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The origin of Aronia Melanocarpa – how did the power plant come to Germany?

The berry Aronia Melanocarpa is originally from North America - Hof Stövesandt

The aronia berry is hardly edible raw. Its tannins make our mouths contract - the sight of the face of a child eating something sour for the first time in its life may be funny, but who wants to take their daily vitamins with narrowed eyes? Among the aronial lovers, there is a simple trick to how the miracle berry becomes a tasty source of nutrients: 

Freeze the berries, done. Simple, but efficient. Afterwards, it is delicious and anything but inedible. Some of us cultivate them in our own garden. But many people with a sweet tooth don't know where the trendy berry comes from. We at Hof Stövesandt will reveal how the Aronia Melanocarpa plants came to Germany, what species there are and what they are used for.

Where does the aronia berry come from?

Originally the chokeberry berry comes from the east of North America. The small wonder berry was already discovered by the Indians and collected with enthusiasm. It is undemanding and grows in stony landscapes as well as in swampy areas. At the end of the 17th century the chokeberry was finally increasingly cultivated and cultivated in a targeted manner.

From America to Russia

The aronia berry was brought to Russia by the Russian botanist Ivan Vladimirovich Mitschurin. There he succeeded in planting frost-resistant varieties in the former Soviet Union. After some time, the planting spread to Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and the Scandinavian countries.

How did the aronia berry come to Germany?

The first aronia berry plantation was planted in 1976 by the gardening production cooperative Berglandobst in Bautzen (former GDR) and since 1990, the largest aronia plantation in Germany with an area of 40 hectares has been growing in Coswig (Saxony). 

The aronia berry came to Germany in the seventies - Hof StövesandtThe long way of the aroniaberry to Germany.

In the meantime, aronia has also been planted in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Northern Hesse. A few years ago, we were able to lease an organic plantation with good yields on our farm Stövesandt, where we plant the berry today.

"The first aronia plantation was planted in 1976 in Bautzen in the former DDR."

Since this pilot project, we have planted and cultivated other fields near the Lüneburger Heide in accordance with Bioland guidelines. Our requirements are strict, but ensure a sustainable and ecological cultivation of the fields and already the environment.

In our blog post "A day at the plantation: How we make organic OPC powder from the aroniaberry at the farm Stövesandt" you can find out exactly how our organic OPC aronia powder is made from the aronia plant.

Red, black, small or large - what does the aronia berry look like?

The small berry, also known as chokeberry, belongs to the rose family. It thrives on deciduous shrubs of one to two metres high. The typical aronia berry has a deep purple or black skin and a dark red flesh. Aronia arbutifolia has an autumnal leaf colour and its berries resemble a rowan berry that is too small. This is why it is also called a dwarf bird berry.
Among the aronia berries there are also sorts, which have different advantages both for hobby gardeners and for commercial cultivation:

  • Aronia arbutifolia: The red aronia berry is also known as "Red Chokeberry" in North America and is often used in the kitchen for baking, making orange jam or liqueur.
  • Aronia xprunifolia "Hugin": It is often kept as an ornamental plant or as a container plant. This variant has less tannin content than its competitors and is therefore somewhat more digestible in taste.
  • Aronia melanocarpa: It is also called the "black apple berry" and has a slightly sour, tart note.
  • Aronia "Nero Superberry": It is a special breeding for high yields and is very resistant to plant diseases and pests.
  • Aronia melanocarpa "Viking": This strain comes from Finland and its fruits are slightly smaller than those of its colleagues. The pure berry is processed for jam and jellies or used for baking.
  • Aronia xprunifolia: The "Purple Chokeberry" is a wild cross between the Aronia melanocarpa and the Aronia arbutifolia. The violet-black fruits are used for dyeing or baking. You can also make delicious wine and liqueur with grain from it. This strain has been planted in Germany since the 1970s.

Looking for more ideas on using aronia berry? Then check out our blog post "3 delicious ways to process and use the aronia berry" To.

What can the aronia berry do?

The aronia berry may be small, but it has a lot to offer. We have already pointed out several times that due to the long transport routes and chemical treatments, the secondary plant substance OPC is disappearing more and more from our diet. However, the aronia berry has a lot of this vital substance and therefore became our interest. Furthermore, she is full of vitamins and trace elements that are important for our metabolism

"OPC is an important part of our diet because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties."

The ingredient OPC, as we find it in grape seeds, is an important part of our nutrition, because it has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. A balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and animal fats together with OPC gives our body what it needs to stay fit. Read also our blog post "How a balanced diet with OPC helps you to achieve a better work-life balance".

A full diet with OPC is important for health - Hof StövesandtA balanced diet with OPC is the be-all and end-all.

In addition, antioxidants such as OPC protect our cells from damage caused by UV radiation, which promotes the appearance of signs of ageing. If you are curious about the anti-aging effect of Bio OPC, we recommend our blog post "Anti-aging studies prove how OPC affects the skin and body".

A small berry from afar

The aronia berry has had a long journey. Discovered by the Indians, it migrated from North America via Russia until it finally arrived in Germany four decades ago. Thanks to its easy-care growth and resistance to pests and cold, the miracle berry has made it around the globe.

Wherever the chokeberry has left its mark, its positive effects on health have also been noticed. The chokeberry is not only popular with us humans, but is also used in bee meadows because it produces particularly rich nectar and pollen, which attract honey bees. Health and love of nature in one.