Jostaberries

Delicious, slightly tart, bite sized fruit.By Gail Thomas

Jostaberries (Ribes nidigrolaria) – and pronounced ‘yustaberries’ – are a genetic cross between black currants (Ribes nigrum) and gooseberries (Ribes grossuaria).
This thornless plant which resembles black currant in growth, but with leaves similar, yet larger than the gooseberry was developed by Dr Rudolph Bauer at Max-Planck Institute in Cologne Germany around 1970.
Jostaberries are more vigorous than their parent plants and can be easily propagated from cuttings at the time of pruning or can also be layered, though they do not tend to sucker.
Jostaberries are self fertile, do best in colder areas and will not fruit in warm districts. Leaves are not susceptible to powdery mildew, fungal dieback, currant bud mite and white pine blister. Jostaberries prefer moist well drained soils in full sun, produce small clusters of flowers borne on at least one year-old branches, followed by green berries with underskin veining resembling its gooseberry parent. Read more

Marionberries

Article and photos by Gail Thomas

Marionberries are one of the most luscious summer fruits, and although the plants are thorny the resulting delicious fruit far outweighs any prickly encounters! A cross between the Chehalem and Olallieberry blackberries, this vigorous trailing cane blackberry cultivar is named after the county of Marion Oregon where they were developed in the 1950’s. Read more

Fruit

Organic Gardener Essential Guide: Fruit

This mook (a cross between a magazine and a book) is the second in the series produced by Organic Gardener Magazine. It is made up of articles by well-known garden writers from across Australia. Some articles have been previously published by Organic Gardener, others are written specifically for this mook. There is everything from pruning (an article I keep going back to, to check how it should be done) by Peter Cundall to pest control by Jerry Coleby-Williams and planning the orchard by Phil Dudman. It also looks at harvesting and storing the produce. The fruits covered include apples, avocado, bananas, berries, citrus, grapes, mangoes, melons, nuts, olives, passionfruit, stone fruit and strawberries. Comprehensive and cheap at only $10.
Borrow a copy from your library, buy one from your local newsagent or go to the store on this website and buy a copy online

Elders for hay fever, sunburn, jellies, jams, to repel flies and even to make champagne

The clear white flowers of the elder tree

Elder flowers can be used to make champagne or a wash for sunburn

Elders (Sambucus nigra) are small deciduous trees with leaves that are matt green and flowers that are creamy white and sweetly-scented.The flowers grow in clusters up to 20 cm across and are followed by purplish-black berries. There are now numerous cultivars with varying leaf shapes and colours (gold, variegated, green, purple), as well as dwarf and pink-flowered forms.
Elders will grow in most soils in most positions and in colder regions can be problem weeds. The trees need cold to set fruit, birds feed on the fruit and deposit seed through bush land where the seeds sprout and grow into new trees. So if you live in a cold region with nearby bush, make sure you harvest the berries before the birds can get to them. Prune elder back hard every year, either in late autumn or before the new growth appears in spring. The pruned pieces can be used as cuttings to propagate new plants. It will also grows easily from seed planted in autumn. Read more

  • All words and images © Copyright Penny Woodward 2017.
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