Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kiwi Berries

You may remember me mentioning that we used our grape arbor as a bar
for the wedding reception.

I talked about the fact that not only do we have grapes planted on this,
but also kiwi berries.
That post prompted a lot of questions about kiwi berries.

I thought, since yesterday was a stormy day...not good for photography, that I would
address those questions in today's post.

Five years ago, while looking through the landscaping section at Lowes,
I came upon a bunch of kiwi plants.  
The plants were each marked "male" or "female".
Without any information about these plants, I went ahead and bought one of each.

What I have come to learn is this:
These two plants are the male and female Actinida Arguta or the hardy kiwi.
A native to northern China, Siberia, Korea, and Japan, this invasive vine
can also grow in certain areas of the United States.

It produces a small greenish-brown fruit much smaller than a typical kiwi,
but similar in taste and looks.

You might never have seen this fruit in the grocery stores
due to its very short shelf life.
They don't keep in the refrigerator for very long as humidity
helps to hasten the rotting process.

The hardy kiwi takes about 3 years to begin flowering.
It flowers in May.
The flowers are quite susceptible to frost...
frost making the plant barren for that season.
It's been five years since I planted my vines, and this is the first year for fruit.

The fruit is ripe when the berry is soft to the touch,
but very quickly rots if not immediately consumed.

It's not unusual for a single vine to produce 50 pounds of berries in a single season.

The vines need a substantial amount of water.
However, the ground they are planted in needs to have good drainage
or the plant will succumb to root rot.

Apparently cats love the smell of the roots as they have an aroma similar to catnip.
Cats can end up being the ruin of your vines if they dig up the roots.
Perhaps because we have so big an area our cats have never discovered ours.

This year the female vine is loaded with fruit.
Unlike its larger counterpart the skin of the kiwi berry is completely smooth and edible.
I can hardly wait to consume these when they ripen.

While we are on the subject of weird fruits...
ponder the kohlrabi for a moment.
Looking something like an alien vegetable, this member of the brassica family
(along with broccoli, cabbage, brusselsprouts)
is a delicious, under-appreciated vegetable.
I suppose most people wonder what to do with such a monster.

I simply peel the tough exterior from it, chop it into 1" squares,
coat with seasoned olive oil, a little sea salt...
and roast in the oven until soft.
Mmmmmm, mmmmm, good! (tastes a lot like the stem part of the broccoli to me)

And since you asked....
here is a picture or two of me from the wedding....
while my dress was still dry.
(remember the rain and the slip and slide?.....more to come on that subject!)

trying to convince Sammy that dog food really is better than reception food.
He wasn't fooled.

And with my son, Andy...father-to-be in August...our first little girl!
And...our parents-to-be...
Andy and Ashley.
Not pictured...Mackenzie...who should be making her debut on or around August 15th.

It seems there's always some bit of excitement around here!


  1. Wonderful info on the Kiwi berries , They look more like large grapes dont they ? Lovely photos and post . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

  2. Interesting fruit....sounds very finicky! For all the trouble it seems to have yours is gorgeous. Enjoy this beautiful day.

  3. sammy looks like he hit the wine bar hard in that first pic! how exciting to have a grand daughter on the way!

  4. What an interesting looking vine/kiwi plant! I don't think it would grow here though. YOU look just beautiful and I LOVE your dress. How perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. You have such a lovely family and I am glad your wedding event was such a success. Can't wait to see more pictures. xo Diana

  5. Have not seen the mini kiwi! Now I'm curious...

    and congrats on the baby girl to be!

  6. Kohlrabi is delicious! I like it raw with a little salt, but pan frying is good too. Will have to try your method.

  7. We also have kiwi vines in WV. a pet potbelly pig and a house rabbit. Love the pics of you and the wedding. Thanks for sharing.


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