Jostaberries at Icy Creek

Jostaberries ripening at Icy Creek, December 2008
 

Of all the berries we’ve grown at Icy Creek since 2004, the most intriguing has been the jostaberry. First developed in West Germany in the 1940s by Rudolph Bauer as a cross between blackcurrants and gooseberries (both of which also seem to do well at our altitude) jostaberries look more like the illicit offspring of grapes and blueberries, and can be eaten raw if allowed to fully ripen. Even at their sweetest, however, (which in our parts is in the last week of December), they have a wonderful tartnness that makes them particularly great as an accompaniment to icecream and sprinkled on top of muesli.

I’ve read about them in some other blogs such as Fruit Forum, and notice that Digger’s now have them in their catalogue but only seen the fruit itself on sale once, and that was at a small farm in the Tamar Valley in Tasmania in February. If anyone else has grown them, I’m keen to hear about suggested pruning and feeding strategies. Otherwise, I’m just going to leave them alone, throw a net over them in December, and hope for an encore of last summer’s effort.

Mixed berry plate including jostaberries, harvested at Icy Creek, December 2007

Additional information about jostaberries can be found at these sites:

Digger’s

Aussie Gardening

Lyman Orchards (notice how dark the jostaberries are in the photos of this American site)

They are also featured on this Edible Landscaping and Gardening site

For a general overview, see this enthusiastic rap from the University of Colorado’s Horticultural Institute, as well as this recent article by “Uncommon Fruits in Every Garden” author, Lee Reich.

For a less than glowing review of these relatively new berries, see the last paragraph of this posting on this Currants fruit facts site.

And yes, there’s always the Wikipedia entry.

8 responses to “Jostaberries at Icy Creek

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  8. Pingback: Jostaberry blossum – a rare sight | Precipice @ Icy Creek

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