When I was a kid growing up in central Alberta, I was pretty sure that all good fruit came out of B.C. True, I we had raspberries and strawberries on the farm, but apples, plums, cherries, grapes and the like where all “exotic” fruit that simply didn’t grow in Alberta. How mistaken I was! Or at least, how things have changed! I never would have thought that I could be growing plums, grapes and kiwis just outside of Red Deer, Alberta. But it’s true. There is a whole world of hardy fruit plants that can survive and even thrive on the northern prairies.
So if you’re looking to grow some “exotic” fruit of your own, here’s my list of 17 hardy fruits that you can grow on the prairies.
The University of Saskatchewan has really done great work in making cherries a viable prairie fruit. I now know of at least 10 varieties that are available. (I personally have 7 varieties.)
This fantastic fruit is amazing! Consider this… Can withstand -47 degree weather, ready for picking by the end of June, can produce 7 kgs of fruit per bush, and tastes great! Take a look at this article I wrote about haskap earlier.
Yup, that’s right. Grapes in Alberta. Valient is the most common variety, but there are others as well. I’ve had mine for two years now, so I’ll be looking forward to my first harvest soon.
Pembina is the most common, but I’ve found about ten other varieties around.
This one blew me away when I heard about it. Kiwis in Canada. Go figure.
Perhaps the world’s favorite berry. You too can grow them.
Mmmmmm. Strawberries… Perhaps another one of the world’s favorite berries.
Despite all the “exotic” fruit I’ve mentioned, I’m afraid the plain ol’ raspberry is my favorite. Red, yellow, or black – wild or tame… They are delicious!
Nor really sure it’s a fruit, but close enough.
I haven’t yet planted any yet, but the nursery just north of me is growing them.
Cherry plum, that is.
There are a few good varieties out there with more being developed!
One of the few fruits native to Alberta. Also called service berries.
Much better than the wild kind you ate green as a kid.
Why not my your own cranberry sauce this year?
Great for jams and jellies.
Not just crab, but there are all kinds of apples that are hardy enough for the prairies.
So there you have it. Proof that you don’t have to live in California to grow your own fruit. Did I miss some? Let me know!