[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [nafex] wet soil, highbush cranberry and archive homework

In the area where I live (zone 3), there are numerous varieties of berries that are black. We have some black raspberry, although they fare better in zone 4 and milder, but they are my favorite for eating fresh. We have timbleberry (a bramble on long thorny branches with big blackberries in the shape of a timble, very tasty, with gritty seeds, therefore ideal for jelly but uninteresting for jams). I was told that timbleberries are to be found in the Appalachians all the way to Virginia. We also have a dewberry, which is a low bramble. The dewberries have seeds like raspberries and can be made into fantastic freezer jam. Rich in taste and colour. Dewberries are picked at the end of August and some years, with enough rainfall, they are plentiful. In places, the dewberries are part of the ground cover along with moss. All of the above are to be found in sandy somewhat acidic soils, in the wild. That black raspberry would survive a flood, I am not surprised as they are tough plants, but I don't think they would survived in a continual wet feet situation.
We also have wild high bush cranberry, and they usually do grow in low lands, with water nearby.
Another plant that prefers wet conditions is elderberry. Elderberry is a very beautiful big bush with long leaves reminescent of walnuts and hickory in the way the leaves are placed along the stem.
We have two types : 1) Red berried Elder, Sambucus pubens, which grow in rocky places , blooms in april-may and has red berries in july which are edible only if you are a bird (i.e. the berries contain cyanide). Very pretty though.
2) Then there is the Black Elder, Sambucus canadensis, which sort of looks the same as the above, but grows in humid places along streams. It blooms june-early july, amazingly late for a short growing season, and produces fruits early september, which do not last long on the bush. The fruits are easy to pick as they are in clusters and the dried flowers are like lace made of star like white florets. The flowers make a very good herbal tea and the berries have many applications. Unlike high bush cranberries, which are not very good but make a passable jelly to accompany meat and for which a taste has to be acquired, elderberries are sweet and quite pleasant. They can be used in muffins, dried, added to wine making ingredients to impart colour, made into jams and jellies, you name it. 
This is one of the perfect candidate for the situation that has been described. It grows fast and self seeds here and there where the conditions are right while not being too invasive. It likes more humidity than high bush cranberry and is definitely more useful and much more handsome.
It usually seems to prefer shade, but last Fall I picked a few pounds of elderberries from a 10 foot tall elderberry bush which grew so fast that I noticed it for the first time last summer while in bloom and IT was growing in full sun in a depression by a stream, the neighbouring poplars having been chewed down the year before by beavers... But, that is another story.
Hélène Dessureault
P.S. : I do have some dried elderberries that I could send. When I dried the berries, though, I did not have planting in mind. Also, it is possible that stratification would be necessary for germination.
-----Message d'origine-----
De : Kieran or Donna <redherring@tnaccess.com>
À : nafex@egroups.com <nafex@egroups.com>
Date : mardi 19 décembre 2000 22:07
Objet : Re: [nafex] wet soil, highbush cranberry and archive homework

I have to wonder if black raspberries would do.   I remember a wild patch
that did particularly well the year the Tennessee River flooded and had the
patch underwater for a few days.  You all go ahead and argue with me if you
think I'm wrong.  I'd hate to see anyone waste money on raspberries on just
my say so.  Donna  TN z6

eGroups Sponsor
Click Here!