Jim and Lorraine Gilbert
Jim and Lorraine Gilbert are the owners of Northwoods Nursery in Oregon, USA. They specialize in growing and selling rare fruiting plants, including Jujube (Ziziphus jujube), Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), Beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.) and three varieties of red-fleshed apples. Many of us who attended the Tree Crops Conference in Tauranga in 2018 will have met Jim and read through his delightful nursery catalogue.
Northwoods Nursery Presentation:
Growing unique and unusual fruit in the US Pacific Northwest.
Selection and cultivation of disease resistant and early ripening varieties of Figs, Persimmons, Jujubes, Sea Berries, Honeyberries, Pawpaws and more.
About Northwoods Nursery
Founded in 1979 in the Cascade Mountains of northern Oregon, Northwoods Nursery has evolved into one of the largest suppliers of minor fruit crops in the US. From the beginning, Northwoods has specialized in disease-resistant, early ripening varieties well suited to the unique Pacific Northwest climate, with its wet winters and springs, and dry summers. Among the unique varieties of common fruits offered by Northwoods Nursery are Columnar Apples, Hardy Kiwis, disease-resistant Peaches and Nectarines, Asian Pears and early ripening American and Asian Persimmons. In addition, as a result of numerous journeys to the former Soviet Union, Northwoods Nursery has introduced several new fruits to North America, including Sea Berry (Hippophae rhamnoides), Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea) and Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas).
Northwoods has initiated several research projects with the goal of finding or creating new and improved fruit varieties for the Pacific Northwest. Among these is a Persimmon variety trial that includes new, early ripening varieties from Korea, China, Spain and Japan. While most of these are astringent varieties and must be soft before eating, Northwoods is testing a new ripening technique that removes the astringency while producing firm, sweet and delicious fruit. The basic technique involves treating the ripe but firm fruit with CO2 gas in a large, tightly sealed plastic bag for 24 hours at 21°C.
Northwoods has also conducted a long term variety trial with Honeyberry, a unique and tasty berry popular in Russia and Japan, but previously unknown in North America. Varieties from Japan and Russia were evaluated for their fruit quality and adaptability to the Pacific Northwest climate. In addition, superior varieties were selected from seed collected in Japan.
Along with introducing unique and valuable fruiting plants, Northwoods Nursery is well known for its innovative and ecologically sound growing methods. Sustainable growing practices include growing plants in raised beds mulched with thin plastic, thereby eliminating the need for herbicides, controlling pests with beneficial insects, recycling excess irrigation water and using solar power to provide a significant amount of the nursery’s electrical needs.