The sharp-toothed Chinese gooseberry is perhaps better known as the "Mini-Kiwi" or "Kiwiberry" and originates from East Asia. It is related to the conventional large-fruited Kiwi. The fruit measure between 2 and 5 cm, depending on variety, and are oval/round and hairless. They can be eaten in their skins, directly from the bush. The taste is pleasantly sweet and aromatic. Depending on the variety, the colour of the fruit varies between green, grey/brown and red. The Mini-Kiwi is also dioecious, which means that male and female plants have to be planted in a ratio of 1:9 in commercial production. The Mini-Kiwi is undemanding with regard to location and is significantly hardier against frost (- 30°!) than its larger-fruited relative.
Professional growers should plant rhubarb in sunny locations. The ideal soil is medium heavy with a high humus and nutrient value, permeable and warms up easily. The pH value should lie between 5.6 and 7.2. The structure and aeration of the soil can be improved by adding compost, which will promote vigour in the plants. Because the volume of the leaves is so large and growth so fast, rhubarb needs a lot of water. Sprinkling during dry spells will promote growth and yield. One plant is usually planted per one square metre .
Figs are among the oldest of domesticated cropping plants, and are grown mainly in the Mediterranean region. As a result, most people associate figs with southern, hot, dry conditions. However, these adaptable plants will also grow and produce fruit in our climate too. The correct choice of variety and location is critical; it is important for the plants to be protected from sun and wind. Fig trees make few demands with regard to soil – it just needs to be porous and deep. Varieties such as Nordland and Contessina tolerate cold conditions well.
The Nordland-Berg Fig is characterised by excellent winter hardiness. it has a strong, compact growth. The large, violet coloured fruit ripen from August onwards. The fruit flesh is juicy and sweetly aromatic.
Like the Nordland variety, Contessina is also very resistant against the cold. The plant has a strong growth. This variety has a particularly high yield and produces very large, sweet and tasty violet fruit.
This variety of figs produces rather smaller fruit than Nordland and Contessina, but is just as hardy against winter. Brown Turkey is vigorous and produces a regular yield. The fruit ripen from mid August, are a dark violet colour and extremely tasty .
The Siberian blueberry is known by many different names. This is not a new variety, but a long-forgotten “superfruit” that’s experiencing an impressive re-birth thanks to recent discoveries about its health benefits. The plant itself is extremely frost-hardy and undemanding. Its growth is weak, with plants reaching a maximum height of 1.5m. Two different varieties should be planted together to improve pollination. The blossom also withstands frost and appears as early as March/April, depending on position. The dusty blue fruit vary from oval to cylindrical in shape and can be harvested by about the end of May. They can be eaten raw or processed (juice, conserves, food colouring or added to yoghourt, ice cream, etc.).
Alder-leaved serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
The Amelanchier species comprises about 25 varieties, most of which originate from north America. Serviceberries are completely frost-hardy and undemanding. They stand out for their beautiful blossom, tasty fruit rich in vitamins and minerals, and wonderful autumn colour.
The “Northline” (Amelanchier alnifolia) variety is particularly attractive for commercial cultivation as its fruit are larger and ripen more evenly than the wild variety.
Chinese magnolia-vine (Schisandra chinensis)
The Chinese limonnik is a species of the magnolia vine genus and belongs to the Schisandraceae family. It is a hardy vine that can reach up to 8 m in height. It is native to China, where it has been used throughout history as a medicinal plant (first mentioned in the Han dynasty).
Schisandra is dioecious, meaning that each plant has either male or female flowers only. Female plants produce 2 cm to 7.5 cm long bunches of red fruit from July to September. The fruit are exceptionally healthy, containing plenty of vitamin C, citric acid, malic acid and pectin.
They can be eaten fresh or processed.