Goji Berry

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Goji berry—a tasty superfood 

At first glance you might think these are grape tomatoes but they’re actually goji berries—considered by many to be among the healthiest of all super foods. They’ve been touted as curing everything from poor eyesight to cancer, which may or may not be true. We do know that they’re full of vitamins and other nutrients and above all else—they taste good.

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Colorful fruits and flowers on long, rambling vines 

In Asia, where this plant originated, people have been snacking on the sweet/tart little fruits for centuries. Wolfberry is another name for this bushy plant and it actually makes a unique statement in a garden bed, with pretty white, purple, or lilac-colored flowers on long, rambling vines. Of course, once the flowers morph into bright orange-red berries those are eye-catching as well.

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Eye-catching orange-red berries

Goji is hardy in zones 5 to 9—you’ll notice that we left out “comfort.” Yes, it’s exotic but it’s surprisingly easy to grow. This plant tolerates a range of conditions, from dry to humid, and thrives in full sun though it can also be grown in partial shade. One thing goji does need is well-draining soil.

You’ll get the best harvest in full sun, so keep that in mind, plus plants are self-pollinating so you only need one to set a crop of berries. Some say they get more berries by planting more than one bush—if you do plant more than one, space them about 4 feet apart. 

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Enjoy gojis dried, juiced, frozen—or fresh off the vine

Fruits keep coming until the first hard frost and one plant can produce up to seven pounds of berries. They’re bitter until they’re completely ripe, so leave them on the vine as long as possible. Gojis can be dried, juiced, or frozen—or enjoyed fresh straight off the vine. Drying seems to be the preferred method, so the berries can be eaten like raisins. 

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Gojis glistening in the sun

These plants tend to sprawl, so we suggest using a trellis. While pests and diseases leave them alone, birds and small animals might munch on the berries so tossing a net over the top is also a good idea. If space is an issue, goji can be grown in a large container, though the plant might be a bit smaller than one that is planted in the ground. A light pruning here and there keeps the vines looking neat and might get you some extra berries.

Goji berry is available in the 1-gallon pot.

*Please exercise caution when consuming berries: check with your doctor if you are taking any medications to avoid a potential interaction. Also, some people are allergic to gojis so if this is an issue please avoid the plant and err on the side of safety.

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