Wondrous Wonderberry

When I first considered growing fruit I was intrigued by a listing for the Wonderberry. It seemed easy to grow and felt like a great first try for me. I purchased a packet from my favorite seed company (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds) and have been astonished by the results.

0925_wonderberry01True to advertising, the plant grows much like pepper plants. It has a strong, sturdy stem and requires no staking whatsoever. The berries are small – about pea size – and hang in low clusters. They are easy to pick – be prepared for stained fingers.

I planted the entire seed packet (25 seeds) that year and each seed grew a strong plant. There has been no need to reseed; the plants come back each year – some in unintended places! Clearly the squirrel and birds are enjoying the fruit.

0925_wonderberry02This year I’ve been freezing some to have over winter. The chickens love them and I’ll add them to their winter suet blocks for a sweet treat. A quick rinse, dry on the seed saving screen, then flash freeze before storing in the freezer.

Here’s the funny thing…I’ve never actually tasted one. Not because they don’t look great – but the wildlife enjoys them so much it has become a summer food source for them. Unripened fruit can be poisonous, so perhaps that’s part of my hesitation too. I give one a try when I collect a batch this afternoon.

 


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