Berry bushes bring nutritious sweetness into your edible landscape. There are suitable varieties for every size of yard or patio, from fence climbers to patio pots. They’re usually planted in Spring and grow almost anywhere in Canada, so you’ll often find them in garden centres this time of year.
Raspberries need no introduction and most of us have seen them growing somewhere. You’ll often find them in pies or muffins and they’re a favourite for homemade preserves. They’re packed with vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, and dietary fiber.
Blueberries are an antioxidant powerhouse, with flavonoids on top. Antioxidants assist in fighting free radicals in your body that cause cell damage. They’re delicious in muffins, cheesecake, pancakes, syrup, and smoothies. They’re one of the few berries that fare well in the freezer as well.
3. Saskatoon Berries
Often mistaken for blueberries, Saskatoon Berries are every bit as tasty and nutritious. Even the smallest varieties (such as Honeywood) reach quite a size, so you’ll need ample garden space for it. When they’re covered in white blooms they make a bold statement! Enjoy Saskatoon Berries in jams, pies and other deserts.
This berry bush wins the award for the most common names.
“Amelanchier alnifolia, the Saskatoon [Berry], Pacific Serviceberry, Western Serviceberry, Alder-leaf Shadbush, Dwarf Shadbush, Chuckley Pear, or Western Juneberry, is a shrub with edible berry-like fruit, native to North America, from Alaska across most of western Canada and in the western and north-central United States,” says Wikipedia. “Historically, it was also called pigeon berry.”
Blackberries are a staple in locations where they grow wild, but they’re a little less popular in cultivated form. They’re easy to grow and make very good jam or jelly. Try them fresh from your garden for a big helping of antioxidants and vitamins.
Gooseberries will add delectable variety to your berry harvest. They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Try Gooseberries in sauces, make a unique pie, or enjoy them fresh.
Strawberries are the most versatile berries to grow, with varieties that thrive in average-size pots or in a garden. They’re bursting with vitamin C and dietary fiber. Strawberries are old favourites for jam, jelly and deserts, but are also delicious fresh from the garden. We have recipes for both strawberry freezer jam and traditional strawberry jam, if you’d like to try your hand at preserves.
Fresh is Best
It would be difficult to argue the fact that berries are the best-tasting way to improve our health. They’re even more nutritious when eaten fresh from your garden, where they’ll more than earn the space they take. You’ll save a lot of money growing your own, but you may have to fight the birds for the bounty!
??? Have you grown berry bushes in your Canadian garden? Which is your favourite?
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