Every year at the Tinytrees garden I try something new to grow, mainly anything healthy and that can be eaten. Last year I planted some bareroot Choke Berries (Aronia) and this year it produced its first crop. Their are two varieties available Black (Aronia melanocarpa) and Red (Aronia arbutifoilia). The variety I grow is Aronia melanocarpa.
The Chokeberry or Aronia is a member of the Rosaceae family and is most commonly grown as a garden shrub. It is claimed to have great health benefits and have the highest level of antioxidants. See references below.
How to Grow.
If you want to grow the Choke Berry, don’t worry they are not that difficult. They are very tolerant plants and don’t have many pests or diseases to deal with. They are suitable for beginners.
- Plant in well drained moist soil.
- After choosing your location, dig a whole about a meter deep (three foot three in old type) and about two times the width of the root-ball.
- Before planting put some stones in the base of the hole to help with drainage. Fill the hole with plenty of water and let it drain off.
- When planting fill up with good rich soil. I normally place the old grass sods upside down on top of the soil. Then water again once planted.
- Water well in first couple of months.
The plant over time does throw out some suckers, so make sure it has room to grow.
The Fun Part, Eating…
Raw berries are extremely tart (hence the name “chokeberry”), so they’re best when cooked and made into a health juice, jam or wine. Myself I prefer warming them slightly in the oven and adding some natural sugar. See list below for more details.
Can you Bonsai them? I have never tried. Let me know if you have…
Where to buy in Europe:
If you want to grow your own see Future Forests.
See the following links for more health information:
Article I wrote on antioxidant-fruits.com on Chokeberries, the poor mans Gogi berry