Monday, 7 July 2014

Some Berry Interesting Facts

With over 200 species of wild, juicy “berries” found in Canada, we couldn’t help ourselves to include some of them in the garden. Blueberry, gooseberry, strawberry and raspberry bushes can now be found in the north and east side of the Elmbank Junior Middle Academy garden.
Two large beds with blueberry, gooseberry bushes and
currant can be found in the north side of Elmbank Garden
Technically, the fruits we commonly know as berries are classified in aggregate fruits such as strawberries and raspberries, pomes (e.g serviceberries), drupes (e.g cherries) and true berries such as gooseberries and blueberries.

First raspberries of the recently planted bush
Berries are not only an easy-to-grow and tasty treat to enjoy in the summer; some species grow easily on poor soils and are key to attract pollinators and seed dispersers, particularly birds, which help on the maintenance of biodiversity in wild areas.

Blueberry bushes grow well in poor drained, acidic soil
Some favourite Canadian wild berries include blackberries (to make pies, jams, jellies and wines), blueberries, bilberries, huckleberries, buffaloberries (commonly used by Aboriginal peoples to flavour buffalo meat), chokecherries, cranberries, currants (which lack spines or prickles), gooseberries, salal (mainly found in coastal B.C and a major Northwest Coast indigenous food), saskatoon berry (also known as serviceberries) raspberries and strawberries (wild species were used to develop cultivated varieties). 

Aboriginals use berries in traditional dishes such as pemmican which includes saskatoon berries. These are some recipes worth trying

Currant bush. Black currants are used for preserves, syrups
and liqueurs, while red or white are for eating out of hand
Wild fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and other essential micro-nutrients that will not be found in other regular products on season. 

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