By: Gary Gao, PhD, Small Fruit Extension Specialist and Associate Professor
If you do a Google search for “super berries,” a few plants will come up. Some of the uncommon ones could be Aronia berries, Chinese goji berries and elderberries, while common ones could be blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. With growing interest in super foods by the general public, growers in Ohio might find super berries as viable cash crops.
We are lucky enough to have received a specialty crop block grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the USDA to work on new and existing super berries. We planted a few of them this year. Our research team members have propagated a few elderberry plants. We also purchased some Aronia berry Chinese goji berry plants. We would like to thank the Ohio Department of Agriculture and USDA for this specialty crop block grant.
If you are thinking about planting any of the super berries, Gary Gao would like to hear from you! He created a Facebook page for Ohio Super Berries. The Web address is https://www.facebook.com/OhioSuperBerries. Gary will provide regular updates there with pictures and comments. This page can also be a good place for growers to connect with each other. There is also a Facebook page for “Aronia Growers East of Mississippi.” The group was started by several growers in Ohio. Please check it out.