Medlar is an attractive plant that could have a niche market as an antique fruit species, but it does not demonstrate the economic and/or ecological characteristics for inclusion in an integrated cropping system.
A member of the dogwood family, this fruit has been used for 7,000 years as a food crop in ancient Greece. Cornelian cherry is native to regions of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Known primarily as an ornamental plant in the U.S., its cherry-like fruits have been part of a healthy diet in some parts of the world for thousands of years. In its native range, it is still used as a fresh fruit and is popular as a fruit drink.
If ‘Rabina’ is one of the better selections, European mountain ash does not pass the tests for hardiness, fruit quality, processing versatility and disease resistance. It has no fresh fruit appeal, would be difficult to process economically into appealing value-added products and does not have any known unique nutraceutical properties. Carandale will be removing this species from the test plot.
‘Ivan’s Beauty’ is a recent cross between European mountain ash and chokeberry (aronia) that exhibits traits of both parents.The fruit is a beautiful wine red, making it an attractive landscape and wildlife food tree. It is too astringent to be enjoyed fresh but can be used for processed food products. It probably is not economically justified as part of an integrated system unless found to have notable nutritional, ecological or marketing advantages.
Relatively few shipova trees have been grown throughout the world, even though the plant has been around for more than 400 years and bears delicious fresh fruit. This may be indicative of its need for specific site conditions and/or the long time before fruiting. Both situations would make it questionable as an economically successful fruit crop.
This is the first little known fruit from the Carandale test plot taken to the next level of commercial production. It is a relatively low maintenance crop with high processing versatility but low fresh fruit appeal. There will be marketing challenges based on lack of recognition and fresh market appeal, but its processing versatility and nutritional profile gives it great potential as an economically sustainable crop for commercial fruit growers.
Autumn olive is an invasive threat because it is a tough, persistent plant easily spread by birds and other animals that consume the fruit and spread the seeds. Carandale Farm included autumn olive in their trials, netted in controlled conditions, because it is a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. A combination of poor performance and the nagging threat of invasiveness did not justify continued observation.
Goumi is both an insectory and nitrogen fixing plant. It would be an excellent choice for inclusion in a diverse ecological system where it would contribute these symbiotic traits for the benefit of other fruit crops. It is an early ripening fruit that will complement other fruits that use similar harvesting and processing facilities. Goumi has some fresh market appeal.
Attractive, vigorous wildlife food plant, but fruit quality was found to be unsuitable due to bitterness and flavor unpleasant to the palette. Not suitable for fresh market or processing.
This species is native to the northern U.S. and the southern third of Canada. In comparison with the European highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus), the fruit of the American version has a more palatable taste. It is a valuable insectory plant that attracts and supports beneficial insects.