My husband and I joined in with a group, forming an LLC in order to purchase this aronia berry picker from Poland. It finally arrived and we are all very excited although it will be another year or two before we will have a need for it. Our plants at the farm are still less than a foot in height but are leafing out nicely.
We spent a few hours this past weekend fertilizing each by hand...one at a time...with an organic fertilizer mix. Several of the plants had blossoms already, but we picked them off. I saved some so I could show what they look like.
They are pretty tiny. Below you can see these are all in a 1/4 cup measuring cup. Aren't they sweet!
This is the buds before they open up.
Here are a couple of plants we have kept in our sun room. They are younger than the plants at the farm but doing much better because of the conditions, including tender loving care, watering and feeding along with lots of sunshine. The one on the right had been pulled out by a raccoon when the plant was sitting on the front porch. We thought it was a goner but it is recovering nicely. The raccoon was after the fish emulsion we were using as a natural fertilizer at the time.
Although this venture has been a lot more work than we anticipated, it has been interesting. I have been trying different recipes with the aronia berries used in place of other similar ingredients with much success. Alone they taste pretty dry or bland but seem to enhance the flavor when used in with other ingredients.