Tag Archive for: smallfruit

Are Small Fruits For Me?

Our small fruit assortment this year (2023) includes the Romeo and Juliet dwarf cherries which are part of the Romance series of bush cherries from the University of Saskatchewan.  They are a hybrid of European and Mongolian sour cherries with a sugar content high enough for fresh eating and juicing. When picked earlier they are great for pies.  The shrubs grow to about 7’ tall and 6’ wide, a size that is easy to cover with a bird net to protect your harvest.  Romeo and Juliet are hardy to -45 degrees F so they need little winter protection.  Spring starts with single white cherry blossoms and fall ends with orange foliage color.

Another cold hardy fruit on the assortment is the Hinnomaki Red gooseberries which are hardy to -30 degrees F.  These are medium sized shrubs, 2’ to 5’ tall and 3’ to 5’ wide, and each shrub can produce 4 to 5 pounds of fruit.  To enjoy the fruit, you will have to brave some thorns.  When fully ripe the fruit turns a dark reddish pink so it is easy to tell when they are fully ripe.  The fruit is among the sweetest of all gooseberries, the crisp skin has a tart, tangy flavor followed by the mellow sweetness of the flesh. If you don’t eat all the berries fresh, they’re also great for baking, canning and freezing.

This year, for the first time, we have a limited number of Prime Ark Freedom blackberries.  These are primocane fruiting thornless blackberries.  This makes the blackberries much easier to grow since there is no need to sort out the fist and second canes.  They can be cut back to about 3’’ in the winter and the following year they a later summer, into fall, crop of 1 ¾’’ long, blackberries have an excellent sweet flavor. 

We also have 3 kinds of raspberries, in two different colors, grapes, currant and native serviceberries.

Come talk to us and we will do our best to give you confidence in growing these valuable assets in your own yard.