Goumi Berries & Birds

I was pruning and staking my Big Boys this morning which are inter-planted with asparagus and nasturtiums along side my Goumi bushes. I noticed the heavily laden branches bobbing and on looking more closely there were 8 to 12 Cedar Waxwings greedily trying to swallow the berries whole. The berries have an elongated seed which actually represents most of the berry.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

A few minutes later the Cedar Waxwings were joined by a pair of Grey Catbirds:

Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird

I planted the Goumi bushes the spring after moving into the house as a landscaping screen for my compost bin and septic pumping control console. It grows with minimal efforts on my part and has flourished. It has been loaded with berries from the second year on. However the squirrels also like the berries and I suspect that I have been visited by the local deer as well.

Goumi bushes loaded with berries

Goumi bushes loaded with berries

Last year the berries all seemed to ripen off about the same time but this year they are coming in more slowly and unevenly.

Goumi berries in various stages of ripening

Goumi berries in various stages of ripening

You only want to pick the soft ripe fruit otherwise the berries are very astringent. Right now my ripest berries read 13 on the Brix scale. I made jam with the juice and pulp last year which was okay, but not memorable, however the sorbet had a very nice tart strawberry flavor. Goumi berries are reportedly a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A, C, and E. Unusual for a fruit, it is also reported to be a source of fatty acids like Omega-3.

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