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


Unconventional Berries

Sea Buckthorn, Gogi Berry, Nannyberry, High Bush Cranberry, Pincherry, Choke Cherry

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

Goji Berry, Wolfberry

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.

Goji

There is a current fad for these because of health benefits. Not much breeding has been done with these there are no named cultivars. The bush is much like canada buffaloberry in leaf and twig, but it's from the Solanaceae family -- the same family that brings us tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes (good things...) and mandrake, beladonna (deadly nightshade) both producing atropine poisoning, jimson weed (whole slew of akaloids in variable amounts.)

*-WARNING-WARNING-WARNING-

Gojiberries, and tea made from the leaves can interfere With medication. For those using blood pressure, blood thinning and diabetes medications, goji berries can be dangerous from the herb-drug interactions. The berry has an anti-coagulant property, which has a high level of interference with medications such as digitalis, digoxin and warfarin (Coumadin).

-WARNING-WARNING-WARNING-*

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

Goji Berry on Wikipedia

Food -- Goji

Species
Cultivar
Container
Format
Available
(# plants)
Height
(feet)
Price
($/Plant)
Goji Berry, Wolfberry #5 Std pot (15 qt) 1 $45.00
Last Update: 2020-Jun-30

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, much 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. Or you can harvest by removing entire branches, freezing them then beating them against a wall. Pruned hard this way, probably only get a crop on alternate years.

Prune regularly to keep the berries in reach. Left unpruned, most of the fruit is on top out of reach. The thorns are pretty serious. 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. Preorder on named cultivars required. Not a stock item.

Canada Buffalo Berry

This is a native shrub with dark green leaves and small red/orange berries. Not commercial. The juice foams easily -- hence one name, 'soap berry' Some aboriginal cultures would whip them with added sugar, and treat the pink foam as a desert.

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. More thorns, less fruit so far.

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.

Food -- Currant

Species
Cultivar
Container
Format
Available
(# plants)
Height
(feet)
Price
($/Plant)
Currant, Black 'Ben Nevis' #2 Std pot (6 qt) -4 $30.00
Currant, Black 'Ben Nevis' #4 Std pot (12 qt) 2 $40.00
Currant, Black 'Ben Nevis' #5 Std pot (15 qt) 3 $45.00
Currant, Red, Red Lake #2 Std pot (6 qt) 1 $30.00
Currant, Red, Red Lake #4 Std pot (12 qt) 1 $40.00
Last Update: 2020-Jun-30

### 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. Special order most years.

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 flowers 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

Species
Cultivar
Container
Format
Available
(# plants)
Height
(feet)
Price
($/Plant)
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry #10 Growbag (42 qt) 9 $80.00
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry #2 Std pot (6 qt) -1 $20.00
Viburnum, High Bush Cranberry 125 ml plug 10 $3.25
Last Update: 2020-Jun-30

Chokecherry

Native shrub with clusters of black berries aboutt the size of peas. The seed is large, so you only have a thin layer of flesh. I don't consider them edible off the tree, but I have found that they make wonderful syrum for waffles. Leaves go pink/orange in fall. Fairly drought tolerant. Subject to black knot, especially when grown in the shade.

Food -- Cherry

Species
Cultivar
Container
Format
Available
(# plants)
Height
(feet)
Price
($/Plant)
Cherry, Chokecherry #1 Std pot (3 qt) 171 $12.50
Cherry, Chokecherry 1000 ml Styroblock -65 $6.00
Cherry, Chokecherry 1000 ml Styroblock 324 $7.00
Last Update: 2020-Jun-30

Pin cherry

Similar to Chokecherry, but with smaller red berries. Pincherry is more shade tolerant, and requires more moisture.

Food -- Cherry

Species
Cultivar
Container
Format
Available
(# plants)
Height
(feet)
Price
($/Plant)
Cherry, Pincherry 1000 ml Styroblock -25 $6.00
Cherry, Pincherry 1000 ml Styroblock 40 $7.00
Last Update: 2020-Jun-30


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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.