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Fruit & vegetable packing
Berry packing & processing inventory QC traceability
Berry packing & processing inventory QC traceability by farmsoft reduces waste and increases productivity
Farmsoft delivers opportunities to reduce waste during the berry packing traceability & quality control, processing, storage, distribution phases. By enforcing best practices, FIFO (when practical), inventory expiry monitoring, and easy stock takes to minimize waste and maximize packing profit. Use bar-code managed inventory, labeling, 3D pallet storage, to help reduce waste. Use farmsoft with blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, goji berries, bilberries, acai berries, cranberries, grapes, raspberries, and more...
Conduct recalls in seconds, with full confidence of accuracy and reliability. Minimize risk by ensuring accurate traceability is automatically captured. Pass audits with ease & reduce compliance costs using farmsoft's traceability guidelines. Trace fresh produce up and down the supply chain, over multiple traceability hops. Instantly produce farm records and any other farm traceability records if you optionally use our farm solution.
REDUCE ADMINISTRATION COSTS FOR BERRY PACKING
Minimize your administration costs with automatic paperwork generation. Ensure accuracy of paperwork by having necessary documentation (invoice formats, export documents, transport documents etc) automatically generated based on the needs of the specific customer - ensuring timely and accurate documentation. No more rejected orders because of bad documentation accompanying a shipment. Food traceability software made easy!
CONSISTENT QUALITY CONTROL FOR BERRY PACKING
Guarantee consistent, accurate, and efficient quality control is performed at any part of the fresh produce handling life-cycle; including during delivery, pre processing, post processing, and dispatch. Create quality control tests based on each customers requirements, and even create a daily factory hygiene test, employee performance tests and more. Accurate quality control helps to improve customer confidence and quality perception. Easily follow fresh produce quality control & fresh produce inventory guidelines.
BETTER PRODUCTION PLANNING & DISPATCH FOR BERRY PACKING
Monitor orders, assign orders to specific pack-houses (you can have unlimited processing sites in farmsoft), and allow micro monitoring of each production lines output requirements using dashboards. The dashboards ensure the correct products are produced at the correct time to fill orders. Dispatch teams are given details on their mobile device (or PC/Mac) and scan pallets onto orders. Administration teams can see orders are picked and ready for dispatch, and are presented with the correct documents for printing. All of these features result in improved accuracy of both production and dispatch processes.
OPTIONAL FARM SOFTWARE INTEGRATION FOR FARM TO PLATE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
Optionally use farmsoft Farm Management software with our Post Harvest solution. Using both solutions provides an end to end solution from field to plate. Farm Management by farmsoft delivers full farm record keeping, farm inventory, cost monitoring, budgeting, best practice enforcement, and adherence to international farming standards. Use Farm Management by farmsoft to manage your own farms, or even hundreds of external farms that supply your fresh produce company.
Berry packing & fresh produce business management software
New multi-million dollar berry packing facility opens in Morocco
A new multi-million dollar berry packing facility has been opened in Morocco by Costa Group’s African Blue operations, putting it at the forefront of berry exports to the European Union, United Kingdom, Russia and Asia.
The state-of-the-art facility in Larache, Morocco, is a 10,000 square metre facility, making it the largest berry packing facility servicing the European market. The shed has been designed to handle seasonal capacity of up to 12,000 tonnes of blueberries per year and is capable of processing 150 tonnes per day.
Costa Berry International General Manager, Peter McPherson, who is in Morocco for the opening said this was a further major investment by Costa Group in Morocco through its majority owned companies African Blue and Sweet Berry.
“This facility will enhance the quality and reputation of Costa Group’s world leading blueberry genetics, which have been grown in Morocco for over a decade,” Mr McPherson said.
“The blueberry varieties that we grow give us a distinct competitive advantage in the United Kingdom, European Union and Russia as we are able to deliver a premium fresh product into those markets.”
African Blue General Manager, Mr Avi Wizman said around 200 people attended the opening, including Australia’s first Ambassador to Morocco, Ms Berenice Owen-Jones, government officials, customers, clients and service providers.
The opening coincided with a visit to Australia by Mr Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests, who toured one of Costa’s berry farms in Corindi, New South Wales, to gain an insight into the Australian operations.
Costa acquired a majority ownership stake in African Blue in late 2017. The Morocco production area is 294 hectares, with supply from an additional 108 hectares from licensed third-party growers.
Further development is currently being undertaken to extend the length of the season including plantings at Agadir located on the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to the Moroccan operations, Costa operates three berry farms in China with more than 100 hectares.
Europe's largest blueberry packing plant
Upcoming trends in berry packaging
The 4th International Berry Congress, held in Huelva, Spain, has been the stage chosen by Induser to showcase its new technologies and products developed last year, but also to predict where they will be heading in the short and medium term.
"We are constantly studying the global trends in the sector and using this information to predict how we believe the production and the packaging solutions will evolve." Events like the International Berry Congress are perfect occasions to get to know the opinions of everyone involved in the sector, taking them into account for our plans as well," explains Pedro Martínez, of Induser.
According to Pedro Martínez, there is a strong growth trend not only in the case of berries, but in every sector. "Consumers are increasingly looking for sustainable packaging options, although they remain faithful to trends, such as smaller snack-size containers that are easy to transport. Consequently, local Ejidozone packaging experts have also taken advantage of this trend, offering fully compostable and recyclable options, such as small cardboard trays and biodegradable plastics. The response of congress attendees from all links in the supply chain has been very positive, which likely confirms the importance of this growing trend," he says.
"In this edition of the Berry Congress, we have showed Induser's improvements to blueberry packaging lines. Our multi-format lines are now faster and more precise for all kinds of production, from small family operations to Europe's largest blueberry packing facilities. From the beginning, we have designed our machines to be compatible with all packaging formats, such as the increasingly popular cardboard trays, encouraging the growth of our customers in dynamic markets. Blueberries are a significant example: as they take off in Europe and other parts of the world, tastes are changing even in their traditional markets. The presentations made by speakers during the congress confirmed this, and highlighted the fruit boom in Europe and around the world."
The largest blueberry packing facility in Europe
For the current blueberry campaign, which is already coming to an end, the largest packing facility in Europe has been set up by the cooperative SCA Costa de Huelva. This has been possible, in part, thanks to Induser's technology.
"It can calibrate and package up to 6 tonnes of blueberries per hour." Induser's multi-format lines offer the client great flexibility in packaging, making it possible to switch between formats almost instantly. This factor is tremendously important for products such as blueberries. Due to its growth and its growing export needs, the Spanish blueberry sector needs to be able to pack the product to the client's taste, depending on the market. Blueberry exporters are shipping to more and more markets, and therefore, they need to work with many types of packaging," explains Pedro Martínez.
Watch this video to see the facilities in operation:
"For example, these packaging lines can work with small, medium or large clamshell tubs, as well as regular tubs and small cubes, a new format for blueberries, but very popular." The lines can also be adapted for any future packaging format that the company may want to use," he adds.
The entire project was the result of collaborative work between several companies, incorporating robotic transport, mechanical and optical unloading and calibration, and automatic palletising, in addition to Induser's automatic packaging lines. The facility has 4 double packaging lines for a production of 30,000 units per hour. This project was one of the largest for Induser, after having developed innovative packaging solutions for blueberries for several years.
For more inforation:
Pedro Martínez Lázaro
T: +34 950581136
M: +34 600415230
North American berry producers commit to 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025
In another step to further reduce the produce industry’s environmental impact, major North American fresh berry producers announced their commitment to use 100% recycle-ready packaging by 2025. The California Strawberry Commission, the North American Blueberry Council (NABC), Asociacion national de Exportadores de Berries (Aneberries, Mexico), members of the National Berry Crops Initiative, and South American exporters are joining to maintain industry leadership in sustainable packaging.
The cornerstone of this collaboration is the commitment to new label standards, which will optimize the recycle readiness of all berry clamshells throughout North America. The groups are further unified in their commitments to encourage consumer recycling of clamshells and establish new purchase specifications for packaging manufacturers. By working together as competitive collaborators, these actions will create economies of scale to reduce costs, and stimulate a closed-loop circular economy that recycles berry clamshells back into new berry clamshells.
This commitment to 100% recycle-ready clamshells complements existing actions that use recycled content to make berry clamshells. For over a decade, berry clamshells have been among the food packages that use the most California post-consumer recycled content in the U.S. For example, it is common for California berry clamshells to contain more than 50% recycled content.
“Berry farming has a long history of innovation and leadership that once again came together to make this ambitious pledge,” said Rick Tomlinson, president of the California Strawberry Commission.
”The North American Blueberry Council (NABC) is pleased to join this coalition of berry industry leadership to help achieve this important and ambitious initiative,” said Kasey Cronquist, president of NABC.
“Mexico plays an important role in creating value in the world supply of fresh berries, including the U.S. market. Our members are committed to forward-thinking sustainable practices" stated Also Mares Benavides, president of Aneberries.
“Clamshell packaging revolutionized the ability of berry growers to transport their fruit to consumers nationwide,” said Henry Bierlink, president of the National Berry Crops Initiative (NCBI). “Now, the industry is working together on the next phase of that revolution."
Since the 1990s, many berry farmers shifted to the use of clear plastic packaging shaped as a vented box with a hinged lid, also known as a clamshell. This type of packaging created a market to convert recycled plastic water bottles into clear, lightweight containers that protect the fruit from damage and contamination, thus reducing food waste. Further, this type of packaging decreases greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the amount of raw resources needed to make the packaging, and reducing fuel use as lighter packaging makes lighter shipments.
Individual berry companies are making commitments to explore more sustainable and scalable solutions that include: encouraging material recycling handlers and consumers to recycle more clamshells,
Including post-consumer recycled content in clamshell packaging,
supporting innovation of new materials that are readily recyclable and/or compostable.
Harm Valckx, Berry Packing Services:
“Dutch blueberry shortage will soon be filled with import”
Most of the Dutch blueberry growers have already finished their harvest. “There’s some product in cold store here and there, but the market is quickly drying up, and I expect we’ll be out of berries in a few weeks,” says Harm Valckx of Berry Packing Services from Venlo, the Netherlands. He estimates the harvest will be 40 per cent lower this year, primarily as a result of smaller sizes.
“The quality of the blueberries was good, but volumes were much lower and the season wasn’t as long. We started very early, and we managed to keep going quite well,” Harm continues. “We’ve had fairly normal price levels, but we’re now seeing sharp increases due to shortages on the market. Overseas product from Peru will now soon be imported, and from week 36, the Argentinian berries will also be available again, so these shortages will soon be filled.”
“We sell the blueberries throughout Europe. Scandinavia, the UK, Germany and Austria are traditionally major buyers,” Harm says. Last year, Berry Packing Services also started growing blueberries in Lithuania to bridge the gap between the European and South American productions. “These berries are now also being packed, although volumes are still limited.”
For more information:
Harm Valckx: “Growth of blueberry market not finished yet”
New cooperative for blueberry growers founded: Coöperatie European Blueberry Growers U.A.
Last month, a new cooperative for blueberry growers was founded: Coöperatie European Blueberry Growers U.A. “We’ve been working with these growers for quite some time within Berry Packing Services. Sales will now be taken care of by the new grower’s cooperative. It was a long-cherished wish to group ourselves and to take care of our own sales,” says Harm Valckx. Twelve growers have joined the new cooperative, and they have a combined area of about 280 hectares, good for about 2.5 million kilos of Dutch and German blueberries. “For now, we’ll be doing it with this club.”
Two of the growers are SKAL-certified, so the cooperative also has about 300 tonnes of organic berries at its disposal. “Demand for organic berries is starting to increase. Prices for these are better than for conventional berries as well, but the balance between supply and demand is still fragile,” Harm explains.
The blueberries of the cooperative’s members are packed, as per customer wishes, by Berry Packing Services, the sorting and packing station for blueberries in Venlo, the Netherlands. This company was founded a few years ago from a partnership between Special Fruit from Meer and the production companies of Harm Valckx and Leon Schrijnwerkers. The location in the former building of Sunberry International means Harm is now at his former location again.
“We’re feeling hopeful about the coming season. Up till now, the harvest and pricing were both good. The blueberries are a bit smaller this year, but I’m not disappointed in the amount of kilos,” Harm says. He expects this year’s season to be spread over a slightly longer period, so that berries will be harvested until early September.
In recent years, the sales of blueberries experienced an enormous increase, in part thanks to larger packaging. However, Harm doesn’t think the market is saturated yet. “All lights are set to green for the market to continue growing. I just don’t expect the Dutch production to continue increasing much more. Unless innovations in the harvest occur, otherwise the production would simply become too expensive in the Netherlands,” Harm concludes.
For more information:
Coöperatie European Blueberry Growers U.A.
Tel: +31 77 76 50 000
Fresh thinking in tomato and berry packing with Freshseal technology
Freshseal, the latest pack format for tomato, berry and fresh produce packing is now available in the USA, Canada and Mexico. Developed jointly by an Anglo Canadian partnership this technology offers the fresh produce market a quick and easy means of transitioning into film sealed punnets and trays from clam shell or flow wrapped packs. Film sealed packs use less packaging than clam shell packs and are more space efficient for stacking and transportation resulting in cost savings. They also offer the ability to use packaging to create a stand out pack on the shelf.
Freshseal includes the supply of base punnets or trays, film and a heat sealing machine to facilitate a smooth switch to the new pack format.
Due to the versatility of the packaging available, fresh produce suppliers can quickly and easily create an eye catching pack with colourful custom shaped trays and pre-printed branded film. The options for different tray materials include plastic, board, foil and compostable board. Films can be pre-printed with branding and images and can also be offered in a resealable specification (to improve hygiene after opening and allow stacking of packs in the fridge) as well as micro perforations to allow produce to breathe (particularly when used with fresh cut produce and modified atmosphere packs). In addition use by and sell by dates can simply be printed onto the film at the point of sealing to simplify the packing process further.
A key advantage of Freshseal is that all packaging formats can be sealed on the same machine with minimal interruption to the packing line. Switching from one tray or punnet shape to another and one printed film design to an alternative can be done in a matter of minutes.
Freshseal heat sealing machines are the fastest most energy efficient on the market today therefore producing the lowest cost per pack with a number of models available to suit the different levels of automation and production speeds in the market. All of the machines are fully electric and operate without the need for compressed air. For those who are new to film sealing, there are small machines offering speeds of up to 30 packs per minute whereas at the top end of the range the Revolution incorporates truly novel technology enabling it to surpass all other single lane sealers with speeds of up to 200 packs per minute. Additionally the Revolution gives a smooth profile of punnet transfer into the machine which allows lighter or more easily displaced products such as small berries or grape tomatoes to be transferred without spilling at high speed.
Freshseal is provided by Crawford Provincial of London, Ontario in Canada with machinery from the heat sealing specialists Packaging Automation of Knutsford, Cheshire in England.
Crawford Provincial offers aftermarket and technical back-up for Freshseal in the USA, Canada and Mexico with a team of specialist film sealing experts.
PA can offer customers a tray sealer or pot filler for a wide range of applications in the food industry including fresh produce packing such as salad, tomato, strawberry and soft fruit packing, fish, seafood, meat and chicken packing (including vacuum packing and skin packing), ready meal sealing and packing, and pot or tub denesting, filling and sealing for puddings and sauces.
Full packing lines can be specified and installed to include tray denesting, conveyoring, tray filling, film sealing including modified atmosphere packing (MAP) facilities. Foil tray sealing as well as plastic tray sealing can be accommodated on all machines as standard.
"Blueberries in buckets especially popular in Scandinavia"
Berry Packing Services (BPS) is located in Venlo, the largest blueberry producing region in the Netherlands. The region, and the company's name, are an indication of what goes on at this business. They are, however, about more than just blueberries. In partnership with various growers, they supply their product to Special Fruit, who co-own the company.
Harm Valckx of Berry Packing Services with the packaging line in the background.
"During certain periods of the year, we sort and package blueberries 24 hours a day", says Company Director, Harm Valckx. "We own cultivation areas in the Netherlands and Germany, and since the beginning of the year in Lithuania as well. These are constantly growing in size. Our largest area, consisting of 75 hectare, is in Germany. This year we also acquired 22 hectare in Lithuania, which is the same size we have in the Netherlands."
In addition, Harm is experimenting with a covered cultivation area of four hectare. This will enable his employees to continue working, even when there is bad weather. "We must be able to offer work to people working in the cultivation sector. Even in bad weather", he says. " When the berries are wet, you cannot harvest them. In this case, the workers can continue working in the covered area. When the blueberries are dry again, the workers can go back to the uncovered section. This means they always have something to do. Besides, it is not possible to cover the entire cultivation area. That is far too expensive."
Different countries want different packaging
Although BPS in located in the middle of the blueberry cultivation region, their packaged fruit is not sent to the Netherlands. "We supply the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and Germany", Harm continues. "Since the Dutch blueberry sector is reasonably saturated, we focus on other countries. Each country has its own packaging requirements. You have been able to find top-seal packaging in the UK and Scandinavia for a while now. In Germany, it is slowly becoming more popular. In Germany, the type of packaging is not as nearly as important as its cost-effectiveness. In the UK, there are environmental taxes attached to the different kinds of packaging. This has somewhat of an affects on their choices. For instance, more tax is paid for a container with a plastic lid than one with a top-seal. In this way, each country, and for that matter each client, has their own packaging requirements."
The open punnets of blueberries, on their way to getting their top-seal.
The machine on the left seals the filled punnets.
Then the packaging gets a sticker. This sticker displays information such as country of origin, shelf life, weight, and the barcode.
These buckets of blueberries are gaining popularity, according to Harm. He says they do especially well in Scandinavia.
More buckets of fruit
Harm Valckx has noticed that more clients are choosing to have their blueberries packaged in buckets or shakers. "The 500 gram buckets are doing especially well," he says. "We are also selling more shakers with an opening in their lids. This opening is sealed with a removable sticker. This makes consuming the berries, for example in the car, easier and more convenient. It is also going well with the blueberries themselves. Over the last few years, we have seen that the consumption of blueberries has risen by 15 to 20%. This fruit is eaten a lot in especially Scandinavia, but also in Iceland. We supply our berries year round. They can come from a different country each time. The Lithuanian cultivation area can now fill a gap we used to have in our cultivation periods. We certainly want to invest in this region too. The growth potential is very good there. We want to, eventually, increase the 22 hectare to 40 hectare."
The removable sticker is placed at the top of the shaker. This hole makes it easy to eat the berries in, for example, the car.
The removable stickers used to seal the hole in the shakers.
Although BPS is in the Netherlands, but does not supply to this country itself, Harm says that the business is well situated. "Logistically, being in Venlo is fantastic", he admits. "We can be in London or Munich within six hours. The trucks leave in the evenings, and the fruit can be in the shops by morning. It it really quick."
The Berry Packing Services' Director is reasonably satisfied with the Dutch blueberry harvest, even though this year's volumes are not as high as expected. "This is thanks to the frost", he says. "I think we had an 80% harvest, with reasonable prices. The berries were, however, smaller this year since they couldn't grow fully due to the cold spring, but they do taste good. The Netherlands was not as badly affected as Germany, in this regard."
Not only blueberries, but also sugar snaps are packaged in Venlo.
Although blueberries are the company's biggest product, BPS sorts and packages more than just this fruit. "Strawberries and sugar snaps are also processed here", Harm continues. "The machine removes the unsightly sugar snaps, and this fresh product then gets packaged. In the case of this product, the machines packages 80 pieces per minute. In January we are getting a second line, so that we can increase the amount of product we package. The process of sorting and packaging the blueberries is about the same. The soft and misshaped berries are removed, and we packaged the good quality ones. We can package 160 punnets per minute. The process for the strawberries is exactly the same, but we packaged about 140 pieces per minute."
The line where the sugar snaps are optically sorted, and later packaged.
The sugar snaps being packaged.
The quality control area for, in this case, strawberries, Bruises and the brix level of the fruit are noted.
The packaged strawberries.
For more information:
Berry Packing Services
5928 RH Venlo (Nederland)
T: +31 77 765 00 00
They are inedible in their whole form, so people usually consume them in the form of powder. The fact that they’re difficult to source outside the native region adds to steep prices.
Native to Texas. Edible and used to make jelly. Attracts birds and mammals. Also known as agarito, algerita, agritos, currant-of-Texas, wild currant, chaparral berry.
Agarita berries are difficult to harvest because of their thorny, five-pronged leaves. They’re toothsome in tarts, cobblers, and juices.
Also known as Amalika or Indian Gooseberry. Those sour tasting and fibrous berries are native to India. They grow on small to medium-sized trees and have many health benefits.
Baneberries are small, hard red or white berries. You can find them in subtropical and temperate regions of North America.
Cardiogenic toxins the berries contain can cause cardiac arrest and death.
The Barbados cherry is a small shrub that grows in the Caribbean and parts of Central and South America. It is not at all cold hardy, suffering damage when temperatures dip below 30 degrees F.
The fruits are bright red, cherry-like, very juicy, and have a sweet-and-sour taste.
Barberry shrubs are good as landscape plants. Birds love the small, red fruits. They’re too sour to enjoy fresh but are palatable when cooked with sugar.
With over 400 different species, the berries come in a range of colors (black, purple, white, and yellow). Also, the tart taste will be more or prominent in some varieties than others.
Barberries are often used as dried berries.
Found in arctic and subarctic zones around the world, the bearberry produces red berries enjoyed by bears and humans alike. Native people gather the leaves of bearberry plants and use them as folk medicine.
The purported health benefits of bearberries are manifold. They provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis, gout, back pain, headaches, and kidney stones.
They can be grown throughout the US.
Similar to blueberries, these flavorful berries grow wild throughout northern Europe. They are highly perishable and don’t transport well, but can be purchased in powder form. Europeans pick the wild berries for fresh eating, jams, and baked goods.
Bilberry is an old cultivated form of blueberry. It produces poor yields when grown so it’s most often harvested in the wild.
These bright orange berries grow on long trailing vines throughout New England. The berries aren’t edible, they’re toxic and very bitter, hence their name.
These types of berries are native to Europe and Asia but have been naturalized in North America. They’ve become a common and persistent garden weed.
Blackberries grow wild throughout the Pacific Northwest and the South. These plants prefer moist, fertile soil and mild winters.
Studies have found that blackberries protect against LDL-oxidation, a prominent cardiovascular risk factor.
They abound in polyphenol compounds that lower stress levels and high blood pressure.
New varieties of blackberries are more cold hardy. Yet if you live north of USDA plant hardiness zone 6 you’ll have a better shot with raspberries.
Use the USDA’s interactive map to determine the hardiness zone for your area.
Sweet, juicy blueberries are used for fresh eating, or in sauces and baked goods. Unfortunately, blueberries require acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. If you have alkaline soil, you will need to amend it or grow your blueberries in containers.
You may confuse saskatoon berries with blueberries, as they look similar. One way to tell one from the other is to know that saskatoon berries are softer and more reddish in color.
The black mulberry grows only in warm climates, south of zone 7, but is a favorite fruit among Southern cooks. In a myth of Pyramus and Thisbē, Gods taint the berries red after the lovers’ murder under the mulberry tree.
Substitute them for blackberries in pies and jams.
Boysenberries are developed in the 1920s by crossing raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries. Walter Knott grew the berries at his farm and his wife made the sweet fruit into preserves. Knott’s Berry Farm became famous and the rest is history.
Like blackberries, boysenberries prefer sandy loam soil and plenty of sunshine.
Buffalo berry grows wild throughout the Great Plains region. The plant produces large, red fruit suitable for eating dried or in baked goods. If one eats them raw, however, they can cause diarrhea.
The berries grow lush bushes and are resilient plants that can thrive in marginal soils.
Bunchberry trees produce red clusters of fruit in northern regions of North America. These fruits are bland tasting and better left for the birds.
The berry contains high levels of mucilage which made it a perfect natural jam thickener.
Caperberry is a perennial plant with fleshy leaves and white to pinkish flowers. The caper is the flower bud, and the caperberry is the fruit.
The berries were used in ancient times for medical purposes as well as an aphrodisiac.
Chokeberry shrubs are often used as landscape plants because they do well in the shade. The fruit is acerbic but makes good wine and preserves.
The chokecherry grows wild throughout many parts of the west but can be homegrown as well. Use this tart fruit in jams and syrups.
This tree or shrub grows throughout the coldest regions of North America and can thrive in harsh conditions of the Arctic Circle. It produces yellow, bland fruit.
Cloudberries can be found in Canada and some parts of Maine. Yet, these types of berries are a staple for Scandinavian foragers.
Cowberries grow wild throughout northern Europe and Canada. They produce tart red fruit, like cranberries, and are used in baked goods and preserves.
Cooks appreciate cranberries for their tart, astringent flavor. This is both inside and outside the Thanksgiving occasion. They are wetland fruits that prefer acidic soil, and a long growing season.
One of the most common uses of cranberry is in the form of cranberry juice. The juice helps reduce plaque build-up in your arteries and helps with weight loss.
Currants thrive in regions with cool, moist conditions. The small, round fruits may be translucent white, red, or purple and have a rich, tart flavor.
Plant your currants at least three feet apart and maintain them with regular pruning. Read more on how to grow currents.
Black wild berries that grow on long, creeping vines. These plants grow prolifically throughout the Pacific Northwest.
They have a slightly bitter taste. Eat them fresh or use them in jams and baked goods.
Similar to currants, elderberries are dark red to purple and make fine wine and preserves. Grow this plant in cool, moist regions with cold winters. Many health benefits are attributed to elderberries, but they’re most popular as an ingredient in immune-boosting tonics.
They ripen in early to mid-September in the northeast. The West Coasters however can harvest them as early as June.
A relative of blueberries, farkleberry grows wild throughout the Midwest. The black berries are relatively tasteless, although birds and wildlife enjoy them.
Similar to common blackberry, but the fruit is larger and sweeter. It grows across many different wild habitats but is also cultivated in the gardens.
The berry is also used to produce the hybrid marionberry cultivar.
Bright red goji berries are native to China and the Himalayas. They have been heralded as a superfood, high in antioxidants. They’re rich in phenolic compounds which protect against oxidative stress.
Fresh goji berries are hard to come by since they’re rarely commercially cultivated in the U.S. So, home growing is a good alternative to have your own fresh goji berries.
Goji berry can tolerate drought, extreme heat and cold, and poor soils.
This thorny plant produces tart, green berries used in pies and preserves. Gooseberries thrive in cool areas and prefer rich, moist soils. That said, they’re often found along the paths of woodland hiking trails.
Gooseberries have acidic taste when green but develop a rich, smooth flavor as they ripen. They resemble currents but people often prefer gooseberries in pies or jams.
Grapes are botanically classified as berries. Table grapes are used fresh and may be red, green, or black. Small, seeded types have an aromatic flavor and are used for juices and wines.
Hackberry comes from many types of trees of the Celtis genus. The hackberry tree can grow up to 80 – 100 feet in height. It has purple skin with a tiny nut inside and is an edible berry.
Their sweet taste makes them the bird’s staple but the locals often use the pit to roast them like chestnuts.
As little as two to five berries is enough to cause a deadly outcome.
Huckleberries grow wild throughout the Pacific Northwest. They thrive in the cool, moist conditions found in woodland settings. They are similar to blueberries and are delicious fresh, or in jams and baked goods.
This shrub is native to the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascade Mountains. Native Americans consumed the Indian Plum in dried and cooked form. They also used it for treating tuberculosis.
Grown as ornamentals, the plant grows small purple to black berries. It can climb up to 98 feet high on vertical surfaces. Birds often feed on the berries, but the plant is poisonous for humans.
This plant tolerates harsh conditions, growing wild throughout much of North America. It is used as a landscaping plant, although the fruit is good to eat, somewhat similar to blueberries.
Junipers produce dusty blue berries that resemble blueberries. The fruit isn’t toxic but is rarely palatable.
This bush plant belongs to the cypress family of Cupressaceae. The indigenous people used the berries as a traditional medicine for diabetes. They used burning juniper as part of their folkloric rites. Juniper berries are also used for making Gin.
Also known as cowberry.
This cross between a raspberry and a blackberry has a distinct taste. It’s used commercially in jams and juices. Grow loganberry as you would blackberries.
The parasitic mistletoe plant produces small, glutinous, white berries in winter. Stems, leaves, and berries are all toxic when ingested.
Celtic Druids considered mistletoe a symbolic plant because of its hardiness during the winter months. Fast forward to the 18th century, the herb was introduced into Christmas celebrations. That’s when the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe originated as well.
This plant grows wild in northern woodlands and marshes. The berry resembles chokecherries in appearance and taste. Use it in syrups and preserves.
Oregon grapes grow well in a variety of soils and are used primarily as a landscaping shrub.
The small, purple fruits are tart, but are eaten fresh or made into wine or preserves. Oregon grape root is used to treat diarrhea, constipation, and gallbladder disease.
Like tomatoes, persimmon is botanically classified as a berry. It’s native to the Middle East and Asia, but can be successfully grown in the Southern United States. It has a tart taste and slightly mealy texture.
The fruit of this plant resembles blueberries but don’t be fooled. All parts of the plant are toxic. The berries lack the star at the base of the fruit found on blueberries and have a glossy purple-red sheen.
Small purple or black berries that grow on evergreen or semi-evergreen flowering shrubs or hedges. Privet berries are sold in a farmer’s market and are used for space decoration and wedding bouquets. They’re toxic when ingested.
Privet is used as food for birds and also by some larvae species such as Lepidoptera. These larvae are used for weed control because of their propensity to feed on one single crop.
Raspberries are cold-hardy and long-lived. They produce sweet, flavorful fruit suitable for fresh eating, sauces, and preserves. Plant raspberries in fertile soil and provide at least one inch of water weekly. Prune them once a year and protect them from rabbit damage.
There are three main types, namely, purple, black and red raspberries.
Black raspberries are native to western North America. They grow as north as Alaska to as south as California. Black raspberries have a hollow center, just like the thimble-like fruits of red raspberries.
They have high concentrations of Vitamin C that helps ward off inflammation.
Learn more about how to grow raspberries in your home garden.
Red mulberry trees are native to many parts of the United States. They produce fruit similar to blackberries. The fruit is highly perishable and leaves a mess on sidewalks and hard surfaces.
Salmonberry is a perennial plant native to Alaska and Canada. The orange or red fruit resemble raspberries and are eaten fresh or in preserves.
Salmonberries are rich in polyphenols. This makes them effective against indigestion, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
SEABERRY (SEA BUCKHORN)
Seaberry grows in the temperate and sub-arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It was naturalized in Canada in the 1930s. It’s an edible berry known as a superfruit because it is high in nutrients.
Snowberry is present all across the northern United States and the Canadian provinces. They’re often considered poisonous, but they’re not very digestible for people.
Also known as Waxberry, White Coralberry, or White, Thin-leaved, or Few-flowered Snowberry. They’re used medicinally for treating burns and sores, and as a shampoo and deodorant.
Homegrown strawberries have little in common with those found in grocery stores. They’re often smaller but have an intense flavor that makes you stand up and take notice. Grow strawberries in fertile, moist soil and full sun.
Strawberries are top-ranked for its antioxidant content. The berries have potent cancer-fighting properties and protect against heart disease.
If you opt to grow strawberries, start small. Strawberry runners tend to branch out on their own and begin new plants. It’s a budget-friendly way to get a full-scale strawberries patch.
Sugarberry trees grow throughout the Southern United States and produce yellow or orange fruits loved by birds and insects.
This hybrid cross between a loganberry and a black raspberry produces sweet, red fruit. It grows in moist, fertile soil and is more frost hardy than blackberries.
A wild cousin of cultivated raspberries, thimbleberries grow from Alaska to northern Mexico. Use them fresh or in jams. They are softer and more perishable than raspberries and rarely sold commercially.