Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thanks to IKEA


I'm not sure I'd heard of lingonberries before I visited an IKEA store last year, while in Cincinnati for the flower show. For sure, I'd never tasted them before. Yum!  That wonderful culinary experience made me want to grow lingonberries here at Our Little Acre if it was at all possible.

Research online told me that they're hardy from zones 2-6.  They detest hot weather and grow best in open shade. They also detest alkaline soil.  Guess what we have here? Alkaline soil.  But blueberries like acidic soils too, as do azaleas, and I have been successfully growing those for a couple of years now.

So, I took the plunge and bought four lingonberry plants from Miller Nurseries in New York, the same nursery where I bought our new apple trees.  The plants were small, but nice and healthy.  I planted them in the shade of a couple of maple trees, smack in the middle of Max's Garden.

Now, about that soil issue...  I'm doing just what I do for the azalea and the blueberries, which is to mulch with pine needles. That will help acidify the soil and I also supplement watering with a soil acidifying product I got at Lowe's a few times during the season.  I'm hopeful the lingonberries will do well.



Your next question might be to ask what I'm going to do with the lingonberries when I get some.  It likely will not be this year, so I've got plenty of time to decide, but I think I'll make a sauce to put over meatballs, like IKEA did.  It added a nice, tart flavor to the meatballs.  I may make some jelly, too.  We'll see!

Lingonberries are very common in Sweden, which is why IKEA serves dishes made from them.  They have a taste and texture similar to cranberries, but they're smaller in size.



Lingonberry Jam 
(from allrecipes.com)



  • 2 1/4 pounds fresh lingonberries
  • 7/8 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar

Directions

  1. Place lingonberries in a large pot with the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes, and skim off any foam from the surface. Stir in sugar, bring to a rapid boil, and continue boiling for a few more minutes.
  2. Ladle jam into sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Cover with lids, and screw on rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal. Refrigerate jam once the jar has been opened. 
 
_________________
Photo of red lingonberries from Wikimedia Commons, by
Arnstein Rønning

9 comments:

Kari Lønning said...

We make a lignonberry ...sauce, in Norway by just stirring sugar into the berries (no water, no heating) and let them create their own juice, adding sugar to taste. They can stay fresh in the frig for weeks.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

They sure are cute little things. It will be interesting to see if the bushes do well when the temps hit their highs with all the humidity.

nancybond said...

I do hope they do well for you, Kylee...we'll be watching for updates. :)

Janet said...

I like IKEA....most of the kids' furniture was from there when they were little.

jennahsgarden said...

That's where I first (and, well ONLY) had lingonberries, too! I like adding some of the jam to oatmeal. I don't think I could grow them here in my zone 7, full sun yard. Jealous!!

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Kari ~ That's how we eat strawberries, too. Nothing better than strawberry juice!

Lisa ~ Now remember, you live in the Miami of Indiana! LOL. We really only have a few days of high humidity here, and that's about the only time I ever turn the air conditioning on (which isn't much). I like it hot! We'll see how the lingonberries do. They are in shade, but we'll see!

Nancy ~ I hope so, too! You could grow them better than I can. You can be sure I'll give updates, even if they die. But I have confidence I can do this!

Janet ~ I've only been to IKEA once. We don't have one any closer to us and Cincinnati is three hours away. It was a fun place to go! Maybe Mom and I will go again while we're in Cincinnati tomorrow through Saturday.

Jennah ~ The jam is EXPENSIVE! But oh, so GOOD. No, I don't think you could grow them there either. Everything I've read gives 6b as the warmest zone. But we have alkaline soil, so maybe you could! LOL

Kate said...

Hi, Kaylee;
I'll have to try your pine needles tip. I fear my alkaline soil is hopeless when it comes to Azaleas but it's certainly worth a shot! Yum. Love that jam.

thewritegardener said...

They sure look tasty! And mulching with pine needles is perfectly fine.

Annelie said...

I too love lingonberries. I grew up eating it with a lot of ground beef and potato recipes, on oatmeal, mixed in to milk, mmmm. Like you said, similar to cranberries. Fortunately I have an IKEA close by.
Been thinking about adding it to the garden though, and I do have acidic soil. Perhaps I'll check out Miller Nurseries. I would also like to grow Goose berries and Red Currants, perhaps this nursery has those too.

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