Aronia – The Next Big Thing?
The nurseries in town have been bringing their plants out and I’ve noticed a lot of aronia so far. This is a plant that not a lot of people have heard of, but it’s one that people really should start planting more of.
It’s native to North America, but Eastern Europeans have done the most work with it to date and it’s most widely known there. It grows easy here, it even seems to be semi-shade tolerant. I have some planted in the corner of a privacy fence that doesn’t get a whole lot of sun. These plants’ growth is a little stunted, but they still produce.
Aronia is a superfood. I forgot exactly what they have in them, but the berries are packed with nutrients. I think they’re ok for fresh eating out of hand, but they’re better used in recipes or smoothies. The taste is hard to describe other than giving the bullshit “it’s unique” answer.
I’m glad to see this plant pick up some steam with home gardeners. It’s ornamental enough (especially in the fall) to fill the role of a landscaping shrub but it gives you healthy berries too. I’ve also noticed that there’s a few more farms in the state growing aronia as a cash crop and anything to break up the corn/soybean monotony in this state is a plus for a ton of reasons. We have some kind of aronia council or something in the state that has been promoting it. I talked to those people for a while at the state fair last year and got a lot of good info on growing and using the berries.
At any rate, it would be cool if aronia does really pick up around here for the health benefits and to keep some fruit production local. Looks like a good start…