Described as one of the latest superfoods,
Goji berries have had many column inches written about them in the press
and heavy television coverage over the last year or so. It is the nutritional
power of the Goji berries which has been hitting the headlines, and there
no doubt about it that this highly nutritional-rich superfood is the
one to grow! It can be eaten off the plant, cooked or dried and added
to your breakfast
cereals, or eaten as a snack. Also the leaves and young shoots can be
used as a leafy vegetable.
By far it is one of the easiest fruits we can grow in our garden, incredibly
hardy (down to -15C), will tolerate up to 40C and they are drought
tolerant. The plants are self-fertile, and one plant will produce over
2lb (1kg) of fruit in its second season. It was originally cultivated
in the Himalayan
mountain areas, and for over 2000 years it has been recorded in folklore
for its unrivalled nutritional properties.
Flowering and Fruiting: July to September. Height: 6ft (1.8m). Position:
Requires full sun.
Note: This stock has been grown in mainland Europe - and not imported illegally from outside the EU.
Claims for goji berries:
- Nutritionally rich in beta-carotene.
- Vitamins C, B1, B2, other vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids.
- Suggestions that the fruit also contains zinc, iron, copper, calcium,
germanium, selenium, phosphorus, B6, and vitamin E.
- Used in Chinese medicine and are believed to enhance the immune
system, help the eyesight, protect the liver and improve the circulation.
Compatative Antioxidant Capacity (Based on 100g)
Goji Berries 25,300, Blueberries 2,400, Strawberries 1,540, Spinach
1,260, Raspberries 1,220, Brussel Sprouts 980 and Beetroot 840.
Very easy to grow, although they
do not need the high temperatures at the start of the year. Grown in a sunny
bed, against a sunny wall would be ideal, or grow in a multi-purpose compost
in a pot size of 12in (30cm) minimum. You will need
feed as soon as
the plant comes into flower using a high potassium fertiliser such as Tomorite.
Keep them moist but avoid overwatering early in the season. Cut the young
plant back to encourage it to produce up to 8 to 10 strong shoots per plant
from the base to ensure a good crop. The shoots act a bit like vines producing
of crop along the shoots. It can be trained on canes, up a bamboo wigwam
or obelisk or on a wall, as this plant in full crop makes a very decorative
in the garden with its pendant red fruits. These
can be eaten straight off the plant once ripe, cooked or dried for use later.