Aronia vs Elderberry

aronia berries

Thanks to everyone for calling/stopping by to purchase pears, blackberries, elderberry and aronia this summer.

It was our first year offering any of our fruits for sale, after planting most of the trees/bushes five years ago.
A nice opportunity to see 3D humans and share some of our bounty.
 
One thing I noticed is that the elderberry was the best seller. It is all gone, from our vigorous, maybe 15′ high bushes.
And comparatively, I’ve sold a limited amount of aronia. (although one friend drove two hours for it!)
 
I can understand that elderberries are the darlings… the blossoms and fruits are so pretty, and delicate, and honestly, the name feels good on the tongue and just evokes warmth and charm.
 
Compared to the aronia, which has a harsh, Latin sound, not an evocative name at all. And also called “chokeberry”!  (Not the poisonous chokeCHERRY, but chokeBERRY, so called because of its tart/bitter/astringent taste) So haha the poor fruit has a lot going against it from the get-go. It also looks a lot more solid, and in fact is a sturdier fruit with a longer life. And most of my friends and neighbors just don’t know what aronia is.
aronia berries
After this experience, I want to take a moment to sing the praises of this humble fruit. 
* aronia has been prized by First Nations peoples for at least centuries (used in pemmican and more)
* aronia is one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet, specifically anthocyanins (the quality in blueberries and other red/purple foods, just a lot more so)
* it has been proven to be anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, and cardioprotective: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152740/
 
I urge you to try aronia for lots of health reasons. I am going to make sugar-free preserves and juice, and try my hand at pemmican with the aronia I have left, but if you want to get some from me to try it too, I offer it for $20/pound. 
 
Or, you can get your own plants ~ I recommend Elmore Roots just north of Montpelier, because they specialize in Vermont-hardy and Vermont-native plantings. While access to their site is limited now obviously, you can still buy from them, and there is no place better. I’m going to plant more of both elderberry and aronia, so I’ll be heading up in the next month or two for my fall plantings.

Lisa, August 2020

*** If you want to read a dense medical report that shows why “According to the results of multivariate statistical analysis, chokeberry was clearly separated from the other berries…” and “… reported that chokeberry… has significantly higher anti-oxidant activities than blueberry…”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6175979/

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