Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I'm supposed to like these, and I do!

With tongue firmly in cheek, as a permaculture designer, there are some things I'm supposed to like because they are good for me, the environment or the soil. They are, to name a few:

A cluster of berries after (or was it during?) a recent rain.

  • Comfrey
  • Yarrow
  • Josta berries
  • Nettles
  • Lambs quarters
I will write some highly judgmental commentary in a future blog post. For now, though, I'd like to introduce you to one more that seems to come up in permaculture conversation - aronia. It's a dark blue/purple berry that has the unfortunate common name of chokeberry. I don't hear people say "I'll have a chokeberry pie for dessert" very often.

Indeed, the fresh berry is tart, "dry," even a little astringent. In fact, here's an entire article about how they taste. At first I found them to be as described, dry (not moisture, but the mouth feel) and a little bitter.

But after eating them a handful at a time over a few days, I started to enjoy the flavor. This bush, planted in our front yard four years ago, had been slated to be moved this autumn to my community garden orchard (where all things I don't want end up). But after munching on the berries for a few days, I've now decided to keep the bush. And then there's the "good for me" argument.

Apparently these babies are loaded with good stuff, including lots of antioxidants.

I got just a few cups of berries off the bush this year. I froze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in a resealable bag. My plan is to add a few to smoothies throughout the winter. 

Bottoms up.