Berries are yummy, full of health benefits but expensive.
They are one of the most popular fruits on the market today so much so that Australians import a large amount of fresh and frozen berries each year.
The recent health issues associated with imported frozen berries have stopped many people from eating these lovely fruits.
It does not have to be this way. The Glasshouse Region is in a perfect location which enables us to grow many different types of berries right in your backyards without all the cost and worry.
Blueberries, Raspberries, Mulberries, Strawberries and Grapes all grow will locally. It is all about selection, plant and location. Some blueberries worth trying are the low chill types. Common ones available locally include ‘Gulf Coast’, ‘Biloxi’, ‘Sharpblue’, ‘Misty’, ‘Britwell’, ‘Legacy’ and ‘Powderblue’. For exotic Raspberries try the autumn fruiting types such as ‘Heritage’ and ‘Autumn Blizz’.
There are a few good native raspberries worth trying also the most known and largest being the Atherton Raspberry. For Mulberries there are Black and White types (whites don’t stain) and Red and White Shahtoots. The Shahtoot types are longer then the standard mulberries and are very sweet. For strawberries there are hundred of different types so pick a few and try your luck and see which ones are keepers.
If you want to grow grapes go for the older types. Two good ones locally are the white type ‘Pink Iowa’ and the black type ‘Isabella’.
In a permaculture system grapes can be grown over your mulberries trees or other fruit crop like the tropical apples and pear. This method has many benefits but the most noticeable one being the saving of space.
There are also many different types of berry fruits suitable in our local environment. Some of these berry fruits include, Grumichama, Jaboticaba, Brazilian Cherry, Capulin Cherry, Panama Berry and Acerola Cherry to name a handful.
The yummy fruits, their health benefits and the money saved from growing some of your own berries makes it all worth the while.
Article written by Joshua van Veen, Horticulturalist and Permaculturalist at van Veen Organics – Permaculture Plant Nursery in Elimbah.