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