Goji berries are rightly called superfoods and the exciting news is the plants are now available to grow in Australia! They are cultivated by the Glucina’s Wholesale Nursery in northern NSW and sold through Bunnings. Apparently goji is a plant that suits the Australian climate and can be successfully grown in our gardens.
Imagine picking and eating it fresh rather than dried, in a pill or juice! Next time I’m in Bunnings I will definitely enquire about buying it to grow in my garden. Have any of you my readers seen it at Bunnings? Do let us know by posting a response.
Goji berry plants now in Australia
Goji Berry plants (Lysium barbarum) are now available to Australian gardeners. Glucina’s nursery at Northern NSW have released the new plants to garden centers throughout Australia this month (i.e January 2012). Goji juice, dried berries and chocolate coated gojis have been the latest health trend around the world.
World-wide demand for the little red berries (aka – red diamonds) means they have been quite expensive to buy. Growing your own has never come at a better time according to Kevin at Glucina’s nursery. The cultivar we have been working on starts producing berries after its second year and is fully productive by year five –producing loads of the little red berries throughout summer/autumn.
The plant is a deciduous long living perennial which develops a trunk not dissimilar to an old grape vine. It can grow to 3m tall with multiple fruit bearing branches but pruning to suit your site is ok for small gardens. Goji plants originated in the Himalayan triangle of Tibet, China and Mongolia – but nearly 100% of the world’s commercial production is in the fertile warmer river deltas of China.
The plant is said to tolerate a massive temperature range from minus 15C degrees right up to plus 40C – making it suitable for growing throughout most of Australia. The plant does well in well drained soil types and is fairly drought tolerant once established but, like most other plants, needs protection from slugs snails and rabbits in its first year.
Goji berries have been used in China / Tibet for thousands of years as a longevity/ medicinal food – and over the past few years scientific analysis has uncovered some goji secrets. The fresh goji berry has approximately 5 times more antioxidants than any other food and as well as a full range of fatty acids vitamins and minerals the exciting scientific research is focused on several of gojis unique polysaccharides which are found in no other food.
As well as hosting various anticancer compounds studies are being carried out on its muscle boosting/energy recovery properties and on a component called zeaxanthin which is believed to reduce macular degeneration of the eye.
Goji is reported to help with diabetes and heart disease and as recently as Nov 08 Dr Vivienne Reeve- University of Sydney research scientist announced to a Brisbane medical research conference that she had fed mice with either water or diluted goji juice and exposed them to UV radiation to give them sunburn.
The goji berry drinking mice had significantly less inflammation of the skin and they didn’t get immune-suppression which is a risk factor for skin cancer development in chronically over- exposed skin. It also appeared to suppress skin cancer growth she said – with another experiment showing skin cancer – induced mice had significantly slower growing tumours.
According to Kevin at Glucina’s nursery the plant has commercial potential in Australia, as well as the berries being delicious, fresh goji leaves are also used as a nutritious vegetable, goji extracts are being incorporated into cosmetics, tea, coffee, breakfast cereals, health supplements, sports drinks and alcoholic beverages. With China’s unfortunate position of increasingly polluted air, soil and ground water – the world needs a safe supply and Australia may well be one of the best situated to do it.
Goji plants are available retail throughout Australia at: Bunnings warehouse garden centres
Good health and blessings
Adrenal Fatigue and Digestive Health Expert
Naturopath || Herbalist || Nutritionist || Reiki Practitioner