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Goji Berries

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  • wildwillowkins
    Hi, Following a post about goji berries this time last year I germinated some seeds and have had reasonable success. The seeds were from dried fruits that I
    Message 1 of 11 , May 30, 2008
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      Hi,
      Following a post about goji berries this time last year I germinated
      some seeds and have had reasonable success. The seeds were from dried
      fruits that I bought at my local whole food shop, but I have
      discovered that the Chinese supermarket in town does half kilo bags
      much cheaper. They are only dried, no preservatives and you can get
      hundreds germinating from the very large number of seeds that you can
      just take out from the dried fruit.

      There is a high predation rate from slugs when the seedlings are soft
      and tender but if you protect them they become stronger and by the end
      of the season they are strong enough to resist.

      I got about twenty decent plants surviving by the end of the year,
      they were about four inches tall and lost their soft leathery leaves
      when the frosts came. They started putting out new shoots at the leaf
      bases in late January and were totally frost hardy, we had some fairly
      severe frosts in February and they weren't touched.

      I slightly overdid the top dressing of the nodules they were in, the
      shoots had been yellow and purple showing severe nutrient lack and
      they got a bit of nutrient burn but I planted them out in a well
      prepared seed bed with very nice soil where it used to be a compost
      heap and they are settling in well now. I kept a few in pots which
      had been attacked by slugs when the new shoots were still soft, but
      only about half a dozen of them had suffered.

      They have now got over the nutrient burn and are getting on with
      growing, as have most of the damaged ones in pots which are quickly
      catching up.

      They are now up to six or eight inches tall and getting fairly well
      established. Some of them have started putting out a lot of shoots
      lower down, looks like they would do this if you cut them back over
      the winter. Others are quite tall and lanky. There seems to be a
      very large amount of variation betweeen all the plants from squat and
      bushy to tall and thin. All the leaves are a lot thinner than they
      were by the end of last season but are getting bigger and stronger.

      Gojis seem to like a very rich soil, they use up the nitrogen and will
      go yellow if they can't get it, so make sure they have a good bit of
      slow release nitrogen, I have used chicken manure pellets.

      I have started a new tray of nodules with probably a couple of hundred
      babies in them now, they are very tender to slugs at this stage and I
      lost a few the other night when I left them out in the rain too long,
      but you get so many that it is not too much of a worry. I have used a
      richer seed bed this time as last year I used a very sandy one
      through over caution and they went purple and stunted and I lost them
      all, so I had to do a second batch with richer compost and it was
      successful eventually producing the twenty or so healthy plants I
      started this year with.

      There was a brief mention on Gardener's World here in UK a few weeks
      ago, they showed some well established root stocks which were cut back
      hard like a bare rooted rose. Mine had such well developed root balls
      when I moved them on from the nodules that I would be inclined to get
      ones that have this rather than a bare rooted one, but better yet to
      grow from seed. The roots are very weak and fragile at first but they
      strengthen up if they like the soil, rich and well drained.

      It was also mentioned that they come from Mongolia and Tibet which
      would explain the extreme frost hardiness. I am only in West
      Yorkshire so we are well within its limits!

      I would recomend anyone to have a go at growing Gojis, they are easy
      to grow if you follow a few simple rules. Nitrogen rich soil which is
      well drained and protect from slug predation when young. Even the
      tiny seedlings are fairly frost hardy,

      I don't know how long it will be before I am able to harvest fruit,
      but I am now confident that last year's plants will continue to grow
      and survive so hopefully just a matter of time.

      Hope this is of interest to people.

      Regards,

      Claire
    • Pat Meadows
      ... It was of great interest to me, thanks! I ll give it a try. Pat -- Northern Pennsylvania CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY http://www.thehungersite.com/
      Message 2 of 11 , May 30, 2008
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        On Fri, 30 May 2008 16:58:19 -0000, you wrote:


        >
        >I don't know how long it will be before I am able to harvest fruit,
        >but I am now confident that last year's plants will continue to grow
        >and survive so hopefully just a matter of time.
        >
        >Hope this is of interest to people.
        >

        It was of great interest to me, thanks! I'll give it a try.

        Pat
        --
        Northern Pennsylvania

        CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
        http://www.thehungersite.com/
      • wildwillowkins
        Hi, No sooner had I posted this message about Gojis than I saw an item on Gardener s World raising questions about pest contamination problems associated with
        Message 3 of 11 , May 30, 2008
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          Hi,

          No sooner had I posted this message about Gojis than I saw an item on
          Gardener's World raising questions about pest contamination problems
          associated with plants imported from Asia and China. Joe Swift, who
          had planted the mature bare rooted plants, dug them up and put them in
          the black bin for removal from his allotment after guidance from the
          Dept of Environment and Farming (DEFRA).

          They belong to the solanaceous family, to which tomatoes and potatoes
          belong. The risk is apparently thought to come from insect spread
          viruses and viroids, although no plants tested were actually found to
          have any of the disease pests. It seemed to be based on the fact that
          they belong to this family and therefore theoretically might be
          susceptible to these types of disease which could then be spread since
          they are a long lived plants.

          Apparently plants imported from Europe or naturalised to this country
          are alright, there are reports of Gojis being brought here in the
          18th century, and apparently the descendents of those are OK as well
          as more recent European cultivated plants.

          The thing is I have only been able to find one reference on a web
          search which made any comment on the safety of growing plants from seed.

          http://mygarden.rhs.org.uk/forums/t/18219.aspx

          Which suggests that seed grown gojis are safe, but hardly definitive,
          although being an RHS site and not having had a contradiction on that
          forum is encouraging.

          My seeds came from China (labelled on the packet) so one might have
          some concerns, on the other hand some of the pages I found said that
          the worries were unproven even for mature imported plants.

          It is such an indication of our consumer culture that no-one seems to
          consider that we might actually grow them from seed, but assumes that
          we are all so inept and dependent that we have to buy them from
          'professional growers' or imported from distant countries, when they
          are one of the easiest to grow plants I have ever tried.

          Apart from the disease issue there was not a single page with a
          quarter of the information on growing them that I posted here earlier
          today, and I am a complete amateur! Reminds me how I was told I
          couldn't take tip layerings of my favourite apple, which I promptly
          proceded to do and get results from! Don't get me started on the
          disempowerment of our modern culture! It's all about money and
          commercial growing, heaven forbid that we should actually be able to
          do it for ourselves....

          There were a number of pages I found with advice on growing gojis, but
          none of these gave any mention of pest risk from seed grown plants
          originating from Far Eastern seed. If the naturalised plants are safe
          then one wonders how these pests are spread, since presumably they are
          endemic to China and the surrounding area? If the pest is carried on
          the roots one might hope that seed would be safe wherever it came
          from. The suggestion was that the pests might be insect carried but
          even that was vague.

          I found one page that said you had to freeze the seeds for ten days
          before they would germinate, and that you had to bury them several
          centimeters below the surface of the soil, which is complete and utter
          nonsense. I got mine to germinate in abundance after only a few days
          straight from the seed with only a light covering of compost. The
          seeds are small so do not want to be more than a few millimeters deep
          in the soil.

          I shall contact DEFRA at the start of the week, but in the meantime I
          shall not be ripping out and burning the plants that I have put so
          much time and energy into. The details of the scare seem to be
          extremely vague and without definite confirmation that seed from
          Chinese berries is contaminated I intend to keep them growing.

          Cheers,

          Claire


          --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Pat Meadows <pat@...> wrote:
          >
          > On Fri, 30 May 2008 16:58:19 -0000, you wrote:
          >
          >
          > >
          > >I don't know how long it will be before I am able to harvest fruit,
          > >but I am now confident that last year's plants will continue to
          > >grow and survive so hopefully just a matter of time.
          > >
          > >Hope this is of interest to people.
          > >
          >
          > It was of great interest to me, thanks! I'll give it a try.
          >
          > Pat
          > --
          > Northern Pennsylvania
          >
          > CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
          > http://www.thehungersite.com/
          >
        • Torrens (lists)
          In article , ... The Defra info can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/defrasearch/index.jsp?query=goji It is illegal to import
          Message 4 of 11 , May 31, 2008
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            In article <g1q63o+n5d6@...>,
            wildwillowkins <wildwillowkins@...> wrote:
            > No sooner had I posted this message about Gojis than I saw an item on
            > Gardener's World raising questions about pest contamination problems
            > associated with plants imported from Asia and China. Joe Swift, who
            > had planted the mature bare rooted plants, dug them up and put them in
            > the black bin for removal from his allotment after guidance from the
            > Dept of Environment and Farming (DEFRA).

            The Defra info can be found at
            http://www.defra.gov.uk/defrasearch/index.jsp?query=goji

            It is illegal to import plants from most countries, but berries are quite
            legal.

            The Defra info admits the measures are a bit over-cautious, but Defra
            areinclined to be safe rather than sorry. There habve been incidents in
            the past!

            I myself identified an invasive waterweed locally, informed Defra, and
            they have cleared it and been monitoring since.
            http://www.Torrens.org.uk/NatHist/Aqua/HR/index.html Hydrocotyle ranunculoides


            --
            Richard Torrens - Food For Free
            WWW site : http://www.Torrens.org.uk/FFF/
          • Pat Meadows
            ... Personally, I d certainly leave well enough alone, and not contact them. Pat -- Northern Pennsylvania CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
            Message 5 of 11 , May 31, 2008
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              On Sat, 31 May 2008 00:28:40 -0000, you wrote:


              >
              >I shall contact DEFRA at the start of the week, but in the meantime I
              >shall not be ripping out and burning the plants that I have put so
              >much time and energy into. The details of the scare seem to be
              >extremely vague and without definite confirmation that seed from
              >Chinese berries is contaminated I intend to keep them growing.
              >

              Personally, I'd certainly leave well enough alone, and not contact them.

              Pat
              --
              Northern Pennsylvania

              CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
              http://www.thehungersite.com/
            • C. Widger
              There is little chance that a seed from a dried fruit contains any imported plant pathogens. Fruit grow around the seed, in part, to protect or divert pests
              Message 6 of 11 , May 31, 2008
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                There is little chance that a seed from a dried fruit contains any
                imported plant pathogens. Fruit grow around the seed, in part, to
                protect or divert pests from the prize.
                For example,here in California, it is illegal to import or carry over
                the border from another state, any fruit tree or plant material that
                has not been certified. Seeds carry no such restrictions. Deseases and
                pests hide in the leaves, stems, roots and soils, not the seeds.
                I wouldn't worry about your little plants.
                lc carol



                Pat Meadows wrote:
                >
                > On Sat, 31 May 2008 00:28:40 -0000, you wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >I shall contact DEFRA at the start of the week, but in the meantime I
                > >shall not be ripping out and burning the plants that I have put so
                > >much time and energy into. The details of the scare seem to be
                > >extremely vague and without definite confirmation that seed from
                > >Chinese berries is contaminated I intend to keep them growing.
                > >
                >
                > Personally, I'd certainly leave well enough alone, and not contact them.
                >
                > Pat
                > --
                > Northern Pennsylvania
                >
                > CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
                > http://www.thehungersite.com/ <http://www.thehungersite.com/>
                >
                >



                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • wildwillowkins
                I m inclined to agree with you! Willlowkins
                Message 7 of 11 , May 31, 2008
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                  I'm inclined to agree with you!

                  Willlowkins


                  --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, Pat Meadows <pat@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > On Sat, 31 May 2008 00:28:40 -0000, you wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > >
                  > >I shall contact DEFRA at the start of the week, but in the meantime > I
                  > >shall not be ripping out and burning the plants that I have put so
                  > >much time and energy into. The details of the scare seem to be
                  > >extremely vague and without definite confirmation that seed from
                  > >Chinese berries is contaminated I intend to keep them growing.
                  > >
                  >
                  > Personally, I'd certainly leave well enough alone, and not contact
                  > them.
                  > Pat
                  > --
                  > Northern Pennsylvania
                  >
                  > CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
                  > http://www.thehungersite.com/
                  >
                • wildwillowkins
                  Thanks Carol :-) Willowkins
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 31, 2008
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                    Thanks Carol :-)

                    Willowkins

                    --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "C. Widger" <EdgeGardener@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > There is little chance that a seed from a dried fruit contains any
                    > imported plant pathogens. Fruit grow around the seed, in part, to
                    > protect or divert pests from the prize.
                    > For example,here in California, it is illegal to import or carry
                    > over the border from another state, any fruit tree or plant
                    > material that has not been certified. Seeds carry no such
                    > restrictions. Deseases and pests hide in the leaves, stems, roots
                    > and soils, not the seeds.
                    > I wouldn't worry about your little plants.
                    > lc carol
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Pat Meadows wrote:
                    > >
                    > > On Sat, 31 May 2008 00:28:40 -0000, you wrote:
                    > >
                    > > >
                    > > >I shall contact DEFRA at the start of the week, but in the
                    > > >meantime I shall not be ripping out and burning the plants that I
                    > > >have put so much time and energy into. The details of the scare
                    > > >seem to be extremely vague and without definite confirmation that
                    > > >seed from Chinese berries is contaminated I intend to keep them
                    > > >growing.
                    > >
                    > > Personally, I'd certainly leave well enough alone, and not contact
                    > > them.
                    > >
                    > > Pat
                    > > --
                    > > Northern Pennsylvania
                    > >
                    > > CLICK DAILY TO FEED THE HUNGRY
                    > > http://www.thehungersite.com/ <http://www.thehungersite.com/>
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • nerdnooky
                    But what do they taste like? And what can you do with them? thanx.
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jun 1, 2008
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                      But what do they taste like? And what can you do with them?
                      thanx.

                      --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "wildwillowkins" <wildwillowkins@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hi,
                      > Following a post about goji berries this time last year I germinated
                      > some seeds and have had reasonable success.
                    • wildwillowkins
                      Hi, I have only had the dried ones so far, they are rather more of a savory flavour than most berries, almost salty. I have only used them in muesli and seed
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jun 2, 2008
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                        Hi,

                        I have only had the dried ones so far, they are rather more of a
                        savory flavour than most berries, almost salty.

                        I have only used them in muesli and seed and nut mixes so far, but I
                        guess you could add them to a lot of things, even cook them in stews
                        or curries I guess.

                        Some people don't like them, mostly I think because the flavour is
                        perhaps a bit unusual to the northern European palate, but they are a
                        high quality food source with more amino acids than your average berry
                        fruit as well as being high in vitamin C and others.

                        When the impending catastropbe hits full on people will realise that a
                        reliable food source like this is worth having around. It's like
                        artichokes. Some people don't like the flavour because they think it
                        is too strong, but they are a really reliable crop.

                        People in the west are so encultured to sweet and bland things that
                        are totally predictable that they turn their noses up at anything
                        different which challenges the palate. In past times our forebears
                        would have taken a more positive attitude to resources such as these.

                        Regards,

                        Willowkins

                        --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "nerdnooky" <nerdnooky@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > But what do they taste like? And what can you do with them?
                        > thanx.
                        >
                        > --- In pfaf@yahoogroups.com, "wildwillowkins" <wildwillowkins@>
                        > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi,
                        > > Following a post about goji berries this time last year I germinated
                        > > some seeds and have had reasonable success.
                        >
                      • Julie Bruton-Seal
                        Fresh, the berries taste like persimmon to me - very sweet, but with that little something solanaceous about them. Julie Julie Bruton-Seal BSc MAMH MGNI Editor
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jun 2, 2008
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                          Fresh, the berries taste like persimmon to me - very sweet, but with
                          that little something solanaceous about them.

                          Julie

                          Julie Bruton-Seal BSc MAMH MGNI
                          Editor of Nature's Path
                          Co-author of Hedgerow Medicine
                          herbalist@...
                          www.juliebruton-seal.com
                          www.hedgerowmedicine.com


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