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Food Forests

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Our Forests



Eating my words has never given me indigestion.
Winston Churchill

Typical Pine

The edge were tree meets field creates a haven for all sorts of critters.

Unconventional Berries

Sea Buckthorn, Gogi Berry, Nannyberry, High Bush Cranberry

Sea Buckthorn. Very high in anti-oxidants, carotenes.

These berries are not commonly grown, but are worthy of consideration:

Sea Buckthorn

Buckthorn are dioecious -- male and female flowers grow on separate plants.

I have 4 varieties, Askosa, Leukola are female cultivars, Pollmix is a known good male pollenizer, and seed run are seedlings off of the standard shelterbelt variety, a mix of male and female plants. Normally you want one pollenizer for every 5-8 berry plants.

Buckthorn fix their own nitrogen, like peas. They are salt tolerant. Left unpruned they will get 8-10 feet tall. They do well on cruddy infertile soil, and can be invasive. Plant where you can mow a 10 foot border.

The berries are in tight clusters right on the branch. They are somewhat easier to pick after a hard frost. There are lots of thorns. One way to harvest is to spread tarps under the bush, and then beat on the bush with a baseball bat.

Prune regularly to keep the berries in reach. Unpruned most of the fruit is on top out of reach. The thorns are pretty serious, although the breeders are working on varieties that have fewer and smaller ones. You will want to wear a heavy canvas or leather jacket when working with the plants. (Pick up a used leather jacket at Value Village or Good Will.)

Potted 3 year old plants (named cultivars) 25 each. Get 20 and take off 20%. Pre-order before the 1st of April, and take off another 10%

Canada Buffalo Berry

This is a native shrub with dark green leaves and small red berries. Not commercial.

Silver Buffalo Berry.

Another native berry with silver grey leaves. Worth considering as a hedge against climate change, as it currently mostly grows in southern Albeta on the edges of coulees.

Wolf Willow

While it produces a berry, the Blackfoot regarded it as poverty food. Only to be eaten when starving. It’s included here as the only member of this group of plants with barely edible fruit. Use it as an ornamental.

Leaf -- Silverleaf

(# plants)
Buckthorn, Sea, Askola #5 Std pot (15 qt) 1 18-18 in. $40.00
Buckthorn, Sea, seed run #2 Std pot (6 qt) -5.00 $18.00
Buckthorn, Sea, seed run #2 Std pot (6 qt) 112 #VALUE! $18.00
Buffaloberry, Canada #1 Std pot (3 qt) -1.00 $12.00
Buffaloberry, Canada #1 Std pot (3 qt) 62 4-10 in. $12.50

Gogi Berry

I bought 5 of these in 2015. All were gone by the middle of May. I've yet to see a gogi berry. 10 are coming in in 2016. We'll see if we can keep one.

Gogi are grown for their health benefits. Not much breeding has been done with these there are no named cultivars.

As I learn more, I'll add stuff here.

Food -- Goji

(# plants)
Goji Berry, Wolfberry #2 Std pot (6 qt) -4 $35.00
Goji Berry, Wolfberry #2 Std pot (6 qt) 10 2-2 ft. $25.00
Goji Berry, Wolfberry #5 Std pot (15 qt) -1.00 $40.00
Goji Berry, Wolfberry #5 Std pot (15 qt) 3 12-24 in. $40.00

### Nannyberry

This is a member of the Viburnum family, and is worth growing just for the fall colour. Like the other viburnums it goes blood red in the fall. 25 each.

High Bush Cranberry

High bush Cranberry. Berries last only as long as undiscovered by waxwings.

High Bush Cranberry

HBC is a native here, found as an understory big shrub or small tree underneath poplar forests. In the shade it has a rather sprawling habit with clusters of leaves here and there. Grown in the open it is much more compact, and more productive. White lowers are in tennis ball sized clusters. These turn into bright red berries about 3/8 inch across with a single flat seed inside. The taste is sweet, tart and astringent -- to me a good comparison with true cranberries.

I have these as both native seed run, and a selection, grown for heavier fruiting, named Wentworth.

Food -- Cranberry

(# plants)
Cranberry, wentworth #2 Std pot (6 qt) -4 $35.00
Cranberry, wentworth #2 Std pot (6 qt) 15 2-3 ft. $25.00
Cranberry, wentworth #5 Std pot (15 qt) 2 12-12 in. $40.00
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry #10 Growbag (42 qt) 7 2-3.5 ft. $80.00
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry #2 Std pot (6 qt) 10 2-3 ft. $18.00
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry 125 ml plug -10.00 $3.00
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry 125 ml plug 180 8-12 in. $3.00

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Want to talk right now? Talk to me: (8 am to 8 pm only, please) 1-780-848-2548

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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.