One hundred CSA/Farmers Market farmers adopt goldenberries as an annual fruit that easily fits their standard vegetable rotation as a solanaceous crop. Each farm produces and sells 50 pints per week for 6 weeks at $4 per pint on 0.25 acres each increasing total gate value by $120,000 per year.
Fruit is often not grown by CSA and farmers market growers due to their relatively small size and the long-term investment and greater input required for perennial and biennial fruit crops. Goldenberries (Physalis peruviana) are small, marble sized annual fruit native to South America with a tropical flavor that are eaten raw, made into jam or jelly, or dried. Goldenberries produce abundantly in temperate climates and fit standard crop rotations as a Solanaceous crop, however, guidelines for the US are non-existent and US production is minimal.
We have grown goldenberries for 4 years and have verified their production potential in this region. Our knowledge combined with production recommendations from South America will produce the first Sustainable Goldenberry Production Guide for the US. We will evaluate nutritional value, production practices and consumer preference to identify germplasm for use in cultivar development and begin selection of superior strains. If growers adopt goldenberries, their farm income would increase without the major expense a traditional fruit crop would incur. We will encourage goldenberry production by CSA and farmers market growers of the Northeast by providing them germplasm, a Sustainable Goldenberry Production Guide and production updates via presentations at growers meetings.
A ready market exists for the fruit via The Pichuberry® Company, a marketing enterprise that has trademarked the name Pichuberry® for goldenberries and has created the American Pichuberry® Association to support growers that would like to adopt the Pichuberry® as a new crop. They are creating a demand for the fruit and are engaged in marketing many goldenberry products.
Introduction of the goldenberry as an alternative annual fruit crop by 100 farmers on 0.25 acres each would significantly contribute to sustainability of small farm agriculture in the Northeast.
Given accurate production guidelines and correctly identified germplasm, growers in the Northeast will adopt
goldenberries as a fruit crop. In addition genetic improvement can be attained by identifying plant characteristics
which enhance productivity and developing superior cultivars utilizing traditional breeding methods.
Invitations to participate in evaluating goldenberries as a new novel fruit were sent via e-mail in February 2018 to 2074 growers in the northeast region. Participating growers received two goldenberry genotypes to evaluate: ‘Cape Gooseberry’ from TradeWinds Fruit Company and ‘Schoenbrunn Gold’ from Turtle Tree Seed Company. Each grower received 25 seeds of each genotype and was provided instructions for production. Since commercial production of goldenberries is non-existent in North America, growers were provided estimates of best production practices based on information from South America. Growers were also provided an electronically delivered pdf of the ‘Goldenberry Fact Sheet’ (Fact Sheet Project LNE18-362) which was approved by SARE on 04/24/2018 by Candice Huber.
Growers were asked to grow 10 plants of each genotype and provide feedback regarding growth habit, ease of production, productivity and fruit quality.
Thirty globally sourced goldenberry genotypes (Table 2.1) were evaluated in a randomized complete block experiment replicated 10 times at Horticulture Farm 3 of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station on Ryders Lane in East Brunswick, NJ during the 2018 growing season. Some of the selections evaluated were the same genotype acquired in different years from the same source, or open pollinated selections saved from previous acquisitions. Sources, year of acquisition and known pedigree history are presented in Table 2.1. Fruit were harvested and counted in early October and samples evaluated for fruit size, fruit color and production consistency regarding color and size. Production potential was estimated by multiplying the number of fruit produced per plant by the average fruit size obtained from samples. Color and production consistency were subjectively and visually evaluated by the principal investigator. Due to the nature of production (very long growing season, large planting, fruit maturation just prior to forecast hard freeze) not all plants of all genotypes were harvested, however, at least 5 plants per genotype were evaluated. Data were analyzed via an analysis of variance with mean separation performed using the REGWQ procedure when appropriate.
|Table 2.1. Goldenberry (Physalis peruviana) genotypes evaluated at Rutgers University during the 2018 growing season.
|Genotype||Source continent||Source and year sourced||Pedigree history|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Tradewinds Fruit – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Schoenbrunn Gold||North America||Turtle Tree Seed – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Cape Gooseberry||United Kingdom||Chiltern Seeds – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Giant||United Kingdom||Chiltern Seeds – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Tomatillo Ground Cherry||North America||Seed Needs – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Ambrosia Husk Cherry||North America||Fedco Seeds – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Poha Berry||North America||Maui Seed Company – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Floral Encounters – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Giant Poha Berry||North America||Caribbean Garden Seed – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Cape Gooseberry||Asia (Thailand)||Herbs4Health – 2018||Obtained 2018|
|Schoenbrunn Gold||North America||Turtle Tree Seed – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|OP PI232077 64GI1 SD||South Africa||USDA ARS GRIN 2015 Geneva – 2015||Obtained 2015, open pollinated at Rutgers 2015|
|OP PI291561 95GI1 SD||India||USDA ARS GRIN 2015 Geneva – 2015||Obtained 2015, open pollinated at Rutgers 2015|
|Giant Cape Gooseberry||North America||Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds -2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Goldenberry||North America||Redwood Organic Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Golden Nugget||Australia||Cornucopia Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Golden Berry Gigante||United Kingdom||Plant World Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Solana Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Schoenbrunn Gold||North America||Turtle Tree Seed – 2017||Obtained 2017, planted 2018|
|Goldenberry||North America||Strictly Medicinal – 2015||Obtained 2015, open pollinated at Rutgers in 2015, 2016|
|Cape Gooseberry||United Kingdom||Jungleseeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Tree and Twig – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Golden Inca Berry||North America||The Rare Vegetable Seed Consortium – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Rare Exotic Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Giant Cape Gooseberry||North America||Jakes Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Tradewinds Fruit – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Navitas Raw Sun Dried Goldenberries||South America||Navitas Foods – 2016||Seed extracted 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016|
|Navitas Raw Sun Dried Goldenberries||South America||Navitas Foods – 2016||Seed extracted 2016, planted at Rutgers 2018|
|Goldenberry||North America||Redwood Organic Seeds – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016, 2017|
|Cape Gooseberry||North America||Tradewinds Fruit – 2016||Obtained 2016, open pollinated at Rutgers 2016, 2017|
Two goldenberry lines (Cape Gooseberry, Tradewinds Fruit, and Schoenbrunn Gold, Turtle Tree Seed, both obtained in 2018) were evaluated in a field experiment replicated 5 times at Horticulture Farm 3 of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station on Ryders Lane in East Brunswick, NJ during the 2018 growing season. The two genotypes evaluated in this experiment were selected based on observations from previous goldenberry trials at Rutgers. These two genotypes were also sent to growers for evaluation in experiment 1. Genotypes were evaluated on white and black plastic mulched raised beds, with or without trellising via a simple two wire trellis using T-stakes and heavy duty twine, with or without pruning to the first bifurcation of the main stem. The experimental design was a split-split-split plot with mulch color as main plot, trellising as sub-plot, genotype as sub-sub-plot and pruning as sub-sub-sub-plot. The experimental unit was a three-plant plot. Data collected from the middle plant in each plot was used in the data anaysis. Fruit were harvested and counted in early October and samples evaluated for fruit size, fruit color and production consistency regarding color and size. Production potential was estimated by multiplying the number of fruit produced per plant by the average fruit size obtained from samples. Color and production consistency were subjectively and visually evaluated by the principal investigator. Due to the nature of production (very long growing season, large planting, fruit maturation just prior to forecast hard freeze) not all plants were harvested, however, at least 4 plants per treatment combination were evaluated. Data were analyzed via an analysis of variance and means separated via Fisher’s Protected LSD, when appropriate.
Two hundred four growers participated in on-farm goldenberry evaluation in 2018. Thorough grower evaluation of the two genotypes was limited in that many growers reported that they did not harvest ripe fruit. Two major factors contributed to this: (1) the long growing season required by goldenberry and (2) many growers did not receive seed until mid-March or later. Notification of funding occurred in late February, thus seed purchasing, grower invitation e-mailing and seed shipment to growers was later than desired. Seed will be shipped to participating growers in February 2019.
Submission of results from grower participants was limited (12 submissions). Comments from growers are provided below:
“In a hideous growing season, all the goldenberry plants always looked glorious!! Except for the potato bugs on early field transplants all varieties were disease free and very healthy looking. The smaller berries (identified by grower as ‘Aunt Molly’s’ and ‘Goldie’ ground cherry) not part of the trial won the taste tests against any large berry (identified as T or S goldenberry) every time tested. Harvest of all large berry plants was cut short by frost. Plants were full of buds/fruit however, so a longer season than that of NE PA is indicated.”
“We have noticed a fair bit of pressure from Colorado Potato Beetle but we are a no-spray farm which means we hand-pick bugs and have managed to keep it under control.”
“Germination rates from goldenberry seeds were low – about 80% of seeds germinated. Far lower than any tomato or ground cherry varieties. At transplant into black plastic drip irrigation beds, the 3 lined potato beetles and larvae were devastating. We used a combination of hand-picking to Surround WP, neem oil, and diatomaceous earth to fight through and the plants recovered and are growing, however flowering and fruits have still not set. When benchmarking versus the current goldie ground cherries, the golden berries are far healthier and currently outperforming the ground cherries in garden beds.”
“Cucumber beetles couldn’t wait to start in laying eggs. S looks sturdier than T, both look vibrant green and happy”
“the goldenberries seem to be an incredible trap crop! We have them planted in row with tomatillos, adjacent to eggplant, and where we would normally see Colorado Potato Beetle damage on all three, they are eating the goldenberries and leaving the rest alone. We are a no-spray farm, and the plants seem to respond very well to weekly foliar feedings to fill in where there has been insect damage. Despite some neglect on our part (especially during a few cold snaps where they were uncovered) the plants are healthy and thriving. Thanks for letting us be a part of the trial”
“Germination was fairly prompt (don’t have exact date), much more so than husk cherries seeded on the same day. ‘S’ appears slightly more vigorous than ‘T’. They recently jumped up in size with the heat after sulking for a while in the cool temps. We’re excited about the trial, and are hoping we remember not to fertilize under the section of plastic where they will be planted. We may end up putting them in an unheated hoophouse.”
“Thank you for sharing these varieties. I have the following observations about the Goldenberries:
• Seed was sown May 10, 2018 and transplanted to the field on black plastic mulch with drip tape on June 5, 2018, as part of a larger Husk Cherry Trial.
• Plants grew well throughout the summer, reaching over five feet by mid-September. Plant growth was vigorous, and plants were wide and healthy, with very dark green leaves and little/no evidence of disease throughout the growing season.
• Fruit were very slow to ripen – September 10 was the first date for ripe fruit. Yield data was not collected as plants matured too late in the season. There seems to be a large amount of plant biomass relative to the amount of fruit produced, especially when compared to ground cherry varieties such as Goldie.
• Flavor got mixed reviews from tasters – some appreciated the unique flavor while others found it unpleasant.
• No significant differences were noted between the two Goldenberry strains for plant habit or flavor.
The slow maturity of the variety, along with the relatively lower yield compared to Husk Cherry were the main drawbacks of the variety.”
“October 3 first harvest, I didn’t taste any of them, was saving for seed. You can smell the ripe ones, even if the husk isn’t brown and lacy-looking.”
“The fruit on both varieties matured too late here in Maine to harvest the majority of the crop. The S variety had the pleasing orange color and the T variety was larger but greener (although very good flavor). Both varieties seemed difficult to harvest and it took a long time. They did not fall when ripe as tomatillos do and they are hard to see amongst dense foliage. However they were both delicious and I would like the research to continue addressing harvest dates, ease of picking.”
“Thanks for allowing us to participate in your goldenberry study. I did grow the plants out this past year and here are my results and assessment: I started all 50 seeds in trays on 3/27/18. On 5/25/18 I transplanted the 45 that germinated out to the field, spacing them about 4′ apart in all directions. They were planted through black weed cloth. Along with ground cherries, these plants were the largest magnet of 3 striped potato beetle I’ve seen. We spent hours picking off larvae, egg masses and beetles more than one while the plants were still small. We also found several hornworms and were able to pick them off but not before some of them caused some real damage. They take quite a while to get any amount of fruit from them. The fruit I did get were tasty to me and a few others that I gave them too. Unfortunately the yields were quite low and I didn’t have enough to give to our CSA. Sometimes the husk would be empty and the fruit eaten by some critter when I opened them up. We had a very wet 2nd half of the year with rain starting in mid July and never letting up for any appreciable amount of time. By the time first frost hit there were many fruit just starting to come in, way too long a time to ripen IMHO. Perhaps these plants worked better for other growers but for us we won’t be growing them again. Our ground cherries are way more productive and we are able to offer our CSA them for many weeks during our main growing season.”
“Our plants got huge this year but yielded very little as they were really just ripening up when frost hit. They were planted on black plastic (not raised) and both varieties grew nearly 6’ tall and about 10’ wide. They didn’t really start setting many fruit until they were 4-5’ tall. Yields were negligible, only a few quarts of each variety on 30’ of each. Given that it was a crazy wet and awful growing season for many crops, I look forward to trying again next year. My physalis pruinosa produced well this year and were only slightly later than normal, but I did have some pepper varieties that similarly grew huge and didn’t set fruit until it was too late to mature most of it.”
“I want to let you know that the goldenberries that we trialed for you never made it to completion. The Aunt Mary’s (?) that we also raised made a fantastic crop. Too long of a season for us.So, we need a shorter season variety for them to work for us. “
Based on general e-mail interactions with growers, many of them enjoyed participating in this work. Unfortunately many of them did not submit comments regarding field performance of the two lines we sent them. Perhaps it was the lack of productivity especially in more northern areas due to a late start and a poor to perhaps fair growing season. I think this might have discouraged many of the participants.
The number of fruit, average fruit weight and estimated potential yield per plant are presented in Table 2.2.
|Table 2.2. Number of fruit, average fruit weight and estimated production per plant for goldenberry genotypes evaluated at Rutgers University during the 2018 growing season.
|Fruit / plant||Fruit size||Estimated yield / plant|
|Cape Gooseberry – Tradewinds Fruit 2018||79 abcz||—-y||—-y|
|Schoenbrunn Gold – Turtle Tree Seed 2018||54 abc||—-y||—-y|
|Cape Gooseberry – Chiltern Seeds 2018||—-x||—-x||—-x|
|Giant – Chiltern Seeds 2018||80 abc||2.1 defgh||167 abcde|
|Tomatillo Ground Cherry – Seed Needs 2018||—-x||—-x||—-x|
|Ambrosia Husk Cherry – Fedco Seeds 2018||29 abc||2.5 def||73 bcde|
|Poha Berry – Maui Seed Company 2018||66 abc||2.3 defgh||152 bcde|
|Cape Gooseberry – Floral Encounters 2018||70 abc||2.2 defgh||155 abcde|
|Giant Poha Berry – Caribbean Garden Seed 2018||—-x||—-x||—-x|
|Cape Gooseberry – Herbs4Health 2018||18 bc||4.8 abc||85 bcde|
|Schoenbrunn Gold Turtle Tree Seed 2016 OP 2016||48 abc||5.5 ab||262 abc|
|OP PI232077 64GI1 SD – USDA ARS GRIN 2015 – OP 2015 – OP 2016||134 a||3.0 bcd||402 ab|
|OP PI291561 95GI1 SD – USDA ARS GRIN 2015 – OP 2015 – OP 2016||81 abc||3.1 bcd||252 abcd|
|Giant Cape Gooseberry – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||84 abc||2.2 defgh||186 abcde|
|Goldenberry – Redwood Organic Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||50 abc||2.4 defgh||119 bcde|
|Golden Nugget – Cornucopia Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||66 abc||2.7 cde||179 abcde|
|Golden Berry Gigante – Plant World Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||44 abc||2.4 def||105 bcde|
|Cape Gooseberry -Solana Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||110 a||6.9 a||755 a|
|Schoenbrunn Gold -Turtle Tree Seed 2017||38 abc||5.2 ab||195 abcd|
|Goldenberry -Strictly Medicinal 2015 – OP 2015 – OP 2016||60 abc||1.9 defgh||113 bcde|
|Cape Gooseberry -Jungleseeds 2016 – OP 2016||82 ab||2.1 defgh||173 abcd|
|Cape Gooseberry -Tree and Twig 2016 – OP 2016||105 ab||2.0 defgh||209 abcd|
|Golden Inca Berry – The Rare Vegetable Seed Consortium 2016 – OP 2016||106 ab||2.4 defg||254 abc|
|Cape Gooseberry – Rare Exotic Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||107 a||2.1 defgh||224 abc|
|Giant Cape Gooseberry – Jakes Seeds 2016 – OP 2016||105 a||2.5 def||263 abc|
|Cape Gooseberry – Tradewinds Fruit 2016 – OP 2016||38 abc||1.6 fgh||61 cde|
|Navitas Raw Sun Dried Goldenberries Extracted 2016 – OP 2016||64 abc||1.7 efgh||108 bcde|
|Navitas Raw Sun Dried Goldenberries Extracted 2016||108 ab||2.4 def||259 abcd|
|Goldenberry – Redwood Organic Seeds 2016 – OP 2016 – OP 2017||9 c||1.3 gh||12 e|
|Cape Gooseberry – Tradewinds Fruit 2016 – OP 2016 – OP 2017||26 abc||1.3 h||34 de|
zMean separation via REGWQ test, ∝ = 0.05.
yFruit size not measured in Experiment 1 / yield not estimated.
Three of the 30 genotypes evaluated were not goldenberries (Table 2.2). They were ground cherries.
Variability among goldenberry genotypes was limited with respect to fruit size, number produced per plant and estimated yield. Two fruiting ‘types’ could be discerned among the 27 goldenberry lines evaluated: (1) genotypes producing smaller, marble sized and shaped fruit weighing approximately 2 – 3 g each and (2) genotypes producing larger, more irregularly shaped fruit weighing 5 – 6 g each. The average number of fruit per plant ranged from 9 to 134 and smaller fruited genotypes generally tended to produce more fruit per plant compared to larger fruited genotypes. Yield per plant ranged from as low as 50 g per plant (~0.1 lb) to as high as 756 g per plant (1.6 lbs per plant).
These yields are exceptionally low based on an evaluation of similar germplasm in 2017 which produced from 300 to 2,000 g per plant (0.6 to 4.4 lbs per plant). The average fruit size in 2017 was approximately 4 g per fruit for the smaller fruited genotypes and 9 g per fruit for the larger fruited types. In 2017 fruit number per plant varied from an average of 67 to 516 fruit per plant depending on genotype.
Based on personal observation and impromptu evaluations by visitors to the farm, the larger fruited genotypes had a more fruit-like, tropical flavor compared to the smaller fruited genotypes which often had a background bitter flavor. The bitter flavor did not make the smaller fruited genotypes undesirable, it was simply a discernible flavor characteristic. However, the larger fruited genotypes received more favorable comments than the smaller fruited genotypes with respect to desirability.
Several of the genotypes exhibited exceptionally consistent and attractive fruit shape and color (golden yellow/orange). The two most desirable genotypes were (1) Golden Inca Berry – The Rare Vegetable Seed Consortium (no longer available from original source) and (2) Cape Gooseberry – Rare Exotic Seeds 2016 (still available from source, December 2018). Four other genotypes were attractive and well-colored, but they were not as nice as the two previously mentioned genotypes: (1) OP PI232077 64GI1 SD – USDA ARS GRIN 2015 – OP 2015 – OP 2016, (2) OP PI291561 95GI1 SD – USDA ARS GRIN 2015 – OP 2015 – OP 2016, (3) Giant Cape Gooseberry – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds 2016 – OP 2016, and (4) Cape Gooseberry – Herbs4Health 2018.
Genotypes producing inconsistently colored fruit are presented below for comparison. Note the variation in fruit color, size and general appearance.
Even though one of the most highly colored and consistent genotypes is no longer available from the original source, we have saved seed from each line, which are essentially inbred lines since goldenberries do not cross easily. Thus genetic material is available for crop improvement.
The 2018 growing season in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions was exceptionally wet, with frequent rain and significant temperature fluctuations. Overall, the growing season was considered fair / poor with respect to crop productivity.
The number of fruit produced per plant, the average fruit size (g) and the estimated yield per plant (fruit number X average fruit size) were evaluated via an analysis of variance considering the split-split-split plot design. Treatment means were separated using Fisher’s Protected LSD when appropriate.
Fruit per plant
A significant genotype X pruning interaction was detected for the number of fruit produced per plant.
|Table 3.1. The average number of fruit produced per plant for two goldenberry genotypes grown on white or black plastic mulch, with or without trellising, with or without pruning.|
|Tradewinds Fruit||213 bz||250 a|
|Schoenbrunn Gold||119 a||82 a|
|zMean separation within row by Fisher’s Protected LSD, ∝ = 0.05|
Pruning the Tradewinds Fruit genotype reduced the number of fruit produced per plant while pruning Schoenbrunn Gold had no effect on fruit number. Pruning, which consisted of removing all suckers and shoots below the first bifurcation of the main stem, may have altered the vegetative / floral balance of the smaller fruited genotype or simply removed potentially flowering shoots from the plants.
Neither mulch color nor trellising affected the number of fruit produced per plant.
A significant mulch color X trellising X genotype X pruning interaction (∝ = 0.02) was detected for average berry weight. To elucidate the trellising, genotype and pruning effects a separate analysis was performed for each mulch color.
Two significant treatment interactions were detected for plants grown on white mulch: (1) pruning X genotype and (2) trellising X genotype (Table 3.2).
|Table 3.2. Interactive effects of pruning X genotype and trellising X genotype on average fruit size of goldenberry grown on white plastic mulched beds.|
|Schoenbrunn Gold||Tradewinds Fruit|
|Pruned||8.1 az||2.8 a|
|Not pruned||7.0 b||2.7 a|
|Trellised||8.1 a||2.5 b|
|Not trellised||6.9 a||3.0 a|
|zMean separation within column and either pruning or trellising effect via Fisher’s Protected LSD, ∝ = 0.05.|
Pruning enhanced fruit size of Schoenbrunn Gold but not Tradewinds Fruit.
Trellising reduced fruit size of Tradewinds Fruit but had no effect on Schoenbrunn Gold fruit size.
A significant main effect of genotype was detected on black mulch. Schoenbrunn Gold fruit were significantly larger than Tradewinds Fruit fruit (7.6 and 2.9 g, respectively).
A significant trellising X pruning interaction was detected for fruit size for plants grown on black mulch (Table 3.3).
|Table 3.3. The effect of pruning and trellising on fruit size of goldenberry grown on black plastic mulched beds.|
|Not trellised||5.8 a||4.8 b|
|Trellised||5.3 a||5.2 a|
|zMean separation within row by Fisher’s Protected LSD, ∝ = 0.05.|
Pruning increased fruit size without trellising bud had no effect when plants were trellised.
Significant genotype X pruning and pruning X trellising interactions were detected for estimated yield per plant (Table 3.4).
|Table 3.4. Estimated yield per plant for two goldenberry genotypes grown on white or black plastic mulch, with or without trellising and pruning.|
|Schoenbrunn Gold||Tradewinds Fruit|
|Pruned||909.7 az||648.7 a|
|Not pruned||601.5 b||685.6 a|
|Pruned||656.1 ay||902.3 a|
|Not pruned||698.8 a||588.3 b|
|z,yMean separation within column by Fisher’s Protected LSD ∝ = 0.05.|
Pruning enhanced estimated yield of Schoenbrunn Gold but not Tradewinds Fruit.
When plants were trellised, pruning had no effect on estimated yield, however, when plants were not trellised, pruning significantly enhanced yield per plant.
Overall, we have identified several promising genotypes for further evaluation and determined that the added expense of white mulch is not warranted for goldenberry production. We have also identified two major plant characteristics needing improvement : earliness to harvest and yield.
The effects of trellising and pruning varied. A general production observation is that trellising eases goldenberry management and field access. Pruning also facilitates field maintenance and may also increase fruit size. Even though pruning may reduce fruit number per plant, the benefits in field maintenance observed warrant the reduction in fruit number per plant.
Based on these results, we recommend growing goldenberries on black plastic mulch, with a simple trellis and pruning plants until the first bifurcation of the main stem. The genotypes we will be evaluating in 2019 with pruning variations will include Schoenbrunn Gold for its flavor and Golden Inca Berry – The Rare Vegetable Seed Consortium (OP seed from Rutgers) and Cape Gooseberry – Rare Exotic Seeds (Obtained 2018) for their consistency in fruit color and overall appearance. We will also repeat experiment two, however, on a smaller scale than in 2018.
We will provide growers seeds of Schoenbrunn Gold (large fruited genotype) and Cape Gooseberry from Rare Exotic Seeds (small fruited genotype) for trial in 2019.
Additional grower participants will be recruited at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey Pa, January 2019 and the New Jersey Agricultural Convention and Trade Show Atlantic City, February 2019 during presentations scheduled for both meetings.
Two grower presentations highlighting goldenberry production are scheduled for The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA in January 2019 and the New Jersey Agricultural Convention and Trade Show in Atlantic City, in February 2019.
‘The Sustainable Goldenberry Production Guide’ scheduled for publication in late 2019 will provide growers all the information they need to successfully grow goldenberries in the Northeast.
Approximately 2500 CSA/Farmers Market farmers in the Northeast receive a questionnaire regarding goldenberries. This project is described and they are invited to participate.
Invitations for participation in this project were e-mailed in March 2018 to 2175 growers in the Northeast region. Two hundred four growers responded requesting seeds to trial during the 2018 growing season.
One thousand growers request seeds to try goldenberries in the 2018 growing season (15 December 2018).
Two hundred four growers responded requesting seeds to trial during the 2018 growing season. Each grower received 25 seeds each of Schoenbrunn Gold and Tradewinds Fruit Goldenberry along with instructions for raising transplants. A separate Goldenberry Fact Sheet was e-mailed to all participants in April 2018. Growers were requested to provide comments and opinions regarding goldenberries, but few did so. However, approximately 15 growers provided valuable information regarding their experience with the crop.
Five hundred growers decide to continue and request seed packets with production recommendations to trial the fruit and offer it in their share / sales (1 June 2019).
Three hundred fifty (350) participants return production data information online indicating their sales and whether or not they will continue to offer goldenberries through their CSA/Farmers market (15 December 2019).
Two hundred fifty (250) growers continue participating and grow fruit a third year (1 June 2020). They return production data and indicate if they are adopting goldenberries (15 November 2020).
Milestone Activities and Participation Summary
Additional Project Outcomes
A Specialty Crops Research Initiative (SCRI) pre-proposal “Accelerated Improvement of Goldenberry and Groundcherry: Ripening the Potential of Underutilized Fruit Crops” was submitted to the USDA in December 2018 with The Boyce Thompson Institute, Cold Spring Harbor Labs, Cornell University and The University of Florida.