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      Fair Spring Nursery has an Aronia orchard.  After a few years growth, fruit production is just now begining and we have made some excellent dishes: ice cream, wine, apple/aronia crisp, juice, tea, jelly, and a favorite, aronia chutney.  We are members of the Mid-Atlantic Aronia Growers Association.

   Nature’s super fruit is Aronia

The juice is nature’s highest in antioxidants (anthocyanins), this and because it tastes so good is why aronia is getting the buzz in health food circles.  A popular drink in Eastern Europe, Aronia is native to our area, but new to most of our taste buds.  Aronia orchards are developing around here thanks especially to the efforts of Dr. Andrew G. Ristvey and Sudeep A. Mathew, both are with University of Maryland Extension.  As with other native plants this fruiting shrub is well adapted to the area, having few pests or diseases.  A look at the pictures above will show the similarity to the rose or apple family.  Notice the star shaped calyx at the bottom of the fruit, like an apple it is a pome but about the size of a blueberry.

Quality control inspectors are busy during the 2013 aronia harvest.
Learn more about aronia at this University of Maryland Extension website.