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Goumi berries - yield test  RSS feed

 
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I only recently discovered goumi berries. I have seen them dried on the bush several times, when I arrived at the garden, too late in the season. I tried them this year and decided that I like them.
.......
 Research has shown that they are the highest food in lycopene, the stuff that is supposed to make tomatoes a very healthy food for men. I wasn't able to determine the exact quantity of lycopene. Goumi berries are related to autumn olives, which have 11 times more lycopene than tomatoes. I eat the seeds. Apparently the seeds are filled with some very healthy oils.
.......
I went to the internet in search of yield information and several articles told me that no such information exists.

So, I will create the beginning of this information, with a sampling of one bush, in one location.

 I have chosen one bush that occupies about 60 square feet of ground space. It is in full sun most of the day. No one else seems to harvest these berries, so I'm pretty sure that I will get everything that the birds don't eat.

I'm picking them into containers that hold 750g of yogurt.

So far, I have harvested five full containers, on five different visits. I think I've picked about half of them. Time will tell.

It takes approximately 15 minutes for me to fill a container. These berries aren't very big. The internet tells me that they should be cherry sized, but I'm finding that they are about one-third that size, on average. Perhaps this is a fertilization or watering issue. There may also be other cultivars.
.......
If I were buying any sort of organically raised berry in a container this size, I would expect to pay at least $10. It looks like this bush will yield at least $1 worth of food per square foot. It produces its own nitrogen. Looks like a winner to me.
.....
Here's how new I am to goumi berries. There are some nice pictures in this thread.

https://permies.com/t/67824/Identify-plant-edible-berries

One day I post something asking what is this plant. 2 weeks later, I will be the world expert on yield, according to mr. Google.
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Posts: 12
Location: California Sierra's
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Oh! so now there is ANOTHER plant that I want! I am finding that the waiting is what makes me crazy... ok.. crazier. I have to wait for everything to grow and it seems that all of it takes years to produce. How old is this bush?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1940
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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pollinator
Posts: 244
Location: Maine, zone 5
16
food preservation forest garden homestead solar trees wood heat
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My goumi is loaded like the branch in the above picture despite getting no direct sun light in the middle of summer.  It does get a little direct light in spring and fall.  I'm very, very impressed.  I would categorize it as growing in dry shade.  Not a lot does well there but my goumi is thriving.  It's about 8' tall and 10' wide.  Should be a great fruiting nitrogen fixer for the understory. 
 
Dale Hodgins
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This bush is about 10 years old. I'm not sure if it has been growing continuously, or if it grew to size and then is holding at this level.

It is evergreen here on Vancouver Island. Looks very much like an azalea, in color and form. I could see using it as a foundation planting especially since it's not particular about some shade. Seems like a good companion plant for taller fruit trees and other things that could benefit from the nitrogen produced.

Between the shade cast by the fruit tree and the shade made by the goumi berry, I doubt that there would ever be much of a weed or grass problem under the trees. Chickens could be released, after humans have all that they want. This should further reduce any unwanted competition for the fruit trees.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Seven.

I have now harvested seven containers of berries from that single bush. Since discovering these berries, a couple weeks ago, I have made them about 20% of my diet. I hardly notice the coating on the tongue, if I allow them to completely ripen. I always eat the seeds.

According to various sources, there is more lycopene available once they are cooked. They seem like something that would be good in pies or as a hot drink.

I'm going to run some through the blender, seeds and all. I suspect that I will get a drink that has some fibrous material at the bottom. That's what happens when I drink Cowboy Coffee.
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Edit - Nine. I went back and picked 2 more containers of berries. Freezing some.
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Greg Martin
pollinator
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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Can't wait to hear what you think of them after using the blender on them Dale.  This is the first year that my birds haven't quickly wiped them out on me so I have some to play with for the first time.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy!
......
Birds ate all of them. They ate every ripe berry and only left a few stray green ones. I know it was birds, because of the thoroughness, because of the bird shit and because none of the undergrowth was trampled. Hundreds of berries had dropped to the ground and were being consumed by ants. These were also taken. This happened to the bush that I was picking and to the two bushes that I was leaving for a disinterested public.

My best guess is that this bush would have produced three more containers of berries.

I licked my wounds and consoled myself with a gluttonous portion of red and black currants and the first mulberry of the season.

I harvested some of the goumi berries before they were ripe. They ripen while sitting in containers in a warm car. So, that's it. I got somewhere around $90 worth of berries from a bush that occupies 60 square feet. That's $1.50 per square foot.
.........
The bush in the picture, is not the one I was picking. This is a nicely shaped specimen, at the confluence of two paths. The one I was picking was so hemmed in by black currants and invading lemon balm, that it would be difficult to get a shot of the whole plant.
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Dale Hodgins
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I haven't run any of these through the blender. It has been packed away since the kitchen renovation.

These berries freeze really well. They don't stick to one another, so it's easy to get the amount you want out of the freezer. When thawed, they don't leak juice everywhere. I like eating them in a half-frozen state. The perfect food for eating in front of the TV. I've tried freezing strawberries, watermelon and other things, that leave a runny mess when thawed.

When eating right off of the bush, there is a tongue coating aftertaste, that some might not like. This is not present when the fruit has been frozen.
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2 minutes after leaving the freezer. Perfect for eating.
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Almost thawed.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I just checked and the berries are ripening. Harvested a full Starbucks cup. I got here 2 weeks earlier than last year. I tried some red currants, some cherries, sea Buckthorn, which are almost done, some raspberries and the goumi berries.

They seem to have a heavier crop on them this year. But then, I got in on it halfway through the season last year. It's cloudy and 9:20 p.m., so not quite bright enough for pictures, although it won't be truly dark for an hour.

I came here to check out the sea buckthorn, since I'm sending some to a member in Nova Scotia. Needed to check them out when fruiting, so I would know male from female. My plan is to take cuttings after they are dormant in the winter, and then send them through the mail. These ones are seedless and not invasive.
 
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Thank you for running this experiment Dale. Goumi berries are some of my very favorite fruits. I'm glad you're trying to put out more information about them.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you James. I encourage others to post anything to do with how they have grown Goumi berries. My experience is as a harvester. Very labor efficient. :-)

It looks like I was off with my date in my last post. Although it's two weeks earlier in the year, my initial post, last year said that I didn't write anything until my fifth harvest. So if I'm earlier this year, it's probably only by a few days. These berries are by far the most prolific and reliable crop in the public garden. They don't irrigate, and some items like the red currants, don't seem to be happy with that.

Even during the driest time, last year, the Goumi berries looked attractive as a yard shrub.
 
pollinator
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Location: Unincorporated Pierce County, WA Zone 7b
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My goumi is going crazy.  So crazy I can't figure out what to do with all the berries as I can only eat so many raw before the astringency gets to me.  I actually signed in her for the first time in awhile to see if anyone has actually figured out what to do with them!  I know I only have a couple of days before they hit that magic stage of ripeness and the birds eat them all.

My plan was to try steam juicing them and then making jelly.  Steam juicing them resulted in a watery pale liquid that smelled strongly of tomatoes.  Must be the lycopene.  I cooled the juice off and mixed it with some sugar to test the flavor.  Not great.  Steam juicing them knocked the sweetness out of them and the tomato flavor was just bizarre in what had been a fairly sweet fruit. 

Sooooooo, I would really love to find a way to get the seeds out and make jelly or fruit leather or SOMETHING with them.  Almost all the references I read suggest that they can be used in pies and jams and wines but I have yet to stumble across an actual recipe for any of this! 
 
Dale Hodgins
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I froze a lot of them last year and then made smoothies. There's no need to remove the seed. I eat every seed along with the fibrous portion. When they go through the blender, the fibrous seed parts tend to settle to the bottom, so they could be easily separated. I read that there's healthy stuff inside the seed, so blending it should release some of that into the juice. No processing is usually the easiest and best option.

They are probably 20% of my diet right now. I harvested two canning jars of them last night.
 
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K Putnam wrote:My goumi is going crazy.  So crazy I can't figure out what to do with all the berries as I can only eat so many raw before the astringency gets to me.  I actually signed in her for the first time in awhile to see if anyone has actually figured out what to do with them!  I know I only have a couple of days before they hit that magic stage of ripeness and the birds eat them all.

My plan was to try steam juicing them and then making jelly.  Steam juicing them resulted in a watery pale liquid that smelled strongly of tomatoes.  Must be the lycopene.  I cooled the juice off and mixed it with some sugar to test the flavor.  Not great.  Steam juicing them knocked the sweetness out of them and the tomato flavor was just bizarre in what had been a fairly sweet fruit. 

Sooooooo, I would really love to find a way to get the seeds out and make jelly or fruit leather or SOMETHING with them.  Almost all the references I read suggest that they can be used in pies and jams and wines but I have yet to stumble across an actual recipe for any of this! 



You could give us suggestions for this thread!  https://permies.com/t/84187/Replacement-Ideas-Growing-Tomatoes ;

My silverberries aren't fruiting yet.  I could also plant goumis in the same hedge (someday it will be a hedge.  so far it has killed everything planted there except the elaeagnus x ebbingei silverberry) but fear it might be overkill.

I have a bumper crop of red currants and am contemplating running some through a meat grinder then forcing them through a sieve, all cold, and doing something with the syrup.  Would something like that work for you?
 
Dale Hodgins
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I have continued to eat these berries every day since my first posting this year. I think I can safely announce that there is no lethal dose.

But, I have found that the coating it leaves on the tongue can be irritating and very high consumption has led to soreness in my throat, for about half an hour after consumption. This wasn't nibbling, I'm talking about consuming over one cup of berries in a go.

I think for most people, they are best enjoyed in a smoothie or in some other a way that doesn't involve cooking all of the goodness out of it.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The berries are done for this year. As usual, most were eaten by the birds. For the second year in a row, I have seen a sign asking people not to harvest more than they can eat while they are at the Garden. I'm sure the signs are meant for me. I always make sure to harvest the most difficult ones, leaving the ones along the path for anyone who might want to try them. Those berries don't get picked. Then when they are at a peak of ripeness, birds descend and finish them up. The same happens to the cherries and the mulberries. I have about 2 lb stored in the freezer.
 
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