What’s a Kiwi Berry? Weaver’s Orchard Knows!

Weaver's Kiwi Berries

If you’ve never heard of a kiwi berry (and we certainly hadn’t!), it’s time to get the full scoop from the experts at Weaver’s Orchard in Morgantown. The gorgeous green grape-sized fruit is currently ripe and ready to be picked or purchased at Weaver’s, one of the first farms in the United States to cultivate this unique crop.

The Scoop on Kiwi Berries

Weaver's Kiwi Berry

Kiwi berries are native to northern China, Korea and Russia and were introduced to the United States in the 1800s in limited commercial production. When a newer variety of kiwi berries more suitable to the climate in Pennsylvania was introduced a few years ago, Weaver’s took the plunge and planted several of the fast-growing, climbing vines on trellises in the orchard. (Yep, they grow on vines. That answers that question.) Their taste is slightly sweeter than that of a kiwi fruit, and they don’t have the fuzz that a full-size kiwi does, so there’s no need to peel—just pop them in your mouth for the perfect snack!

But Why Should You Eat Them?

Weaver's Kiwi Berry Vines

Just like kiwi fruit, kiwi berries are packed with soluble, insoluble and dietary fiber, which guards against heart disease, prevents constipation and reduces the risk of some cancers and diverticulitis. The berries are also considered a super fruit, as they contain vitamins C, B6 and zinc. Per ounce, they’ve got more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than citrus, more vitamin E than avocados and more vitamin B6 than spinach. But wait—there’s more! Kiwi berries are a great low-fat calcium source and are also a source of vitamins A and B6, carotenoids, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium and chromium. Seriously, what’s not to love? For more fast facts on the incredible kiwi berry, check out Rachel Van Duzer’s articles, “What Is a Kiwi Berry, Anyway?” and “Kiwiberries: Super Fruit for a Super Fall,” on the Weaver’s Orchard website.

When and How to Pick ‘Em

Weavers Kiwi Berry Vines

Happily, the growing season for the kiwi berry is a little bit longer than the pick-your-own season for most fruits. The kiwi berry harvest begins in early to mid-September and continues through late October or early November, so you can get your share for close to two months a year. Kiwi berries are also available in Weaver’s market from early September until early November. Should you decide to pick your own kiwi berries (and we highly recommend the experience!), note that berries are ripe when they are nice and soft. They’ll also continue to ripen once they have been harvested, so if they aren’t quite ready when you get them home from the orchard, just place them in a paper bag and leave them on the counter until they ripen.

And Then What?

Weaver's Orchard Kiwi Berry Recipes

You’ve gotten your kiwi berries home. Now what? In addition to snacking on them whole, Weaver’s Orchards recommends these recipes to help you make the most out of your kiwi berry haul:

Vegan Mint Chip “Nice” Cream with Kiwi Berries

Sonja’s Kiwi-Berry Cream Pie

Kiwi Berry Raspberry Salad

Still need convincing? While you’re visiting the orchard, stop by Kim’s Cafe and have a taste of some delicious kiwi berry specialties. We’re sure you’ll agree: this new-to-you fruit is worth digging into!

Visit Weaver’s Orchard at 40 Fruit Ln., Morgantown; phone: (610) 856-7300.