48

i will have a look when they are back in season maybe I will find some.

Do you have any pointers on identifying them, please? Im guessing they don't come in dried or premade jam form on the buses grin

LittleSweetPea Tue 31-May-16 16:57:33

could pm you with where I am?

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 17:00:51

Of course you can, smile

Haggisfish Tue 31-May-16 17:01:20

Only three or four bushes, in pots with ericacious compost. You get loads all summer. Blueberries, that is-slightly different to wild bilberries.

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 17:20:58

Ach, blueberries are a pale imitation to bilberries, or whinnyberries as me old Ma would call them

LittleSweetPea Tue 31-May-16 17:54:29

Thanks Haggis, really wanted bilberries though but may go for blueberries instead if I have to. I could plant a bilberry hedge I guess but from what I have read they aren't easy to start from seed and are expensive to buy as bushes.

Gatekeeper Tue 31-May-16 18:18:59

You need acid soil as well

Gatekeeper Wed 01-Jun-16 11:57:49

I pick them in a foresty area - hundreds and hundreds of bushes which are fairly low growing (so hard on the back) in amongst the tress. Have also seen them growing on moorland amongst heather but none so prolific as where I get mine from.
I always go around the 1st week in August and then maybe again in third week when the unripe ones from previous visit will then be ready

Flowers are small white , unripe berries and opaque red and bilberries dark inky blue with a bloom on. Smell of ripe ones is unforgettable- a heady rich, wine-y smell

Gatekeeper Wed 01-Jun-16 12:05:29

me getting lost amongst the undergrowth and other pics of our last excursion

JapanNextYear Wed 01-Jun-16 12:12:28

I love bilberries and they grow in abundance around here on the uplands. But its back breaking work picking even a small tub of them. Nicest fruit in the world though. I rather think a day trip to somewhere that has them growing already would probably be a good idea first!

LittleSweetPea Wed 01-Jun-16 12:15:28

sorry only just got back online. Thank you for the photos! I will go searching the local forests smile

superwormissuperstrong Wed 01-Jun-16 12:23:49

Gatekeeper - do you have polish blood? grin
You sound as obsessed as my mum and all of her family about bilberries. Oh and if anyone finds a 'new spot' then the location is kept a highly guarded secret.
To be fair - the jam and the juice are far superior to anything else!
Ok so maybe I do take after her because whenever anyone talks about something nice made with blueberries I have to educate them about how they are a poor cultivated imitation of a wild bilberry!

superwormissuperstrong Wed 01-Jun-16 12:27:57

In fact just remembered this pic - although you can't see there were lots of people up on Rossendale moor that day and lots were asking what I was eating and was it safe!!!

Gatekeeper Wed 01-Jun-16 12:30:44

no I'm not Polish- just brought up on pies and jams made by my mother and carried on by me. Fond memories of her making a little pie just for me and then having evaporated milk on the top smile

Now I made them into allsorts- muffins, crumble bars, smoothies as well as 'mucky mouth' jam . Bloody lovely stirred into Lidl Greek yoghurt

Blueberries to me just taste 'wet'.

Gatekeeper Wed 01-Jun-16 12:31:52

fine figure of a woman there super...must be the bilberries!

MadisonAvenue Wed 01-Jun-16 12:52:52

We back onto a large area of woodland and common land so no need to grow any. They're my breakfast on early morning Summer dog walks. I do pick them for pies as well, when we have a spare hour or two.
Taste of my childhood, I used to go picking them with my Grandad and my Dad.
Blueberries don't even come close to bilberries!

MadisonAvenue Wed 01-Jun-16 16:34:11

Taken 15 minutes ago

Gatekeeper Wed 01-Jun-16 16:35:15

lovely !!! Which I had them just out the back of us

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