What Are Your Top 2 Fruits From this List?

Hello everyone,

I’m asking once again for the fantastic expertise of this community. You all have been a lot of help so far! I really appreciate it!

Now onto the post… I’m considering growing 2-3 additional fruits that I’m unfamiliar with. I get great joy from growing something that I’ve never tasted before rather than just buying it at the store/farmers market. Yeah, it may save me some time, but where’s the fun in that?

So these are what I’m considering below. What are your top 2 recommendations?! Or maybe you have a recommendation not on this list?

Josta Berry

I haven[t tried Lingons, but hear they are incredibly slow-growing…

Haven’t tried goumi but heard it is tasty, but not much flesh per pit

Honeyberry I heard was ok, but tends to be fairly bland

Medlar I haven’t tried at all.

I HAVE tried currants, gooseberries, juneberries, and jostaberries. Jostas were to me very unimpressive–I would say grow black currants if you want them, or gooseberries if you want those instead, but the josta I had was just a very “meh” blend of the 2.

I like Juneberry, although they are somewhat mealy and insipid blueberries, essentially. I have memories of eating them hiking in Colorado as a kid, and nostalgia probably plays some part in that. I also like currants and gooseberries, and my daughter asked for a gooseberry plant at our new house even, but they do have a weird flower-remnant at the “butt” of each berry which some find off-putting, and red currants I enjoy off the vine, but many people find them quite tart. Black even more people find too tart, and/or strongly musky.

I would recommend considering currants, gooseberries, juneberries, and possibly medlar. As far as anything else, we had an Issai kiwi along our old house for like 4 years, and it did set fruit in that time…it was grown more as a groundcover but the kids enjoyed the fruits that I was able to collect by lifting and scanning the vine…

From your list:


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Do you guys recommend any varieties for those two?

Ditto the ditto… those two are top quality tastes. The rest are either less tasty or harder to grow. If only one I would pick gooseberries, currant bushes are prone to decline whereas gooseberries are more long-lived.

My favorite gooseberry is Poorman, its lower in productivity but excellent in flavor and disease freedom. My favorite black currant is Minaj Smyriou. I prefer the blacks to the reds, they are awesome in any recipe.

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I can but I really only have experience with Red currants. I like to use them in various jams mixed with blackberries, mulberries, or kiwi. I also like them to infuse vodka, and as a syrup. They are not good for fresh eating. The two to have are Rovada and Jonkeer Van Tets. They ripen at different times. Others exist too that sound excellent.
For gooseberries I researched them and I’m growing a few but I have not had huge crops to evaluate. My research revealed I should try Poorman’s, Black Velvet, and Jahn’s Prairie, But I don’t have enough experience with them. I expect a decent crop this year. I also have Hinnomaki Yellow. On blacks I just started myself. I’m still trying to propagate some.

I just want to mention one thing that may not interest most but is (to my mind) very worth mentioning:

I have also, in addition to fresh eating and cooking, made wine with red currants (very good) and black currants (excellent to even better than that)…I have not yet, but intend to make wine in the future with juneberries, and they aren’t on this list, but I got some elderberry cuttings from Bob Vance which I intend to also one day draft into winemaking.

Blackberries, raspberries, etc. are good, but not that expensive in the stores so it makes more sense to eat the fresh and ferment the frozen bags I get at Woodman’s, and I have found a few wild stands of crabapples which, mixed with apple juice about 50/50, make a great, tart and light-bodied, pinot grigio-esque wine which I can collect for free. But the black currants, red currants, serviceberries, and (at some point) aronia all make a lot of berries for their size which either make great wine on their own or are an excellent addition to other batches (Aronia is famously bland, but great to add to other berry mixes for color, polyphenols, and a bit more body/tannin/acid)

If you’re cheap, but patient, you can get into country winemaking for well under $100. for enough supplies/equipment to make at least one 5-gallon batch at a time (5 gallons at 5 bottles/gallon = 25 full-size bottles, if you make 1-gallon batches and can get your hands on a bunch of glass carlo rossi, etc. jugs you can make 1-gallon batches even cheaper…). It is a hobby well worth pursuing…

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That’s some really good info, Mark. I’ve yet to make wine out of anything, but I know who to talk to when I do, haha.

Black Currant and Haskap/Honeyberry by a big margin.

I haven’t had Juneberry. Lingonberry, Gooseberry, and Goumi would be in my next tier.

I wouldn’t bother with Jostaberry and Medlar when I can grow black currants and other Pomes.

most of my info came from Jack Keller’s website, but if you have a question ask…I did 10 years of bastardizing his advice/recipes/etc., much of it in the name of “budget” or “expediency” so I can certainly help you get started on a budget and/or scale down

Mark, sounds awesome. I may just have to pursue it. With all this talk i went an ordered 3 black currants for 8 bucks each at Indiana Berry. Actually one was cheaper, it worked out with postage to $34.00. I have only one plant and trying to root a dozen more but my rooting skills are failing me lately! If they root, fine, but I want plants now so in a few years I will be loaded with black currants!
I need to know more about pruning black currants.
I’m supposed to get 2 black currants from this shady MI nursery I have a feeling though nothing is going to show up.

Awesome I ordered 4 honeyberries this year too! I have 3 already struggling at my cottage. I;'m going to dig them up and bring them home.

drew, send me a PM.

And what do you have for a trade list?

Send me a PM…dew itttt

by the way, in my experience, currants/gooseberries go like this:

Year 1 = adding shoots, and roots. Leave everything, other than perhaps pruning a few shoots that are just way too close to each other.

Year 2 = woo hoo, a few trusses. You can decide (roughly) if you like the bush you babied through last year. Prune what is in the way, but not much more.

Year 3 = many trusses of fruit. Many is of course variable, and probably 1-2 pounds per bush, maybe a bit less…prune old wood out and anything crowding.

Year 4 = you now have a “real, grown-up” currant bush.

Note similar for gooseberries, and some of this may reflect my semi-short growing season in 5a Wisconsin, but the second year you get a few berries at least, to test-taste, and by year 4 you’re in fairly stable bush mode already. All my stuff thus far has been sheltered plantings along the north and/or west side of our house foundations, also, so a southern exposure my shift things by a half-year at each step… Currants and gooseberries like poop, horse would be best but in the past the gooseberries and currants were where we deposited a winter’s worth of golden retriever poop as well when we cleaned the yard. Currants/gooseberries really are less-care fruit, but they like poop and wood ash.

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Good to know they like wood ash. I have red, pink, black current and jostberry , I pruned most of off this year because I found majority of canes is black on the center, some bug got to it. I actually cut the canes open killed quite few little white worms inside.

I know a lot of others have said this, but Black Currants and Gooseberries.

Black Currants are horrid fresh, but make the best jam. I’m getting pretty good results rooting them. I’ve now got a bit more space (though shaded) for them, so I’m propagating a bunch more- a mix of Consort and Minaj. I’ve also got a wild seedling between my apple trees which is getting big enough to produce this year.

Gooseberries can range from sour to sweet-tart. Jeanne, Hinnomaki Yellow, and Hinnomaki Red are good. I’ve gotten a few insufficiently ripened Poorman which showed promise as well. I’m not impressed with Black Velvet, though it grows very well (better than all the good tasting ones). It was more tart than sweet and the berry size wasn’t large (but the thorns are).

Lingonberry- I’ve had Ligonberry jam and wasn’t impressed. I think it grows as a ground-cover.
Currant- Red are tart, but OK for a handful when you are in the yard. Black currants are great as jam (mentioned above).
Gooseberry- Can be pretty good, sweet-tart.
Medlar- Decided not to pursue due to Scott’s experience.
Goumi- My first arrives tomorrow from Burnt Ridge…
Honeysuckle- Shows promise. A bit tart, but I’m probably picking them early. They ripen in late spring, with strawberries.
Juneberry- ugh. Regent was unproductive, bland, and disease prone. There may be better ones out there (hard to not be…).
Josta Berry- I had some from PYO many years ago and they were sour like red currants with a hint of the black currants bad (cat-pee) taste.

You didn’t mention kiwis, but I think someone else did. To me, hardy kiwi are on a different level from the above. They are to fresh eating what black currants are to jam. Well, almost, as that may be a bit too lofty, but they are very good.

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Bob, your Hinnomaki yellow is rooting. Can’t wait to taste its fruit. Thank you so much for sending me the scions:smile:

I’m glad it is taking for you. Both it and Jeanne are very slow growers. I wonder if it isn’t a coincidence that the slowest growers are the best tasting. Maybe the plant puts all the energy into the berries instead of growing.

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Currant, currant and more currants!

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Kiwi is the only thing I want that I’m missing. I plan to grow them after I move, I’ll have to consult with you about them. Thanks too for the cuttings, I should get some to root. If I were to do it again, I would root them over winter. that would work. This winter my house was full of rooting figs, so no room. It went well too! I gave away 10 plants that were extras.