Wonderberries

in Garden

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I like novelty in the garden.  Weird stuff, in other words.  If the seed catalog makes it sound odd enough, it goes in my cart.

Last year I planted wonderberries, and this year they planted themselves.

Wonderberries are small, pea-sized berries grown on short, tender shrubs.  A tomato relative, they’re reminiscent in flavor of tiny, sweet, tender-skinned cherry tomatoes.  The skin is purple-black and the inside is basically lots of tiny edible seeds in a sweet/tangy juice.  You may taste a little bit of a watermelon flavor in a mouthful of wonderberries.  The flavor is often described as bland, but I would rather say they are mild.  The flavor of the fresh berry is also commonly panned, although those comments may refer to another variety because mine (Solanum x burbankii) is perfectly tasty fresh.

Grown like tomatoes, one little shrub won’t keep you in pies or jam, which is the way wonderberries are often prepared, but several plants would, although they are a little tedious to amass in good supply due to their small size–imagine if you had to pick a bowlful of baby peas, one or two peas at a time.

Still, they are fun to have around, tasty to pick and eat a few here and there while out in the garden, and I hope they keep reseeding themselves in mine.



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