After 22 years of growing peppers on their farm in Aldergrove, B.C., Danise and Peter Breederland decided to take a chance, planting 20 acres of goji berries.
It took years of trial and error, but eventually the spindly trees, which, like peppers and tomatoes, belong to the nightshade family, started to bear some fruit.
"[Peter] is always a visionary looking for something new to do," Danise told Lien Yeung, guest host of CBC's Our Vancouver.
Now the Breederlands' land is yielding enough of the crop to produce an array of goji-based products and sustain a U-pick operation in the summer months.
For those looking to harvest their own, the farm also sells trees for customers to take home.
Danise showed off a few of those products on the show, including a goji berry breakfast smoothie, goji jelly, and a goji berry lemonade.
"It's very versatile — you can use it in sweet foods, you can use it in savory foods. That's what I really love about the goji berry over other berries is that it can go both ways," she said.
RECIPE: Goji-mango salsa
This sweet and spicy mango salsa is easy to assemble and as flexible as the berry itself.
After letting it rest for about ten minutes, serve it on tacos, chips, fish, chicken or on its own, it's that good.
This recipe yields about three cups of salsa.
- 3 ripe mangos, diced.
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen goji berries.
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped.
- ½ cup chopped red onion.
- ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped.
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced.
- 1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice).
- ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste.
- In a serving bowl, combine the prepared mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño.
- Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well.
- Season to taste with salt.
- For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer.