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Permies likes organic and the farmer likes Heirloom or other non-gmo berry bushes? permies
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Heirloom or other non-gmo berry bushes?

Dwayne Seagraves

Joined: Mar 14, 2012
Posts: 6

Can anyone recommend a good source for obtaining heirloom or other non-gmo blue berry, black berry, raspberry, strawberry plants, either in the Los Angeles area or online? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Matt Smith

Joined: Feb 04, 2012
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
Dwayne Seagraves wrote:Hi,

Can anyone recommend a good source for obtaining heirloom or other non-gmo blue berry, black berry, raspberry, strawberry plants, either in the Los Angeles area or online? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I know there's a lot of selective breeding that happens with berries, but to my (limited) knowledge I've don't think any of the varieties you can order are technically GMO. Maybe I'm wrong and someone will correct me on this?

If you want more natural selections of various berries, Oikos Tree Crops cultivates a lot of native species that haven't been selectively bred.
Tony Gurnoe

Joined: Mar 15, 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Encinitas, California
Supposedly there are strawberries that have been genetically modified but I've never encountered them personally. Matt is right about this, hybrids and gmo are two completely different things. Hybrids are natural sexual interactions, they occur in nature outside of human intervention. Genetic modification in the style touted by monsanto et al. usually involves taking the genes from a whole different biological kingdom (bacteria, fungi, animalia, etc.) and forcibly (often via infection with a specific virus) inserting them into the genome of the desired plant.

Researching the varieties of berries that will do well in your area is very important, many berry plants are dependent on very specific environmental conditions to thrive.

Edit: Just noticed the LA part of your post (duh) I'm in a similar climate so I'll peruse my books and try to get back to you with some specific suggestions. I know that boysenberries are one of the easiest here on the coast in San Diego unfortunately I'm not very familiar with LA's nurseries.
Thelma McGowan

Joined: Jul 03, 2011
Posts: 170
Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
Honestly......the best place to find what your looking for would be to drive out to the older communities around your rural areas and see if you could dig up some specimens. if it is a nice day most people would be happy to share some raspbery canes or over grown bushes. the established long lived varieties you could come across would be excellent.
usually any older built farm or rural homes will have this stuff......pie cherries , raspberries, goose berries, currants, plum trees etc.

some people might say long as you were not suspicious ;0) looking folks could be agreeable, Places that are for sale, or sell fresh eggs, or raise animals for sale or meat would be a good place to start since they are use to working with the public.

There are no experts, Just people with more experience.
Isaac Hill

Joined: Feb 28, 2011
Posts: 354
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
I echo what Matt said. Hybridization is actually pretty normal for a lot of plants and shouldn't be something to worry about. GMO is something very different and I don't think there are any berry bushes on the market that are GMO. If you're looking for more wild types, as Matt said, Oikos is the way to go.

"To oppose something is to maintain it" -- Ursula LeGuin
Brenda Groth

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
i would say to do as someone else said, try to get some starts from some local farmers.

I had an entire bed of black raspberries get blown over this winter in a storm and they laid on the ground and all of them rooted wherever they touched the ground..which means I dug up and gave away dozens of babies to neighbors and friends.

it happens..

as far as getting good raspberries there are some heritage brands out there, one is even known as "heritage" is a red raspberry..I dont' think they are labeld as OP, heirloom or even as hybrids in most cases..but most berries are tissue cultures..cuttings that have been rooted, doubt very much if any have been grown from seed for many you probably can get tissue culture cuttings of old types locally.


Bloom where you are planted.
subject: Heirloom or other non-gmo berry bushes?