[NAFEX] Kiwi

Jim Fruth jfruth at uslink.net
Wed Jan 3 09:21:42 EST 2007

    You'll learn that the Crandall Black Currant spreads about as much as 
some bramble.  I grubbed mine out for that very reason.  Re Kiwi, if you 
enjoy the flavor, Kiwi may be worth your space.  I planted both Actinidia 
arguta and A. kolomitka.  A. arguta produced better than its cousin but 
wanted to ripen after it froze here in zone 3 so I grubbed it out keeping A. 
kolomitka which produced alot of fruit for the small space it required.
    Kiwi needs a trellis and will continue to wind around a wire and, if 
that wire should sag, it will reverse its direction and wind back around 
itself.  That's what happened when I stopped paying attention to it and got 
busy doing other tasks.  It made a tangled mess, production slowed and I had 
to prune it back and start over.
    Harvesting is easy.  I hung a tarp under the vines and would shake the 
vines every few days.  Ripe and almost ripe fruits would fall to the tarp. 
I'd scoop it up, sort out the trash, eat the soft fruits.  I put the unripe 
fruits in a large, shallow dish so the fruits could form one layer so I 
could see which ones to take out.  Unripe Kiwi has a dull green color which 
takes on a sheen as it develops sugar upon ripening.
    One of the neat things about planting Kiwi and trellising it along wires 
is that now I can plant something underneath that's shade tolerant.  Oh, and 
I should add that, in the wild, Kiwi has to compete with trees and other 
plants for what water it gets; Kiwi proved to be drought tolerant.

Jim Fruth
Brambleberry Farm
Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
(218)568-8483 [Store]
(218)831-7018 [My Cell]

I looked at a lot of different fruit (on the Internet), because I wanted
to plant a variety. But I'm only interested in fresh eating (and,
perhaps, some juice if I get too much to eat). Without having a lot of
room, I guess that nothing makes as much sense as grapes in sunny areas
and gooseberries (and perhaps currants) in partial shade. (I already
have a nice patch of black raspberries, but not really enough room for
another of the brambles.)

Aronia looked interesting, but they didn't appear to taste very good.
Edible honeysuckle (blue honeysuckle or honeyberry?) fruit very early,
but this document says they're "extremely susceptible to leaf disease in
the Midwest" and "it flowers very quickly given warm temperatures and
can be severely damaged by frost."

I looked at the "hardy" kiwi, but I read that they must acclimate slowly
to cold weather - they don't like sudden temperature changes. So it
doesn't appear that the kiwi or the edible honeysuckle would be suited
to our climate in the Great Plains! The weather can change very rapidly
here, and we don't normal see anything BUT extremes.

Our local extension service did tell me that "bush cherries"
(unspecified which kind, exactly) were "hard to grow" around here, and
I've seen comments that they're not productive enough to make them
worthwhile. Comments about Jostaberries also indicated that they
produced relatively few berries - and were mediocre in taste, as well.
About the only thing still on my "maybe" list is small Amelanchier
species (Juneberry, Serviceberry, Saskatoon),... but I don't know.

When you get right down to it, grapes and various Ribes (especially
gooseberries) are probably going to out-produce anything else, are
delicious fresh, and have a huge selection of different varieties. And
gooseberries have the added advantage of producing in partial shade. I
like to try different things, but I'm not sure much else makes sense,
considering my limitations on space.

Oh, yeah, I should mention that I've planted some 'Crandall' clove or
buffalo currants. From what I read, they seemed to be a pretty decent
choice for an "unusual" fruit, though I don't know if they'll be much
different from other Ribes. Most of them may not get enough light to
produce well, but I needed to fill a particularly poor spot, so I
thought I'd give them a try.

Anyway, this is too long, I know, and I apologize. But thanks for the links!

Lincoln, NE (Zone 5)

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