Juneberries contain twice the amount of Calcium and five times the amount of Magnesium than blueberries*.
Pershore Juneberries Ltd was created by Sophie Sidaway and is the first commercial grower of Juneberries in the UK, based in the heart of the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire.
"Our local microclimate supports a long tradition of market gardening and farming, producing great tasting, high quality fruit. We want to continue building on this local tradition of quality production horticulture, whilst embracing innovation and sustainable practices. "
We became aware of this wonderful super-berry in 2012, and with support from our local Horticultural College here in Pershore, 300 young Juneberry trees were imported from Canada. Their suitability to our maritime climate was established and, over the next two years, we had a little fruit, and a lot of positive feedback. So, in 2015 Pershore Juneberries Ltd. was established, and the plantation became bigger!
Much of our fruit is sold to Chefs in restaurants and hotels throughout the country via our distributors. We also offer our customers Juneberry products to enable everyone to enjoy Juneberries year-round.
The scientific name for a Juneberrry is Amelanchier alnifolia. It is a deciduous shrub, native to the Canadian Prairies, where it is known as a Saskatoon Berry and has grown wild for centuries. The city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada is named after this berry which was originally called ' misâskwatômina' by Cree peoples.
The berry looks very similar to a blueberry, however as part of the Rosaceae family, a Juneberry's closest fruit relative is the Apple. Commercial production of Juneberries began in Canada during the early 1980s and is now the second largest fruit crop from the Canadian Prairies, second only to Strawberries. Commercial production in the UK started in 2013 - becoming Pershore Juneberries.
Many of us will have an Amelanchier in our gardens. A small tree, covered in delicate white spring blossom, yellow-orange leaves in Autumn, and dark purple berries during the summer. This fruit often devoured by the blackbirds before we notice that they're even there! These Amelanchier are usually A. lamarkii or A. canadensis.
There are several commercial varieties of A. alnifolia now grown in Canada including 'Northline', 'JB30', 'Smoky', 'Theissen', 'Martin' and 'Honeywood'. Each offer slightly different qualities in size, colour, flavour, habit and typical time of harvest.
Juneberries were used for their medicinal properties by native North Americans and early settlers. They are rich in anti-oxidants and have a subtle, sweet and nutty flavour, similar to a cherry/almond mix, which is intensified when juiced or cooked. Their nutritional value is well documented, often compared to blueberries to demonstrate their impressive neutraceutical value.
You will find that uneberries are incredibly versatile to use in the kitchen. Delicious fresh, they juice well, taste great in smoothies and can be made into all your favourites at home including: Jam, curds, fruit leathers, ice cream, sorbet, crumble, pies, muffins, summer pudding, yoghurt stir-through, open fruit tarts, chutney, salad dressing and even tea.
For more information contact Sophie and the team below:
info @ juneberries.co.uk