Monday, September 10, 2007

My Favorite Shrub- Black Aronia

Aronia melanocarpa elata- Glossy Black Chokeberry
Last year we put together an article 'Landscaping Not Just For the Birds', about landscaping with edible plants, and we were inspired to try some of the fruits we listed. The Black Aronia shrubs had a bumper crop of berries last fall, so we picked buckets of them, and experimented with wine, jam, cookies, and bread recipes. They are really quite good and freeze well.

Purplish black fruits have a dry flavor. The fruit clusters ripen in the fall and are best picked when fully black but before the first frost hits. They can be cleaned and used right away, but freezing the berries will release more juice. Aronia berries have a high concentration of anthocyanins and flavonoids, five to ten times higher than cranberry juice. They also contain beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals and vitamins.

We currently grow Glossy Black Chokeberry and the Iroquois Beauty™ compact selection available in 2-3ft #5 containers. Click the button on the left for current availability and pricing.