The new Haskap Berry, grown at Kirkaberry Farms in Midway, is touted as Canada's "new super berry." (Sheri Regnier photo)

A Gardener’s Diary: it’s berry season

Gardening columnist shares secrets of bounty

For the first time this season, all my rain barrels got filled thanks to the rain we had last week. Doesn’t take long to empty them.

With the winds we are having, everything dries very fast. At least most of my plants are mulched with grass clippings that were dried first. If I use fresh clippings, it has to be a thin spread if I don’t want it to rot.

June 19th I had my first raspberry. With the heat come tayberries, (a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry), gooseberries, strawberries. I didn’t get any mouldy strawberries this year as the ground has been so dry. I didn’t water them much so they are a bit smaller but very sweet.

I didn’t cover the gooseberries early enough so some of them have worms. Some of the goji berries are ripe. I will freeze a few but most of them I eat fresh as I go by the bush and they are waiting for me.

The Haskaps are already gone this year. I will have to cover them next year as the birds love them. As they are now busy eating the cherries (not ours as we have the Kootenay cover on) they are leaving the Saskatoons alone. I have started to harvest the first ones.

The thornless blackberry bushes are loaded with flowers and green fruits. Should be a good season.

From Saskatoon Michigan Farm & Nursery website: It’s a long-accepted fact that fruits are good for the body. Certain fruits, however, offer such a high amount of antioxidants and disease-fighting capabilities, they’ve earned the name superfruit for their superior level of health benefits.

Saskatoon berries are one such superfruit. What’s more, research has shown these rich, dark purple fruits hold one of the highest levels of antioxidants and anthocyanin contents available, more than even what’s found in strawberries, raspberries, or wild blueberries.

Recent research has shown Saskatoon berries are also high in fibre “meaning they can help control blood sugar, defend against diabetes, aid digestion, and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease” as well as a rich source of five essential vitamins and minerals.

Saskatoon Berries rank the highest in antioxidants in both fresh fruit and fruit pulp relative to other common fruits. Saskatoon Berries are rich in dietary fibre. 100 grams of Saskatoon Berries contain 24 per cent of the daily fibre requirement. Saskatoon Berries have considerable amounts of micronutrients essential for metabolism.

With all the superfruits I eat in one day, I should feel like Super Woman but at the end of the day, the Super is gone.

Somehow time is running faster than I and it is hard to catch up to it. I still plan on sowing beets and carrots. I read somewhere that if you hold on for your planting later in the season, like the end of May or June, you will escape the first flush of carrot flies. The other trick is planting with some onions or garlic around so the scent of the onions will confuse the fly. Growing in pots can also be another alternative.

As it is said on the above website: Avoid thinning. The process of thinning out carrots bruises the foliage and intensifies its scent, which is said to attract carrot flies from some distance away. Sow sparsely instead, so that thinning is not required.

For more information: 250-558-4556

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