Blackcurrants May Reduce Symptoms Of Asthma


Chemical compounds in blackcurrants can reduce inflammation and help breathing in some types of asthma, New Zealand researchers have found.

Researchers at the agency Plant & Food Research tested a range of blackcurrant varieties in vitro, and found that many reduced a key step associated with allergy-induced asthma.

Analysis of the successful varieties suggested the ability was tied to the ratio of two anthocyanins within the berries.

Science Group Leader Dr Roger Hurst said: “The consumption of some fruit types have been shown to reduce symptoms in allergy-induced asthma but this research has provided more insights into the likely bioactive compounds in fruit that are responsible.”

He added: “In the future we may be able to develop foods based on the correct balance of these compounds that can be consumed as safer, natural alternatives to assist conventional drug treatments for asthma and other allergic conditions.” 

The findings are published in the journal Food & Function.

Original article:

I’ll be posting more on “anthocyanins” in the very near future, really quite fascinating stuff.

Superfruit: Goji Berry

Superfood: Goji Berry

The Goji Berry, also known as Wolfberries (Lycium barbarum/chinense), the Himalayan fruit that contains all 18 amino acids (six times higher than bee pollen), 21 minerals as well as huge amounts of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6 & E). Gram for gram they are packed with even more iron than steak and spinach and more beta carotene and vitamin C than carrots and oranges, respectively. A true Superfood if ever there was one but also the most fashionable too. The plants are very hardy and cope well with salt winds and even droughts too so are perfect for most climates and most people.


I’ve personally never even tried a fresh Goji Berry, only ever had them in their dried format but they were lovely, I can’t wait to plant a bush this year and eventually reap the rewards in the future. This is my little girls (coming up 2) second favorite fruit behind Blueberries, she’ll be more excited than me to try them. It’s gonna be lovely to show her them growing on the plant. She invaded the greenhouse most days eating my tomatoes from the greenhouse last year, it was so cute but I don’t think she’ll be waiting till the berries are ripe, wish the plants luck for me.

The Pinkberry

The Pinkberry

It’s a pink Blueberry that’s reputed to be twice as sweet as your average Blueberry, what more reason do you need to try it. It’s named ‘Pink Lemonade’ and it’s the result from years of development in the 1970’s by the United States Department of Agriculture.

It appears to have become popular with home growers in recent years due to the growing research into the power of cancer-fighting antioxidants from so called “super-fruits” like blueberries. People speak of added beneficial effects that can be gained from certain colour pigments in fruits like the colour purple for instance, maybe pink has something worth having too. I think it’s potentially a bit of a novelty for those looking for something a bit different BUT I don’t see why it’s not worth having in your collection, diversity is beneficial is it not?

The fruits begin green, then become speckled in pink and then take on a rich pink colouring as they mature in August and September. The plant also has decorative merits due to it’s fiery orange foliage in the autumn.
Like all blueberries it also requires an acidic soil so is especially happy in a large container of ericaceous compost. It reaches about 5ft/1.5m high and wide, with masses of twiggy branches. Although it’s self fertile, it will crop much heavier if another blueberry is planted nearby.-

I know my little girls going to completely love these, Blueberrys are already her favorite fruit. Just hoping I won’t have to wait too long before we get a harvest to taste, they look delicious.

I’ll be getting mine from Blackmoor:

Fruit Hunters Documentory

I found this quite a fascinating little documentary that explores a wide variety of fruit and the importance of biodiversity for our food security.

The title of “Fruit Hunters” is attributed to people who travel the globe looking for rare and endangered fruits in order to preserve them and maintain diversity as well as just to simply enjoy them for eating.

This also covers the issues of things like taking certain fruits for granted and some history on almost losing Bananas from disease due to only having on variety and they also touch on them trying to develop more varieties.

These food hunters speak on the “living libraries” they are creating for preservation purposes as well as bringing new fruits to people via markets etc.

Now check out part 2:

Documentary made by “The Nature of Things” for CBS, thank you.

Bardsey Island Apple – “Rarest Apple In The World”

Top Fruit: Apple – Malus domestica (syn. Bardsey Island)Image

“Bardsey Island is a lonely wind-swept island off the tip of the Llyn Peninsular in North Wales, UK. It has long been a venue for pilgrims both pagan and later Christian. A single gnarled old tree was discovered near the remains of a 13th century abbey (in 1999), believed to have housed monks. Hailed as the rarest tree in the world (1000 years old) it is perhaps all that remains of the monastic orchard. It is  the only apple variety from the Celtic welsh heartland. On the island both tree and fruit are completely disease free.”


The fruits are striped pink, medium sized and have a distinct scent of lemon. Excellent straight from the tree, the fruits are crisp, sweet and juicy. They will cook to a delicate light golden fluff and require no added sugar. Harvest at the end of September, keeps until November. Pollination Groub B.


If anyone’s interested I had a look around and it looks like your best off buying it from “Ian Sturrock & Sons” (£30 with delivery, two rootstocks available), it appears to be a Welsh Nursery with direct access to the people on the island, he’s also keeping records to this tree and how well it fairs on the mainland.

More Superfruit: Honeyberry

Superfruit: Lonicera caerulea (syn. Honeyberry)
Another Superfruit: Honeyberry

This edible honeysuckle produces fruits that can be eaten fresh or used in pies and muffins. High in Antioxidants, Vitamin B & C, they taste similar to blueberries with a slight honey after-taste. The little bushes only reach 90cm (3ft) high and are very hardy, drought resistant and easy to grow. Two plants are required for pollination purposes.

Get a good variety of different plants in your garden! Make some Honeyberry Muffins for your self and friends, something you won’t find on a supermarket shelf.

Healthiest Fruit In The World: Aronia Berry?

Superfruit: Aronia x prunifolia ‘Viking’ (syn. Black Chokeberry)
Healthiest Fruit In The World: Aronia Berry?

Three times the level of antioxidants found in blueberries and high in vitamin C, this is said to be the healthiest fruit in the world
The berries are too sharp to be eaten raw but are ideal for sauces in summer puddings or blended into juices and smoothies.
The plants are very hardy, easy to grow and will do best in moist, fertile soils in sun or part shade.
Pollination: Self-fertile.
Season: late August – September.

Peaches and Apricots – Sound Growing Advice

Peaches and Apricots - Sound Growing Advice

Peaches and Apricots Growing Advice, good to know about as they should/could be part of Food Forrest, diversity is the key in garden and in the diet. Excellent book with good old advice from John Seymour.
Photo Credit: John Seymour in Complete Book of Self Sufficiency

HSL Plug Plants for UK Mail Order

HSL Plug Plants for UK Mail Order

This is one for next year really and is just a follow up to my last post to say that you can buy some of the Tomato varieties from the Heritage Seed Library in “plug” plants exclusively Delfland Nurseries via mail order. 

What I got from them back in April, 6 plants for £16.50 with free delivery:

  • Tomato “Jubilee”
  • Tomato “Darby Striped”
  • Tomato “Noir”
  • Tomato “Orange Bannana”
  • Tomato “Small Pear Shape”
  • Tomato “Wladeck’s”

I’ll be reporting back soon with pictures from the greenhouse to show how they are getting on, the good ad the bad… one or two of them like Wladecks and Noir are looks very nice indeed, can’t wait to sample there delights

Let me know if I’m missing out on any other mail order Heritage/Heirloom plants, thanks!