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Goumi Berries

Just had to share how pleased I am with our goumi bushes. The goumi is a relative of the cardinal autumn olive, which in some areas is considered an invasive pest. It's a beautiful nitrogen fixing bush, extracting nitrogen from the air and fixing it in the soil surrounding the plant through special bacteria in its roots. It's a favorite of permaculture/biodynamic/forest gardeners. I bought 10 small bushes 3 years ago for only $25 (it's hard to find such a deal these days, and I notice that my original source no longer supplies them), and they quickly grew into these beauties:bushesberries03

While they produced a few berries last year, which my then 9 yr old son proclaimed to be delicious, this is the first year of true bounty. The fun part about these berries is that they're ripening when everything else is dying off, and for those of us who like to snack while we garden, that's extremely important. Some of us enjoy big handfuls of these whenever we pass by (others wrinkle their noses at their tartness/astringency, which they say goes away when they're fully ripe). Perhaps ours aren't fully there yet, but we're enjoying them anyway, as are the birds, which seem particularly plentiful this year.

No one has to tell me that these have special nutrients that my body is craving, as I can sense the antioxidants and essential fatty acids, especially when blended into the creamiest ever kefir yogurt. There must be some polysaccharides in these babies, as something is turning this kefir into a smooth, delicious treat. Mixed with a handful of frozen strawberries, a scoop of honey and a tsp of konjac (not really necessary, as the goumi berries thicken this up nicely), this is the tastiest yogurt ever, and quite possibly the prettiest (ok, it's a little rustic in that there are some small fibers from the seeds, the pickier amongst us will sieve this before serving, but I like a little extra fiber).

So there you have it, an inexpensive, easy to grow, beautiful, life giving and productive bush to grace the homestead!bushesberries01
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