They are popular in China, but now berry lovers in British Columbia can eat them fresh.
Goji berries are touted as a ‘superfood’ because they are believed to be packed with antioxidants.
And while they are all the rage in countries like China, no one had ever grown them commercially in Canada.
Local farmer Peter Breederland has been in the sweet pepper growing business for almost 20 years.
But five years ago, he decided to take on the challenge of growing Goji berries.
It has taken his plants five years to get to the point that they can be harvested and now he is selling them both fresh and frozen.
Breederland says he had 25 acres of unused land to experiment with, and finally chose Goji berries as his trial product.
“I really like new challenges, just to figure out something new, something different,” says Breederland.
Growing Goji berries in B.C. was a calculated risk, says Breederland, because there was no established market and little expertise to turn to.
“It is not an easy plant to grow,” he says. “Even in China, there is no manual on how to grow the berries.”
After lots of trial and error, Breederland says he is the only farmer with a sustainable commercial operation in B.C.
But he thinks the berry will remain a niche product.
“I think there is room for expansion, but it is a product that needs to grow gradually.”
For more information, go to http://gojoy.ca/