Aronia Harvest


#21

I’ve not tried to sell them at farmers markets because I believe it would permanently turn people off of aronia and perhaps my farm. Pears and apples can be grafted to aronias and if I’m still having trouble moving them then I can use my backup plan and graft very rare fruits on the aronia The ace up my sleeve regarding pear scions. I’m more of a commercial grower aka farm so the idea is I grow a large crop and a large juice company or winery would purchase the crop. When I grew grains I grew 40 bushels per acre x 25 acres per year for soybeans so yields now are drastically improving but it’s slow progress. We grow a lot of hay and fruit and the soil is in much better condition. My orchard is around 5-6 acres and I have the remaining land in hay. My orchard is mostly experimental crops such as aronia. At the time I planted them I had a large juice company that was a buyer for $1 per pound. The aronia are now producing and buyers simply can’t keep up with what producers are growing right now. It’s not worth it for me to transport the aronia crop very far.


#22

my 2 bushes are only 3 years old and are covered with hundreds of fruit each! can imagine 100’s or acres would produce! take some new growth clippings and stick in soil. the root real easy like a elderberry. just 1 in your yard should be enough for your family. very nice in the fall as it turns scarlet red . i get a lot of inquiries from neighbors on what they are.


#23

whispers I don’t know how it happened, but some cuttings fell off those Costco bushes. It just happened so fast!
Two rooted (I’m not very good at cuttings. Yet!), and are going gangbusters. I’ll plant them in front of the house after the next rain. Edible landscaping and all that.


#24

maybe you could work with another farm that has apples and process the fruit into a bottled juice? i would think health food stores would be very interested. in europe aronia juice is very popular! with the right marketing strategy to the right people i think you could create a interest. I’m in the process of looking for about 20 acres to start a u pick farm for various berries from early raspberries to late elderberries.we only have a few u pick strawberry/ blueberry farms. id like to do raspberries, blackberries , honeyberries, elderberries and serviceberry. all are relatively easy to grow and maintain.


#25

haha! I’ve had about 6 branches tip root on mine so i potted them and gave to my neighbors. some are growing in the field across the street. bird must have dropped the seeds there! :wink: check out black lace elderberry. purple bush that can get 12ft. purple lacy leaves look like a purple japanese maple with pink flower clusters. have 3 in the yard and 1 bush produces 10lbs of berries in 3 yrs. grows 6ft. in the 1st. season. makes a delicious syrup and pie! very good for colds. was used as a flu treatment until recent times. some cuttings of those could show up in your mailbox. :wink:


#26

I’ve been thinking about Black Lace elderberry. I’ve got a John’s and Adams, but DH thinks they are too wild looking for the front of the house. nevermind that you can see the whole yard from the road. It’s the intent I guess. The house is gray with purpleish trim, so I think purple flowers will look good. I like the shape of the aronia bushes, kind of an inverted airy cone.


#27

A friend is doing the leg work marketing the aronia through his connections and it sounds like he just sold 100 pounds at a fair retail price. My bushes average 15 pounds per bush with some going 25 pounds of berries and others making only 5 pounds. The poundage depends on location of bushes. Aronia bushes need more water for heavy production than average Kansas land has to give. We can grow them much easier in places that are wetter than most. The place I’m growing them is in a spot where my neighbors cut their terraces down which put more water onto my property. I was happy to get the extra water and so were the aronia. On the lowest part of that land that is not swampy is where I get 25 pounds per bush. Imagine how these bushes yield in their home states where there is consistent rainfall such as Iowa! According to my friend 1 gallon of berries weighs about 5 pounds on average.


#28

Great that you found an outlet for your crop Clark!
My bushes are really bending under the weight of the crop this year, 5th leaf plants.
I have been monitoring the brix in order to time harvest. Last time I checked they were at 13, I plan to harvest when they get above 15, maybe another week or so.
I am increasingly keen on these, they are truly bombproof here and I think they will be in demand from value added producers of nutraceuticals, cider and wine. Last year I plunked in a 150’ row of around 30 plants and plan to continue to add more as I make them

.


#29

they look a lot like purple japanese maples. they would look awesome against a light background. i also found a wild purple leafed chokecherry on the edge of my property. thinking of digging some suckers and put in direct sunlight to get some fruit. love chokecherry jam!


#30

glad to see you sold some fruit! i just harvested my 2 bushes in 2nd leaf and got 15lbs. should be able to double that next year with a light pruning and some compost next spring. made a aronia/ apple jam from a english recipe. its good but a little too sweet for me. next batch ill cut the sugar in half.


#31

nice jesse! i too believe there will be increasing demand for them. i got 15lbs off my 2 bushes. don’t have a brix tester so i went by how black they are. ate a few and aren’t astringent or bitter at all. what cultivar you growing? i have viking and a polish variety that starts with a g. galinika or something like that. they grow nearly the same and fruits aren’t much different. polish variety ripened a week quicker tho.


#32

If there is a large health food store near you, wouldn’t they like to buy your excess aronia?


#33

Mrsg47,
I’m going to let my friend handle getting rid of the harvest. That’s a great idea about the health food stores. Thank you!


#34

They love aronia!


#35

they sell them dried too. maybe that would be a good alternative until’ you can sell them. dried they keep a very long time and take little space. vacuum seal once dry. could even sell them on eBay for so much for a certain weight. don’t have to worry about spoilage. :wink:


#36

That’s another great idea! Thank you I will let my friend know that as well who is handling that part!


#37

Do you have any issues with Japanese beetles on them?


#38

i haven’t but japenese beetles aren’t really a issue up here. other than a occasional leaf nibble nothing touches them.


#39

No jb issues


#40

Harvest is well underway and we are averaging around $5 per pound. Sounds like mostly breweries, home users and chefs are interested in these berries at this point. Retail prices are much higher typically as can be seen here http://www.superberries.com. My goal is not to compete with these individuals. Wholesale berries can sell for cheaper prices in much large quantities. Typically wholesale is purchased by the thousands of pounds. I’m not large enough to compete with wholesalers that have 1000+ acres or retailers who are focused on packaging. My market is brewers running off 100-1000 gallon batches of wines or beers and individuals seeking fresh berries. For those of you making juice you can learn from my trial and error 40 parts apple and pear juice should be mixed with 1 part aronia juice which tastes similar to grape juice.