Go Goji Berries!

TheGreen Thumb

For years we’ve used dried Goji berries to make tea by throwing three or four of them into our tea leaves. We have purchased them at Chinese grocery stores. They are supposed to be good for your eyesight according to Chinese folklore.

Berries on 4-foot tall Goji plant. The fruit is high in antioxidants and supposedly good for the eyesight. -Tina Johansson photos
Berries on a 4-foot tall Goji plant. The fruit is high in antioxidants and supposedly good for the eyesight. –Tina Johansson photos

There have been people who swear that eating them regularly can enhance longevity. I figure it’s worth a try.

Last year I bought one Goji plant from a nursery and planted it outside the garage with a southeast exposure. It grew, but not much. In fact, I forgot to mulch it for winter, and we had quite a brutal one. I was sure it was a goner.

Came spring, it grew back in earnest, and is now nearly four feet tall. In fact there is another one sprouting nearby.

We used a tomato cage to support the vine. In late summer it flowered and then produced quite a few berries that turned from green to orange then red. Very attractive.

My wife tasted a berry when it was not quite ripe and declared it made her pucker. They can be somewhat bitter. I tried a red one days later and found it sweet with a hint of raspberry.

According to the nursery catalog, the berries are loaded with antioxidants. The leaves are also edible. My wife and I tasted the leaves and decided we would use them in salads, much as we would with other greens. They have a peppery flavor.

Goji berries are very easy to grow. They are not fussy and need very little attention. Bugs don’t seem to bother them either. – Long Hwa-shu

 

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