Demand soars for Gwynedd ‘super fruit’ products

Vicky Williams-Griffith (centre) with her mum Angela (left) and sister Anna Livingston at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, Conwy ValleyVicky Williams-Griffith (centre) with her mum Angela (left) and sister Anna Livingston at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, Conwy Valley
Production of a Gwynedd-grown super fruit is being expanded to cope with demand from customers who now include the Savoy Hotel in London.

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Bluebird Spring Orchard Akron, Iowa

June 10, 2015 11:36 am • Kid Scoop News Feature Reporters Lane Kenny and Sophie Martinac (With Staff Assistance)
Bluebird Spring Orchard is located one mile south of Akron, Iowa, just east of Highway 12. The orchard is planted with approximately five acres of several varieties of apples and five acres of aronia berries. One must not confuse the aronia berry, which is also known as a chokeberry with the commonly known chokecherry of the Midwest, as the members of this reporting team soon found out. Chokeberries are cultivated as ornamental plants and as food products. The sour berries can be eaten raw off the bush, and are frequently processed into wine, jam, syrup, juice, soft spreads, tea, salsa to name a few. The chokecherry received its name from the obvious fact that it is very tart and often causes your lips to pucker…and you “choke”. So, while the berries are distant cousins, Mary and George Lucken, the owners, reminded all that they are very different.

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Agro Forestry Tour

Agroforestry Tour
The 2015 Central Iowa Agroforestry Tour has something for everyone. Five stops are scheduled focusing on alternative crops including aronia berry and hazelnuts, and agroforestry practices such as riparian forest buffers, silvopasture, and livestock buffers. Finally, no agroforestry tour is complete without talking about marketing your nuts, berries, beef, or property. Enjoy a day filled with adventure and inspiration while traveling in deluxe motor-coach accommodations.

Tour stops:
8:00 am
Bus leaves parking lot south of Hilton Coliseum

8:45 am
Aronia Berries
Kent Friedrichsen & Corey Hillebo, Perry, IA

10:30 am
Riparian Forest Buffer
Jesse and Natalie Randall, Boone, IA

12:00 pm
Cindy McCollough & Jeff Jensen, Webster City, IA

2:15 pm
Dean Biechler, Ames, IA

3:30 pm
Pick-Your-Own Berry Farm
Dean & Judy Henry, Nevada IA

Please register each person individually.

To pay online with a credit card, fill out the form below. To pay by check, please call Becky Smith at 800-369-1269 x 112.

Are Chokeberries the Next Super Food for Athletes?

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Chokeberries, otherwise known as aronia berries, are so called because of their bitter, sour taste. Native to North America, they grow prominently in temperate woods and swamps, in red, black and purple varieties. The plant is known for its resistance to drought, insects and disease.

Despite the awful-sounding name, the nutritional properties of chokeberries are numerous, and the berries are for wine, jam and syrup. Aronia berries are rich in flavonoids and contain more antioxidants than blueberries, pomegranates, cherries and goji berries. The black-colored chokeberries, in particular, have a high amount of polyphenols, namely anthocyanin, which is believed to potentially reduce risk of cancer, viral and bacterial infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, cell degeneration and inflammation.

Chokeberries may be especially helpful to athletes, according to recent studies. One published last fall in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that rowers who took a chokeberry juice supplement experienced a reduced inflammatory response after exercise. They also maintained higher levels of iron in their bodies, helping to send oxygen to their muscles more effectively. Researchers believe the anthocyanin in chokeberries has a “beneficial effect … in reducing the consequences of an intensive training load.”

Although you can’t buy the berries fresh, aronia berries are available in the form of dried fruit (, capsules (Swanson Full Spectrum Aronia) and powder (from Peak Season).

Are Chokeberries the Next Superfood for Athletes




Maddy Lucier

– As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball…

Harvest date affects aronia juice polyphenols, sugars, and antioxidant activity, but not anthocyanin stability

Scholar Alert: [ intitle:Aronia ]

Harvest date affects aronia juice polyphenols, sugars, and antioxidant activity, but not anthocyanin stability

BW Bolling, R Taheri, R Pei, S Kranz, M Yu… – Food Chemistry, 2015
Abstract The goal of this work was to characterize how the date of harvest of ‘Viking’aronia
berry impacts juice pigmentation, sugars, and antioxidant activity. Aronia juice anthocyanins
doubled at the fifth week of the harvest, and then decreased. Juice hydroxycinnamic acids

1990 BEI Pay-Sway I traded in for sale for $27,500

I have this 1990 BEI Pay-Sway I traded in for sale for $27,500 if you know of any growers looking for a picker for next year, please pass this along to them. Pictures aren’t the greatest, it’s tucked away in a storage shed right now.

Best regards,
260-768-3217 office
260-768-3219 fax
260-350-1955 cell

2015 Ceres Trust Grad Student grants

The 2015 Ceres Trust Grad Student grants are now open for application. Detailed information can be found at Please feel free to forward this announcement to eligible applicants.

Program Description
Up to 10 one-year grants of up to $10,000 each will be made to support organic research by full-time graduate students (Masters and Ph.D.) enrolled at accredited colleges and universities in the North Central Region. The 12 states in the region are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Successful applicants will be eligible to apply and compete for a second year of funding.
Application Process and Proposal Format
Applicants may either fill out the application online or complete the application as a word document and upload, but should not do both. Applicants must abide by character counts as stated in the application. Characters include all letters, spaces and punctuation. Font must all be 12 pt. All requested attachments must be correctly uploaded in order for the applications to be considered. In addition to the online application, all applicants should also send four paper copies of their complete application to: Ceres Trust, PMB 125, 479 Mankato Avenue, Winona, MN 55987.
Application Period
Applications may be submitted as early as January 15, 2015. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2015.

USDA has a listing of approved fruits

It may not feel like it today, but Spring will be here before we know it. One thing we must resolve before farmers markets begin popping up is getting Aronia on the USDA’s approved fruit listing.

You may or may not be aware, but the USDA has a listing of approved fruits which can be used in preserves, jellies and jams which are offered for sale, Aronia is not one of those approved fruits. This caused problems for some producers last year. In order to solve the problem and get Aronia on the listing of USDA’s approved fruits, we need 25 samples of Aronia preserves (jams or jelly) for testing. Iowa State University will handle the testing free of charge.

If you have a jam or jelly for testing, please help by sending your jelly/jam to:
1. Dr. Lester Wilson 2541 Food Science Building Ames, Ia. 50011
2. Include a copy of the recipe used.
3. Include your name, address and phone number.
4. Include information about where the Aronia berries were grown and age of the plants.
5. Finally, include when the jam/jelly was made.
6. When your submission is complete, please email with the subject line Aronia Preserves for Testing. Peggy Fogle will be helping keep track of those submitting samples.

Twenty-five samples are necessary in order to meet the USDA’s testing requirements. Should we get more samples than necessary, we will let you know. Thank you so much for helping further the needs of our emerging industry!