Fruits and Berries

The Fruits and Berries we have chosen, are to support a wide range of needs including food for us and other wildlife, shade, soil stabilization, superior productivity, nitrogen fixing, health/medicinal qualities, mulch and many more.  Each section has a brief description  and link to exceptionally useful information.

Currant, Black – Ribes Nigrum

One cup of black currants provides 338% of your daily requirement needs of Vitamin C.  High in iron, potassium, phosphorous and maganese.    
The BEN series

Bred by the Scottish Crop Research Institute to counter the challenge of  inconsistent cropping, creating these that are late flowering, disease resistant, highly productive and large berry size.
NOTE:  Ben currants are SOLD AS A SET OF THREE for cross pollination.
Planting and Care Instructions at The Blackcurrant Foundation…

More Info from PFAF…

Ben Tirran black currant
High yielding (15,100 lb/ac), late cultivar with pleasant tasting medium sized berries.  It flowers a little later than other Ben series black currants so it has reasonable tolerance to spring frosts.  Growth habit is upright and vigourous.   Fruit is suitable for both juice and jams.

Ben Hope black currant
Ben Hope is widely planted commercially in Britain for several reasons.  It is a tall, vigorous and upright plant with genetic resistance to black currant gall mite, yields are consistently high with medium sized currants that are good for juicing, and it has good resistance to both mildew and leaf spot.  Ben Hope is also perfect for  fresh eating because of its larger berries and good flavour.

Ben Connan black currant
This is an early variety of black currant with large berries that was released by Mylnefield specifically for the fresh market.  It is high yielding and has even and uniform ripening.  It has large, deep black berries with a pleasant acid/sweet flavour, compact growth habit makes it suitable for  u-pick farms and the home garden market.  Great for fresh eating, jams, preserves, canning but needs to be harvested good and ripe for best sweetness.  Not recommended for juice.

Currant, White – Ribes Rubrum

Currants have both deep and shallow roots, so ensure site has good drainage so deep roots don’t rot.  Prefers site with full sun to part shade, best to plant out in fall, next best is early spring.  Best to prep planting with intent to create a humousy light soil.

Swedish White currant
A heavy croppers, with large, firm, juicy and sweet enough to eat fresh.  Recommended by the RHS to be an excellent attractant and nectar source for bees and other beneficial insects.  We find them sweeter (less tart) than the red currants, and we also find that we don’t have to protect them in the same way as we do the reds, as the robins must not think they are ripe.

  • Harvest from early July.
  • Self fertile, but sets more fruit with cross pollination
  • In bush form ‘White Pearl’ is best planted 5 x 5 feet (1.5 x 1.5 metres) apart and kept at around 4 – 5 feet (1.2 – 1.5 metres) tall.

Currant, Pink  – Ribes rubrum

Currants have both deep and shallow roots, so ensure site has good drainage so deep roots don’t rot.  Prefers site with full sun to part shade, best to plant out in fall, next best is early spring.  Best to prep planting with intent to create a humousy light soil.

Gloire de Sablons currant
Medium cropper with large juicy berries, sweet fresh off the bush.  Part shade to full sun, likes heavier clay soils, with good mulch on top.  Originated in France.

  • Harvest from early July.
  • Self fertile, but sets more fruit with cross pollination

Red Currant – Ribes rubrum

Currants have both deep and shallow roots, so ensure site has good drainage so deep roots don’t rot.  Prefers site with full sun to part shade, best to plant out in fall, next best is early spring.  Best to prep planting with intent to create a humousy light soil.

Red Currant – Red Lake.
This is the currant given to us from a good friend.  It is a heavy cropper, berries ripen at the same time, and sadly a favourite among the birds.    Grows to 5 feet tall and wide.
More info from PFAF…

Honeyberry/Haskap – Lonicera caerulea

The Honeyberry is related to the honeysuckle, and is one of the earliest plants in our food forest to produce.  A beautiful mild blueberry taste with a slight tartness, from a berry twice as large as a blueberry.
Haskaps will thrive in a well-structured fertile soil with a good drainage. It can grow in a Ph range of 4.5 to 7.5.  Haskap requires cross-pollination between unrelated varieties blooming at the same time for fruit production.   Bushes should be planted 1-2 inches deeper than their original depth. This helps establish a deeper root system.   Annual pruning is recommended with Haskap, either in late winter or early spring when bushes are still dormant. Thin out older less productive central branches when bushes become too dense. Never remove more than 25% of a bush in a season.  Haskap will fruit early but does not generally produce any significant amount of fruit until 3-4 years after planting. Yields of 7kg/16lbs per bush have been reported after 5 years, and is expected to stay productive for 30+ years.   Harvest – berries will turn purple-blue but should not be picked until the inside flesh is purple (not green).
More info at Royal Horticultural Society…
More Info on our Honey Berry Plant Profile… Honeyberry Profile sheet 

We have two selections Japanese and Russian.  Japanese are later fruiting and more likely to coincide with most pollinators, Russian are early and can set flowers before pollinators are out and about.


L. caerulea emphyllocalyx and kamtschatica – Japan Cultivars LATE SEASON

These come from Northern Japan, are 3 -4 weeks later than the Russian/Canadian cultivars, and are well suited for the coastal climate of the west coast from Oregon on north.

  • Blue Hokkaido honeyberry – upright 4-5 ft. tall growth habit and very large, sweet-tart, crisp and flavorful, dark blue berries.   Bloom in March, ripen in June.
  • Blue Moon honeyberry – 2-3 ft tall and wide. Very cold-tolerant — withstands temperatures as low as -40°F. This hardy variety features lovely dark green foliage. Good for fresh eating or making preserves. Full sun or partial shade. Best pollinator: Blue Velvet. Blooms March, ripens May-June.
  • Blue Pagoda honeyberry– Sweet berries. Best pollination with Blue Velvet. Blooms March, ripens May-June
  • Blue Velvet honeyberry – 4 ft tall by 5 ft wide compact spreading   A unique variety, distinguished by its attractive, grayish-green, velvety foliage and its very large, sweet-tart and flavorful, medium-blue berries. Grows well in cold regions, it is also a particularly good choice for Maritime Northwest gardeners.Large crops of very large tasty berries. Cold-tolerant. Good for fresh eating or making preserves. Best pollinator: Blue Moon. Blooms March, ripens May-June.
  • Blue Pacific honeyberry – 2-3 feet tall and wide. Actually an L. caerulea edulis. A reliable producer west of the Cascades and in other regions of North America. Bloom March, ripens May-June
  • Blue Mist honeyberry – 2-3 feet tall 3-4 ft wide. Heavy producer of large sweet tart berries. Blooms March, ripens May-June.


Borealis honeyberry (producer)
Bred out of the University of Saskatchewan, this variety is twice as large as any of the 35 Russian cultivars they compare, and considered tops among 43 taste tested for the Japanese market.  But they are soft, and thus best for the home garden (keep the machines away).

Tundra  honeyberry (producer)
A fast growing, high yielding cultivar created by the University of Sakatchewan, growing 5′-10′.   Sweet.  Requires cross pollination, and we use Honeybee for this.  Ours grows in dappled light amongst the arbutus trees.  Zone 2.

Honeybee honeyberry (pollinator)
This is considered a pollinator  and will aid in production of the others.  It still sets good fruit… but it allows the others to set more.
More info from the University of Saskatchewan…

Arctic Kiwi – Actinidia kolomikta

A climbing vine that bears small edible fruit that are very nutritious. The vines are long lived, some purported to be over 100 years old and often bear fruit for 30 or more years.  Good to minus 40F, fine in part shade, begins bearing in the second to third year, likes well drained soil and has no pests.   Both male and female are required.  Some suggest trimming the roots upon planting.

This semi hardwood vine can be propagated by removing 2-3 node cuttings late in summer (July/August), treat with 0.6 to 0.8% IBA , while providing bottom heat of 21 °C under mist, rooting should take 3-4 weeks. Sow seeds in the spring after a stratification period of two weeks in 0 °C to (-10 °C), after stratification germinate seeds at 13-18 °C. Induce stems to send out new roots by surounding them in soil, a process called layering.   Don’t fertilize… just mulch as the roots burn easily.
More information from PFAF… 

Pasha arctic kiwi – male
Striking pink, white and green variegated leaves, and will pollinate up to 8 females.

September Sun  arctic kiwi – Female
A superior Russian female noted for large and tasty fruit that ripens mid September.

Hardy Kiwi – Actinidia arguta

 Sweeter and more flavourful than the fuzzy, and with smooth skin you just pop them into you mouth whole.  Good to minus 20F, likes 1/2 day of sun, one vine can produce over 100 lbs at year 4.  Needs a male for pollinizing.    We have experienced troubles with the “marketed” tag of self fertile that has been given to Issai, and have added a pollinator specifically for Issai.  Issai is noted as being the least vigorous of the hardy kiwis

More information can be found at PFAF
Exceptional PDF on care and cultivation -Oregon State University…

Andrey hardy kiwi – Male
A hardy kiwi, but from Eastern Russia, where it handles temperatures down to minus 40F… specifically chosen for Natasha and Michigan State.

Anna hardy kiwi – Female
Anna is the most popular variety for commercial production, is abundant with sweet large fruit.

Michigan Sate hardy kiwi – Female
Chosen for its unusually large, sweet, lime green fruit

Male Hardy kiwi  for Issai
Very profuse bloom, so much so that many people use it as an ornamental.  Like all other kiwis, one male is good for 8 females.

Issai hardy kiwi – Female (partially self fertile)
Supposedly self fertile as sold in the regular nurseries, but reports seem to suggest hit or miss.   More compact vine, grows well in 1/2 day sun, and unlike other hardy kiwis, it is more sensitive to the cold, good to minus 10F.

Fuzzy Kiwi – Actinidia deliciosa

These are the fuzzy ones that you see in the store.  Great keepers!  Pick in October, place in a bowl on the counter, and they are still great through December.  Hardy to 0F, begins bearing at age 3-4 years.

Kiwi fruits are vigorous plants that need plenty of space. They should be planted 3-4.5m (10-15ft) apart. Plants start to produce fruit three to four years after planting.   Kiwi fruits require a sheltered sunny position, preferably a south- or west-facing wall, although they can be grown in the open in milder areas. Young shoots are extremely vulnerable to frost damage in the spring and may require protection.  They grow best in a fertile, well-drained slightly acid soil which is rich in organic matter.

Exceptional PDF on care and cultivation -Oregon State University…

Saanichton 12 fuzzy kiwi – Female
What can you say… developed a few miles away.   Ripens about 1 week before Hayward.

Hayward fuzzy kiwi – Female
This is the kiwi found in the stores

Male Fuzzy kiwi
Good for both Hayward and Saanichton.  One male for 8 females.   We have found the males to be slower growing than the females.

Goumi – Elaeagnus multiflora

A power house plant, hard to access, that is a choice edible berry, growth 9′ x 6′, that is a nitrogen fixer, mulcher, and can grow in poor soils, part shade, and once established (3 yrs) is drought tolerant.  Hardy to minus 25F.   High in vitamins A, C, and E, has flavenoids and even essential fatty acids.
Considered one of the most useful plants by PFAF…

Red Gem Goumi – Available Spring 2014
From the far east of Russia, high quality, large and tasty fruit

Sweet Scarlett Goumi – Available Spring 2014
From the Main Botanical Garden in Kiev, cultivated for its fruit.

Autumn Olive – Elaeagnus umbellata

An Elaeagnus, which means it is a nitrogen fixing plant.  Hardy to minus 30F.  The autumn olive is (like the goumi) one of the power house plants.  that is a choice edible berry, growth 14′ x 13′, that is a nitrogen fixer, mulcher, and can grow in poor soils, part shade, and once established (3 yrs) is drought tolerant.  We grow ours amongst the arbutus trees, in pockets of rich, humus heavy soils made from leaf mulch and sawdust composted on the driveway and scraped up.   Every fruit and nut tree is best served to have its own nitrogen fixer.
Autumn Olive is jug lone tolerant, so it works well with walnuts.
More info on from PFAF…

Amber autumn olive
A Japanese variety  that produces large, sweet,  golden yellow fruits in late summer.

Ruby autumn olive
Produces large bright red fruit, ours fruited in the second year!

Garnet autumn olive
Reddish bronze in colour, large quantities, intense flavour.

Seven Ravens/Geoff Johnson/Fernwood  Cultivar
Considered by some to be an improved variety, but not classified as such yet, it is proving to be a very impressive producer of large red fruits for many… though we have yet to see any production after 4 years.  Will likely be discontinuing if it does not produce in 2015.

Seabuck Thorn – Hippophae rhamnoides

Another power house!  Male and female plants, tea from the leaves of the male, fruits extremely high in vitamin A,C and E from the females, and a highly useful oil great for psoriasis and eczema.  Hardy to minus 40F, no disease or pest problems, can grow in poor sandy and gravely soils.     There are German and Russian varieties, mostly due to the fact that it is been researched and bred in areas that deem its esteemed value.    Plants For A Future considers this one of their top 20 most useful plants out of the 7000 they have listed.
More info at PFAF…
Cultivation Information from 1996 paper from Hort Tech…

German Cultivars

German varieties are more vigorous than the Russian varieties, growing 8′-12′ in height, and have a higher acid content (more vitamin C).  A later ripening crop than Russian, and the juice by itself is good quality.

  • Askola Sea Berry – High Vit C and E
  • Leikora  Sea Berry – good fresh eating – very large berries, late.
  • Golden Sweet Sea Berry – German – Female That said Golden Sweet is indeed sweet and thus can be eaten fresh and does not need to be blended with other fruits to cut the acid.
  • Hergo Sea Berry – most widely planted in Germany, medium-early
  • Orange Energy Sea Berry – new patented cultivar in North America, medium early and high yields, few thorns .

German varieties are more vigorous than the Russian varieties, growing 8′-12′ in height, and have a higher acid content (more vitamin C).  Orange Energy (as poorly named as it is) is noted for its huge abundant crops, and its vitamin rich makeup.   A juicer.


Russian Cultivars

Russian varieties are smaller and less vigorous than the German, and thus fit well in the nooks and crannies, and places where a nitrogen fixing niche needs to be filled –  and earlier to ripen.

  • Titan Sea Berry – largest of the Russian at 10 ft (though at a slow pace), very large flavourful and aromatic fruit
  • Russian Orange Sea Berry – Attractive plant with dark orange fruit and slender long foliage – High ornamental value on its own
  • Star of Altai Sea Berry – unusually sweet berries suited for dry conditions, large reddish orange berries, and very long tray leaves.
  • Botanica Sea Berry – Very large bright orange flavourful berries, ripen mid August
  • Sirola Sea Berry – Cross between Russian and German – SWEET and easily picked.

Male Sea Berry 
One male will wind pollinate up to 8 females.

Grapes – Wine

Stueben Grape – black – limited
Very large, nicely formed, long and slender compact clusters, blue to purplish black grapes; delicious, tender sweet flesh with a distinctive spicy flavour; very good table and juice grape; makes excellent red wine; vigorous, hardy, and very productive vines; resistant to black rot and downy mildew; ripens late September

Pinot Noir Grape – Black 
Cuttings from Welland Orchard in View Royal.  Small, thin-skinned, blue-black berries with large, numerous seeds; clusters are small and compact; requires warm days consistently supported by cool evenings; ripens early October; if picked at the proper maturity, produces a wine with excellent aroma, flavour and a soft finish; bunches rot quickly if damaged by birds or insects; moderately vigorous and productive

Castel Grape- Red  
It is recommended for the shorter season areas of British Columbia and rated well in a variety trial held on Vancouver Island in the late 1980’s. Over the 5 years that grapes were harvested in the “Duncan Project” study the average Brix was 24, PH was 3.12, and the TA was 1.27. The five year average degree days accumulation was 900 from April to October. These are great numbers for such low degree day accumulations and are similar to the numbers that have been observed from this variety in trials in Minnisota which recorded Brix 23.9°, 3.05 pH, and 10.3 g/l of acidity. The comments on the wine from the Duncan Project were “red, intense colour, full body, attractive, earthy flavour, hybrid character, acidity.”  It has excellent cold hardiness to -30 c and disease resistance against Powdery Mildew and Downy Mildew

Grapes – Table

These grapes are commonly sold for the Pacific Northwest (or being Canadian we call it the Pacific Southwest).  We have been experimenting with the vines and pruning and are trimming them back heavily in the late fall leaving two buds on each lateral.   The spring comes, and the vines rain… they exude huge amounts of sap – originally thought of as a concern, we have now learned that this is a sign of extreme health, and is used as a diagnosis tool by those whom have vineyards.
Informative 30 page PDF from Oregon State University…

Vanessa Grape- red
These are Ann’s favourite!     Gord thinks she is biased because they are red.  They are abundant, tight clusters of medium sized fruit, maturing in mid to late September (later than Himrod), and are very sweet without any hint of skin bitterness.

Soveriegn Coronation Grape- purple
These are great, and taste purple.   They mature in mid to late September, are sweet and could be overtaking Gord’s preference for the Himrod.

Himrod Grape- green
Gord’s favourite… though the Sovereign Coronation seem to be tied this past year.   The Himrod has long loose clusters of big fruit, the vine is really robust… and would even make a good rootstock for other varieties.

Interlaken Grape- golden
Early ripening, hardy golden fruit that is good for fresh eating, juicing and raisins.

Fredona Grape- blue/black
Cutting from Welland Orchard in View Royal.   Large, blue-black, thick, tough skin berries similar to Concord; excellent for fresh eating and for arbors; ripens late August early September  – very early!

Black Monukka Grape- black seedless
The Black Monukka is a medium sized black seedless table grape with tender skin and an excellent crisp, sweet flavor. One of the hardiest European varieties.  Good fresh or for raisins. Cane or spur pruning. Ripens August into September.  Grows in zones: 6 – 10

Mulberry – Morus spp.

There are many species and characteristics of mulberries.  Below are the three we have chosen, though this LINK  provides a rundown of the history and various species.  They are trees that produce long berries that range in colour from white, red to black, some firmer and drier, others juicy.  Leaves are edible, they are good shade plants, create mulch, and work well as chicken forage.

Black Pakistan mulberry – Morus macroura (x rubra?)
Also called the Himalayan mulberry.  Originated in Islamabad, Pakistan. Extremely large ruby-red fruit 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long and 3/8 inch in diameter. Flesh firmer than most other named cultivars. Sweet with a fine balance of flavors. Quality excellent. Tree spreading with large heart-shaped leaves.  Fruit is long, easy and on par with the Black Mulberry (Morus nigra),  has edible leaves.  (PFAF misses the mark on this one).  We have incorporated this tree into our chicken system as it is a prime forage food for them.  Good for zone 7, ours handles minus 10C easily.

Black Persian mulberry – Morus Nigra
M. nigra. Large black fruit, over an inch long and almost as wide. Juicy with a rich, subacid flavor. The tree is fairly drought-resistant once established.  Height usually is below 30 ft and is more bush-like.  Hardy to zone 5, handles part shade, edible leaves.
More info at PFAF…

Illinois Everbearing mullberry – Morus alba x M. rubra
M. alba X M. rubra. Originated in White County, Illinois. Introduced in 1958. Black, nearly seedless fruit large and very long, averaging 12 per ounce. Flavor good to very good, very sweet, considered best by by many. Matures over along season. Tree vigorous and somewhat dwarfed, extremely hardy and productive.     PFAF does not have a listing for this

White Mulberries “Carmen” and “Ivory” – Morus alba
These two cultivars were created in Canada and are hard to find.  Smaller berries at 3/4″ in length, sweet, and white so not such a target as the darker ones.


Apples… well why not?  There are many people selling apples, and our favourite person is Harry Burton from Apple Luscious Farm on Saltspring.  That said we are having fun playing with them, and are now growing our own 3/4 size M111 rootstock, and our Boo Surprise rootstock (more to be said further on).

Why don’t we use dwarf rootstock?  We understand the benefits of smaller trees for smaller yards, but in our research we are finding that the M9 (for example) has a short lived life (9-20 years), is more disease prone, requires staking, is not drought tolerant, and is prone to die-back if cut back for cleft grafting.  We look at this as being more labour than keeping the M111 dwarfed via three prunings per year (clip 1/2 new growth in spring, clip 1/2 new growth in summer, regular fall pruning).  This way we get to visit the trees while pruning, yet not cater to it through other means.

Mutsu – M111 Rootstock

Suntan – M111 Rootstock

Honeycrisp – M111 Rootstock

Cox Orange Pippin – M111 Rootstock

King (of Tompkins) – M111 Rootstock
Where we live, in the District of Highlands, of Victoria, BC, there is a historical homestead, Caleb Pike Homestead.  This was a scion from the tree planted in the 1880’s.  Big, vigorous, and a triploid cultivar so a great pollinator.  (sold out)

Rootstock M111
(Sold out for 2015)

Boo Surprise
What is a Boo Surprise?  When our dog Boo was a puppy, he got ALL the apple cores, and he planted ALL the apple cores.  One seed that took has stood out more remarkably than any of the others, and any of the conventional trees we have growing.  This seed was found growing in the shade of arbutus trees, on the top of the hill, hanging out of the cliff, on the outside of the fence.  This tree at three years of age, having been almost completely girdled two winters earlier by rodents, was 6 feet tall and expressing beautiful robust shape and growth, with incredibly large beautiful leaves and big flowers.   This was an area that gets no watering, on the top edge of a rocky knoll.  Upon excavating the roots during Fall 2013, we kept a couple sprouts for rootstock, and kept the tree.
The roots are large lateral growing with the same thickness as the main tree, with strong secondary roots radiating off.    In comparison to the three yr old M111 rootstock, there is none – the Boo Surprise is estimated to be 3X more robust in size and thickness.   We think this is a lucky find for a very hardy drought tolerant rootstock, and this summer (2014) we will be able to see the fruit.    We are not sure as to how to approach this amazing  discovery yet… but we are blown away.  Stay Tuned!

Boo Surprise Rootsock – ¾, robust, drought tolerant

Fig –

Desert King
We have never given much consideration to have other fig species, as this one we love and have no desire to have more (but we do).  The trees originated from cuttings off of Gord’s Dad’s tree, one that has been growing for 35 years and is abused, and consistently produced close to 500 lbs of delicious fruit a year.    We have found that they LOVE greywater!  We dry them, make them into fruit leather, and make sauce just by boiling them down thus becoming our sweetener.

More info at Planet Fig…

2 yr old and rooted cuttings

Dwarf Black Negronne
We wanted to experiment with this fig as it fruits on first year growth, and is ideally suited for small spots like pots on decks.   We did not get it for this reason, we wanted to use it to create hedgings and to see if it works well in ‘live staking’ in places where bank stabilization is required.  Often Dogwood and Willow are used… so we wanted to bring fig into this mix.  Creates two crops a year in Victoria under ideal conditions.   Grows 8 feet.

Hardy Bush Fig
Derived from the Honey fig, this bush is hardy to zone 5, grows to 3 feet, produces on first years growth, and has strawberry red flesh.   Great for filling in the understory.

Peter’s Honey Fig
Another tree that produces, and is sized like the Desert King.  We planted these out spring of 2015.

Goji – Lycium spp.

There are two types of Goji/Wolfberry … the Lycium Babarum and Lycium Chinense.  To date the information on the differences between cultivars is poor at best, with the Royal Horticultural Society sating that within the Lycium Barbarum, that there is only one cultivar.    Below we have separated the two, with suggested cultivars and info.  We think the key to planting either, is to prep the hole with premium potting soil (homemade or bought) and some compost to quick start the root development.
Needless to say, Goji’s are a power house plants with great flavour and nutrition.
General info on Wikipedia…

Lycium Babarum
Supposedly there are no different cultivars, but that said we have three varieties that we are keeping separate notes on.  Grows 5′-6′ tall, self fertile, hardy to minus 10F, nutritious.  Fruits are sweet and tasty.  Super high in anti-oxidants.    Good for Zone 7.
More information at PFAF…

Seedlings – various genetics (ready for 2017)
Crimson  Star – grown commercially in Northern China. (in stock)

Lycium Chinense
Slightly hardier and flowers earlier than L. barbarum, good for zone 6, and grows slightly larger to 8 feet.   (Very vigorous, and ready for 2017)
More info at PFAF…

Elderberry – Sambucus spp.

Easy to grow shrub, great for juice, preserves, wine and baking… and they make the wildlife happy too (read what you want into that).

Nova – Sambucus canadensis
Grows 6′-8′ talls, flowers in late spring, pollinated by York, with dark blue berries.  Good to minus 30F.  Sold in pairs only (York and Nova).  Juglone tolerant = walnut friendly!
More info at PFAF…

York – Sambucus canadensis
Grows 6′-8′ tall, flowers in late spring, with purplish black fruits in late summer.  pollinated by Nova.  Good to minus 30F.   Sold in pairs only (York & Nova).  Juglone tolerant = walnut friendly!
More info at PFAF…

Korsor – Sambucus nigra
These are a European variety, growing 6′-8′ tall, and is noted for producing abundant crops of high-quality, large, dark blue berries, but we found most people bought this variety for the flowers – the flowers are use in confections, fritters and cordials.    Is somewhat self fertile, but aids to have a second variety for cross pollination.  Juglone Resistant = walnut friendly!
More Info at PFAF…

Saskatoon Berry – Amelanchier alnifolia

Grows 13′ tall x 9′ wide, hardy to zone 2.  Historically significant food plants grown in the open spaces around the Douglas Firs, and worthy of consideration for their sweet fruit too, and the leaves are a tea substitute.
BC Government PDF on June berry
More info at PFAF…

Lemon – Citrus × meyeri

Improved Meyer Lemon –  dwarf rootstock graft, and full rootstock

Paw Paw  – Asimina triloba

A  North American “tropical” fruit growing to 14ft tall.    Fruits can get to be 1 foot long, but 6″ is more normal, for the custard like, banana flavoured fruit.  Begins bearing at age 2-3.   It starts out slow growing, putting its energy into its taproot, then when length is achieved, it begins to grow the tree.  Hardy to minus 25F, this tree like sun and part shade, (despite PFAF noting otherwise).  It is Juglone tolerant = walnut friendly!
Two varieties need to be paired up, so we will well them as pairs, and availability will change until our seedlings are old enough to propagate and graft.
Pawpaw has a reputation of being difficult to transplant. Plants should be transplanted at 12″ to 18″ (30.5 to 46 cm) tall while dormant. The addition of approximately 25% vermiculite by volume into the hole at planting is a commonly recommended practice. One nursery (Mellinger’s Inc., North Lima, OH) suggests dipping the roots into gibberellic acid before planting. Another practice thought to improve transplanting success is the addition of soil from the original hole into the new hole. Pawpaw is believed to have a symbiotic association with mycorrhizae. Those advocating this practice argue that soil from the original hole should contain this fungus and aid in its establishment at the new site, thus improving pawpaw transplanting success. Trimming back the top is often recommended when transplanting. A 12″ (30.5 cm) seedling should be pruned back to about 8″ (20 cm) when transplanting. (quoted from here)
More info at Canada Gardens…

Winter Green – Gaultheria Procumbbens

Gaultheria procumbens
A wonderful surprise for a ground cover that grows 1′ tall by 3 ‘ wide, ad likes humousy soil, slightly acidic, and is shade tolerant.  The berries are around in December, sweetened by frost, and have a delicious flavour.  For a little bush it is a heavy producer!  Also the leaves are used in tea.   We are growing these in amongst our tea (Camelia sinensis) and Blueberries, under the fir tree canopy which provides dappled light.  We avoid the need for acid soil remediation, by swapping the benefits of heavy organics – acidic soil is required by some plants to absorb enough iron (e.g.. blueberries), but in very rich soils, there is enough nutrient density to compensate for the need to have it acidic.

Cornelian Cherry (Dogwood) – Cornus mas

A unique species of Dogwood tree that grows to 15′ tall and wide, hardy to zone 5 (minus 30F), handles partial shade, flowers in late february.  For fruit, two varieties are required for cross pollination, thus we sell the following in pairs.
More info at PFAF…

Elegant Cornelian Cherry – abundant pear shaped dark red tasty fruit

Pioneer Cornelian Cherry – abundant pear shaped dark red tasty fruit too!

Highbush Cranberry – Viburnum opulus

Ukraine Highbush Cranberry
A shrub growing to 10-115 ft, hardy to zone 3, flowers June/July and fruits ripen late September into October.  It can handle part shade.  It is self fertile.  This cultivar is from the Main Botanic Garden in Kiev and was chosen due to its superior quality fruit, and the great productivity is an added bonus.  Note:  most Highbush cranberry are not very tasty, thus the excitement about this one.   If there is one plant we can’t kill… it is this one.    (for 2015 we are planting in the “we ain’t going to water, just forget about it ” zone.   We have high expectations.
More general info at PFAF…

Chinese Dogwood – Cornus kousa chinense

Julian Chinese Dogwood
A dwarfed chinese dogwood growing as a small tree – 15 feet, hardy to zone 5, very disease resistant and easy to grow.  Creamy white flowers turn to deep red flavourful fruit, and purple fall colour.
More general info on Cornus kousa chinensis at PFAF…

Russian Olive – Elaeagnus angustifolia

Also called Oleaster, this nitrogen fixing tree, growing to 20′ tall and wide, is hardy to zone 2, is jug lone tolerant, and produces edible fruits similar to Autumn Olive and Goumi.  It can handle shitty soil (not fertile), needs a sunnier location, and is drought tolerant.
Good info at PFAF…

Chinese Date – Jube Jube – Ziziphus jujuba

A small deciduous tree or shrub reaching a height of 5–12 metres (16–39 ft), usually with thorny branches. The leaves are shiny-green.  The flowers are small,  are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects;  the plant is said to be self-fertile… but we don’t believe that and therefore sell two different cultivars or seedlings as a pair.  The fruit  an edible oval drupe 1.5–3 centimetres ; when immature it is smooth-green, with the consistency and taste of an apple, maturing brown to purplish-black and eventually wrinkled, looking like a small date. There is a single hard stone similar to an olive stone.

Li and Lang
Sold as a set in 5 gallon pots.  Very limited stock

We started these e by seed and the first year it grows all root… 1 foot of root to 1 inch of plant.  2015 will be the year to see what it does above ground – it handled -10C in a pot for a week the winter of 2014.
More info at PFAF…

Chinese Date Plum – Diospyros lotus – for 2016

 A deciduous tree growing to 9 m (29ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required).  The plant is not self-fertile.

American Persimmon – Diospyros virginianna – for 2016

A native American fruit tree that is small to medium upright tree, hardy to minus 25F
More info at PFAF

Japanese Persimmon – Diospyros kaki –

Sweet Fuyu Persimmon
Two non-astringent persimmons that grow in Victoria BC are Sweet Fuyu and Izu.  Will produce fruit without needing a partner but seeds will be sterile.  Asian persimmon is one of the most widely planted fruits in the world.  A small tree yet fruit is large, bright orange and very sweet.   Very limited qty.   Imports not allowed into Canada.  Plants in an area that mimics climate zone 8.
More info at PFAF


Romeo – Dwarf Cherry
Ripens late August-early September.  The dark red/black fruit weighs about 4 gram.  Good for fresh eating and processing. Very good for juice.  Grows to 6.5 ft with low suckering.  Excellent for fresh eating and processing; one of the best for juice.  High brix rating of 22.

Juliet – Dwarf Cherry
A good fresh-eating cherry with excellent flavour. Known for its sweetness.  Ready for harvest early-mid August.  Dark red fruit (5 gram), good for fresh eating and processing.  Grows to 6.5 feet with low suckering.  A real sweetie at 20 brix.

Cupid – Dwarf Cherry
Big and Late – ripens late August-early September.  Has large dark red fruit (6.5 grams).  Good for fresh eating and processing.  Grows to 6.5 ft with low suckering.  Concentrated flavour with 19 Brix.

Valentine – Dwarf Cherry
Valentine has the highest vigour and productivity of the U. of S. Romance cherries.  Medium red fruit (4.5 gram) have light red flesh and juice.  Ready for harvest early-mid August.  Good for processing. Too tart for most people for fresh-eating; good for pies.  Grows to 8 ft with some suckering.   Brix rating of 15.


Captivator Red Gooseberry
Jumbo fruits on semi-thornless canes. This hybrid of a European and American species bred in Canada bears large, 1 inch, teardrop-shaped berries on a large, open bush that is both very hardy and mildew resistant. The fruit is green when immature, turning pink to full red when ripe with very sweet flavor.

Hinomaki Red Gooseberry
Hinnomaki cultivars from Finland are sweet and flavourful.  Heavy crops of red  medium sized fruit are borne on upright plants that have good mildew resistance.

Hinomaki Yellow Gooseberry
Hinnomaki cultivars from Finland are sweet and flavourful.  Heavy crops of  yellow-green medium sized fruit are borne on upright plants that have good mildew resistance.


Honeyqueen Raspberry
A golden raspberry cultivar with a flavour that has been described as apricot-like and sweet as honey – it doesn’t have the tartness of red raspberries – very tasty!  This golden yellow raspberry is quite hard to find. Berries are soft and medium-sized , great for fresh picking and eating in early summer. Developed in Canada, plants are very winter hardy. Canes are yellowish, nicely arched and moderately spiny.

Heritage Raspberry
Red everbearing raspberry –  the standard for production from spring often through till early December.  The robins like to share.


Quinalt Strawberry
An everbearing variety (day neutral) that produces berries on unrooted runners. Developed by Washington State University.  As the runners are unrooted it makes great ground cover or border planting which is rare for a production plant to actually be a useful garden addition.  Berries up to 2″ in diameter from June till frost. Self pollinating.

Tristar Strawberry
Easy-care plants, medium height and disease resistant, medium sized berries.  Everbearing (day neutral), which means a heavy crop in early spring, lighter crops in summer weather, and increased size berries in fall. Cold-hardy. Self-pollinating.

5 responses to “Fruits and Berries

  1. Hello! A couple of years ago now, hard to believe,I went to one of your first open house garden tours with Hatchet and Seed and loved it. Have I remembered correctly that you sold silverberry bushes (ovoid shaped purple/pink berries)? Do you sell Chilean guava berry bushes absolutely delicious and a favourite berry of Queen Victoria? I am interested in finding both.

    • Hi Lucy,
      We do have Silverberry (Elaeagnus x Ebbingei)… It has taken us three years to get it, but we now have some. We do not have Chilean guava at the moment though may in the spring. Pricing for the silverberry is on our Plant Availability list under the “plants” section.
      Cheers Gord

  2. Why are the White Mulberries “Carmen” and “Ivory” – Morus alba so hard to find in Canada if they originated here? I’m looking for a nice sweet white mulberry, as dwarf as possible.

  3. do you sell any of this fruit i like to buy goomi and cranberry i live near ottawa,ca zone 4

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