What a amazing year for Black Chokeberry its been on the farm, I started pruning them in 2019 after being told for year that they did not need pruning and they are on fire! the production yield is double that unpruned bushes that I in the wild..
BUT not only are they more productive, they are huge! The biggest I have ever harvested, on average the clusters had 6 to 10 each which made picking easy for sure..
“aronia berries, among all other healthy benefits, provide good protection for our eyes. The super berries contain a large amount of carotene, which protects cells from damage and the eyes from cataract formation. They are also rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as luteins and zeaxanthins. Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering effects on UV rays and thus protects eyes from age related macular disease in the elderly (ARMD) and eye inflammation (uveitis). Researchers in Japan have been measuring the effects of aronia crude extract (ACE) on eye inflammation. The study was published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science several years ago.”
I normally steam juice these and then make the most amazing jelly and syrup but as we are on a huge no sugar, this year I steam juiced them, pressed the flesh out as much as possable and used the pressure canner to make it shelf stable.. Yes I made sure to make it the shortest time possable but still effective.. I also dried a good number of them.. to add them to a number of tea blends.
I am hoping they will be helpful in regards to both of our health overall but in detail in regards to the above to help hubby in regards to his eye health/diabetic
I thought that I only had the local wild Black Chokeberry but hubby pointed out that I am wrong.. turns out two of the ones in the food forest where bought at the native plant center and are in fact “Viking”
If you have a huge patch you pick from and numbers are not a issue.. then keep on, keeping on.. but if you a certain amount of room in your garden or you want larger amounts of them, I highly recommend giving them a clean up/tidy prune every 2nd year..
I can’t say that I find Viking to be any different in flavour then my wild ones or really that different in size this year however it does have larger clusters between 8 to 12 on a mature bush and I do find that its got some really amazing red fall color to add to your yard.
On a pollinator note, both the wild and Viking are both spring bee magnets, covered! I do think that its possable that Viking has a tiny bit more scent to it.. but it could be the placement as well, as the wild are more open and Viking is more sheltered, so perhaps I just notice it more so..
Farmgal Tip.. As the harvest time overlaps, do consider making a 50/50 blend of Black Chokeberry/Elderberry blend.. WOW does it work! Amazing!
Want to have a rocking fruity tea, add a bit of this in a tea cup with your fruity berry tea and take it to a new level..
Having a girls night, forget the wine.. 1/3rd this blend mixed with a shot of good Vodka and ice and sip.. ohhhh, don’t do straight.. add a little gingerale and its next level cocktail!
Still eating Carbs, makes the most amazing pancake syrup! right up there with Chokecherry pancake syrup.. crazy good..