Aronia Harvest


#61

Mine have been free of pests and diseases so far. I do not have SWD at my location.


#62

I have SWD actively ruining my elderberries, they are not interested in my aronia which is adjacent and at peak ripeness.


#63

same here. no pests bother them. their skin is rather tough with a waxy like coating. maybe thats why the bugs can’t affect them. no swd up here so far but is in s. Maine.


#64

Thanks


#65

Picked mine today, 6 bushes, all around 5 yrs old, yielded about 15 lbs… and some very stained hands!
Brix never got above 15, most I tested were between 12-15, but they were starting to shrivel so in they came. Now to try out a few recipes, preserves, wine, syrup are on the list.


#66

Thank you


#67

i still have 1 bush left to pick. i like the taste fresh so I’m going to freeze them for smoothies and in oatmeal.


#68

I just made my first winery sale at 35 pounds at $3.50 per pound. There is no real profit in those quantaties for me at that price. If he likes the wine and if the panel of wine conosuirs like it the next order is 1000 pounds of aronia.


#69

tried a aronia /apple jam recipe but i found it very bland and too sweet. i mixed equal parts aronia, blackcurrant and raspberry and it came out fabulous! i think ill make this jam every year as these berries are all available around the same time.


#70

Sounds like a great combo!
I made aronia with 1/10th Dolgo Crab, tastes from the jam pot were pretty good, hopefully I will like it even more from the jars cool.


#71

odd, I have a couple serviceberry plants that started life like that, suckers that fell right off the main plant at the university here.

bunch of persimmon and pawpaw seeds got stuck in my shoe tread apparently, and made it from the arboretum here to my place, also.


#72

as far as wine:

  1. One can sweeten a dry wine–I assume you mean it makes an extremely ASTRINGENT wine, perhaps? (Which I would absolutely believe)

  2. I have used aronia like crabapples last year to add tannin to cider, but did not have enough for wine. Given the fact I don’t press my own cider apples and haven’t found a place w/ good juice at a price my tight ass wants to spring for, this has been my go-to for making store-apple juice into a cider you’d actually want to drink. This year I will probably do that if I can secure the aronia, and add like 1-2lbs of aronia per gallon to what is essentially just an apple (or possibly white grape) wine. Maybe to some concord as well. But I think Aronia’s greatest potential is in mixes, where it becomes the tannin source (and perhaps some acid and flavor) but it just isn’t a standalone fruit for good wines. Not saying you can’t make great wine with aronia, just that the greatest ones will probably be Aronia and something else, like blackberry or apple (maybe a “wild vintage” of aronia/mulberry/serviceberry as the other 2 aren’t especially strong on tannins or acid but would blunt aronia’s excess, plus it just about screams “marketing”) or a flabby and inoffensive grape.


#73

If the harvest comes in as heavy as predicted and if we can sell the entire harvest the aronia could wind up being the smartest crop I’ve ever grown! I’m predicting the harvest at over 1000 pounds but there is no guarantee I can get it picked. It’s been slow to build a new market in Kansas but there are people buying aronia. So what does this mean for my farm you might be asking? It appears a few acres of aronia may be more profitable to grow than 25 acres of brome. I will let you know when the final numbers come in! If that’s the case that does not mean I need to grow more aronia because diversity is key and I’m having trouble moving the aronia I have now. What it does mean is fruit may be a good crop to grow in Kansas. I may eventually turn my farm into a retirement plan. I’m looking very hard at large plantings of hardy berries such as autumn olives and wine berries or romance cherries to name a few!


#74

Oh, I hope it goes well for you! We hear so many stories of small farms struggling. It would be awesome if you succeed, and with an alternative, sustainable crop too. If I lived close, I’d come help pick!


#75

here here!


#76

The aronia harvest has been selling at a fair price and the berries are being used at juice bars, for aronia beer and aronia wine. Prices remain good for the berries and demand is increasing more all the time. Quality of the berries have been rated as excellent by those purchasing them. The fact they are a local Kansas fruit crop makes them highly appealing! It’s official aronia are more profitable than traditional crops and I’m suspecting I’ve not scratched the surface. It will take time to build the market for these berries. As the berries mature the market will grow. Around $700.00 thus far which is not bad for the first year I’ve sold them and we are still counting. As you can tell one huge benefit to growing aronia is the crop will hold on the vine for weeks. I’ve been very busy lately so I’m glad they were ripe and not another crop. Some crops e.g. Pears may have a short time to harvest the fruit.


#77

Congratulations on building a market.

I see they’ve begun to shrivel. Is that the optimum state for your market? I imagine the brix is up. What characteristics of the fruit are the buyers considering when rating the quality as excellent?

I would have guessed they’d be picked plumper for optimum quality.


#78

@murky ,
Once 5-10% shrivel they are at their best because sugars are concentrated. They are ready to move to 10-20% shriveled which I’m not sure what impact that will have on the product. The days for picking are numbered. These are sweet when you first bite into them followed by dry but not bitter. If you spit the pulp out the dryness is mild. Many growers pick them plump with 5-10% still red and not fully purple so the brix is lower and the wine or beer brewers cant cover that hint of unripe bitter fruit. Same with juice if these are blended they make apple juice taste like grape but there is no bitterness. When I say bitter I’m talking about unripe fruit tartness with higher tannerns. It’s been dry here and there are cracks in the ground which is the way I want it. The juice shop today made the statement they will buy all they can get because of the good flavor when blended. It was very tempting to start harvesting these to early and I’m really glad I had self control. It cost me berries to hold them in the fields but it was worth it.


#79

Thanks, I have 3 remaining that are in fruit. I think Viking or Nero, another from Raintree that’s more vigorous, and a lower growing seedling. The fruit have been all black for a few weeks and I sample them every day or so. They are plump and juicy. Flavor, as you describe. I should measure brix, guessing in the 12-15 range, still pretty astringent, not bitter, not very tart.

They’re on drip irrigation and mulched.

I’m very tolerant of astringent, especially after the first couple of fruit, like with capsaicin, once your mouth is hot, more of the same spiciness doesn’t have much further effect. I find them pleasant to eat.


#80

yayyyyy that is terrific! :heart: