Uncommon Berry Choices

Reader Contribution by Carrie Miller and Miller Micro Farm
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Adobe Stock/JT Fisherman
Lingonberry

Would you like to add a variety of new flavors to your berry patch? With so many amazing options available that aren’t your typical berry, why not add a few new varieties? Let’s add some well-deserved change to those jams, jellies, pies, cobblers, and fruit salads. Whether derived from hybrid combinations or simply long forgotten species, the choices appear almost endless. Enjoy this list of edible berries that will quickly become a garden favorite!

Dewberry

These sweet delicious berries can be eaten raw or baked into cobblers and pies or made into amazing jams and jellies. A low growing perennial armed with an abundant number of juicy berries, similar in taste to blackberries, yet larger in size and milder in flavor. They grow upon a vine rather than a bush preferring a full sun location in Zones 6 through 9.

Honeyberry

A zesty little berry that will simply melt in your mouth. They can be eaten fresh from the bush or substituted in a favorite blueberry recipe. Extremely hardy by nature enduring temperatures to -40 degrees. Two different varieties are required for proper pollination. Honeyberries prefer partial to full sun located in Zones 2 through 9.

Tayberry

A unique delightfully flavored berry deriving from loganberries and blackberries. The fruit is sweet, large, and amazingly aromatic. Want to add an amazing twist on your homemade wine? This is the berry for you! Tayberries also make wonderful jams, jellies, and pies. Harvest time falls between July and mid-August, Zones 5 through 8.

Loganberries

This tasty hybrid is a cross between blackberries and red raspberries. Providing long, tasty, dark red fruit; in both thorned and thornless varieties. They are ready for picking throughout mid to late summer, ideal for Zones 6 through 10.

Gooseberry

Fairly easy to raise in partial shade to full sun, Zones 3 through 7. They come in green, white, and red varieties. This very sweet berry ripens in late spring to early summer, making it a perfect addition to any berry patch. Gooseberries have old world, unmatched flavor for producing homemade pies and preserves.

Jostaberry

A Jostaberry is a unique hybrid of a gooseberry and a current. A great thornless plant that thrives in full sun to partial shade, Zones 2 through 8. Two or more bushes will be needed for adequate pollination. This dark colored berry is three times the size of a standard currant. Each plant can easily produce 10 to 15 pounds of fruit.

Boysenberry

Imagine the delicate taste of a longberry, blackberry, and raspberry all infused together in one delightful creation. Easily trained to vine up trellises, arbors, and fencing. This gorgeous vine is sure to capture the eyes of many. It is said to grow in Zones 6 through 9, however, they are not suitable where temps fall below 5 degrees without providing extreme winter protection.

Lingonberry

The snowier the winter the better this bush will produce. Related to both blueberries and cranberries, this sweet little treat is line no other. They even produce two crops per year, the first being harvested in July through August and the second September through October time frame. Varieties are available for Zones 2 through 8. A wide range of possibilities in baking.

Gojiberry

I’ve been hearing a lot about the Gojiberry over the past few years, about its amazing nutritional properties. The Gojiberry grows from a tree ranging from 10 to 12 feet tall. The sweet-tart berries are harvestable in late summer in Zones 3 through 10. These berries add a unique flavor in juices, teas, smoothies, or even muffins. You will want to plant the tree in a sunny to partially sunny area for it to thrive.

Kiwi Berry

This grape sized fuzzless berry is amongst my favorite. Do you love kiwis but hate the hassle of skinning them? This perfect little berry can be eaten on the go with no problems. The flavor is sweeter, richer, and more acidic than the common kiwi. Harvested in September through early October in Zones 4 through 8. The vines require both male and female varieties to grow but the unique jams and jellies you can produce with this berry is so worth it.

Pineberry

Do you love strawberries? This disease resistant berry grows in the same fashion. It looks like a strawberry except, it’s white with red seeds when fully ripe. It may grow and look like a strawberry but it tasty more like a pineapple! Harvested in spring through summer in Zones 5 through 8.

With so many amazing berry choices, why do so many people stick with the common? I for one, am looking forward to adding a few of these great varieties to our farm. We have already purchased pineberries and kiwiberries to plant this spring. Are you willing to try something a little different?


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