Abundant harvest between mid-August and late September
The weeks between mid-August and the end of September are often mentioned as the usual harvest time. When the chokeberries are actually ripe, however, depends on the weather during the summer months. If it rains rather little and the sun shines often and continuously, you can look forward to a relatively early and rich harvest. However, the more rainy a summer is, the later the berries will ripen.
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Sweeter fruits due to longer ripening period
You can also leave the aronia berries on the bush until the first frost in December. This has the advantage that longer ripened berries can develop a higher proportion of healthy ingredients - and on the other hand, similar to grapes, develop a higher degree of sweetness the longer they can remain on the bush. In particular, aronia berries harvested after the first frost have a much sweeter taste than the tart late summer fruits. Incidentally, it doesn't hurt if fruits harvested later look wrinkled, on the contrary. These are often particularly tasty.
How do I know if my aronia berries are ripe?
- The skin is dark purple to black
- The pulp is burgundy throughout
- The stem is also dark
- no green spots visible on the shell
You can test whether your berries are already ripe as follows: Pick some berries from the bush and cut them in the middle with a sharp knife. The pulp should be burgundy to dark purple in color. In order to finally harvest the berries, it is best to bend or cut off the fruit umbels completely.
Protect aronia berries from birds
Since birds also know what is good for them, you should cover your aronia bushes with a bird protection net or a large curtain. Otherwise it can happen that Blackbird and Co. are diligently helping you with the harvest and not much is left for you. The bird protection nets should be deployed in good time, because your feathered friends will match the perfect time for the aronia harvest.
Tips & Tricks
You don't need to leave the aronia berries on the bush until the first frost to harvest the best-tasting fruits possible. Instead, you can harvest them ripe in late summer and then freeze them in portions. Freezing also gives the berries a milder taste.