Garden Berries

Bail Fruit

(Eleagnus angustifolia var. orientalis) Although this plant is well known all over the temperate world as the Russian Olive, very few people in North America know about the large fruited varieties traditional grown from Eastern Turkey through Armenia all the way to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. This particular variety of Bail Fruit hails from Afghanistan. The fruits are quite large about 1” long, they appears when dried to be Jujubes ( Ziziphus) but are not! They have an unusual spongy consistency, that startles when first experienced, but the sweet rich flavor becomes addictive. Joe recalls eating entire bags of these on his journeys. The plants are extremely hardy and will grow in rough arid conditions. These domesticated large fruited varieties are worth growing and worth the efforts to get established. The fruit pulp can be cleaned from the seeds and it makes a very unique and tasty pectin rich drink. The seeds need a cold-damp period to prime them for germination. Our seeds will be pre-chilled so if you put them in a refrigerator with a damp towel in a ziplock for a month or so they should be ready to grow! Pot up the first year and grow them outside, putting the young plants in a sheltered area ( not heated) the first winter, the second year the seedlings should be ready to go into the ground.


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