July 19, 2009

Guess what, of all things,  I found in the produce isle of the local health food store today?  FRESH goji berries.  Incredible!

Cute lil' goji berry stem...aww...

Cute lil’ goji berry…aww…

Goji berries, ubiquitous in the health food community, are normally found dried and available in most health food stores, thanks to David Wolfe’s laudable – and relentless – promotional efforts.  As Chinese health practitioners have known for over 2,000 years, they have purported health benefits above and beyond your average berry, hence their superfood status.

My understanding has been that they are supposedly so fragile that even in Asia they’re sold dried.  And that’s the only way I’ve ever had them or heard about them – until now!



Imagine my surprise then, while strolling along in the produce aisle, I spied this glowing little punnet of…what?  What could be such an incandescent red in the berry section? I mean, this color is much different than strawberries or raspberries or even cranberries. It turned out the tiny stash of 1/2 pint berry boxes contained FRESH ORGANIC GOJI BERRIES!  For $6.89!  Ouch.  But impossible to pass up, obviously.  I put them in my cart without a moment’s hesitation.  The only delay was over whether or not I should get TWO boxes, but I didn’t and a good thing too, as I will explain.

Out of focus but too cute!

Living in Hawaii, we are incredibly fortunate to have all sorts of unusual, exotic delights available to us, but I certainly wasn’t expecting this.  I have heard that people are planting the seeds though, so I shouldn’t be so surprised that someone already has enough of a crop to market them.  These are from an organic farm in Watsonville, California so you can request them from your produce manager.  Their season, according to my research, is July – October so there’s plenty of time still to place your order!

Totally plantable!

I am going to try to grow a bush or two – they get to be about 1 meter tall I’ve read.  We shall see.

Dried goji blossom found in the box!

Dried goji blossom found in the box!

I was eating from the box while writing this and discovered that these are potent little berries, and as it turned out, I doubt I could have finished two boxes before they turned.  They are really good, but seemed to definitely be medicinal in that I only felt like eating about two tablespoons and then felt like drinking a lot of water.

They have a very mild flavor – in the way blueberries are mild – and they are quite sweet in the same way watermelon is.  That’s sort of how it tastes – juicy and surprisingly reminiscent of watermelon, though not for any specific reason.  In conclusion, they are quite medicinal after all and also, in the way of berries everywhere, will not keep long, so if my body has had enough I suppose I’ll be drying the remainder, after all!  How  ironic, haha.  Or… at least the ones I don’t plant!



  1. HungryBird Says:

    Do you happen to remember the name of the farm that sells these? I am not having any luck finding it online. I would really love to try fresh goji berries.

  2. HungryBird Says:

    I subscribed to your site so I can find it again easily. You make me hungry!

  3. Jan Steinman Says:

    We are experimenting with growing goji berries, and are trying to figure out a market price.

    Do you know how much (in weight) you got for $6.95?

    I know dried they can fetch upward of $40/pound, but I need a fresh price for logging our harvest before they go in the dryer.

  4. Anne Says:

    I have gogi berries growing in my garden. They are very easy and require little care. We planted three plants last fall and they have grown many vines of at least 3 meters in length with lots of plump, juicy berries! Now we have to build a trellis to support them! Lots of fun and money saving!
    Good luck with the seeds! I have been successful with taking cuttings and simply placing in water.

  5. Cindy Says:

    Where would you find the cuttings or seeds to grow them?

  6. alan Says:

    Did you just plant the whole berry in the ground?


    • junglegirl Says:

      I took the seeds out and planted them as you would any seed. Worked perfectly – they came up in about 2 weeks.

      • alan Says:

        OK thanks. I just tried planting some inside. I live in Ottawa, Canada so it is still snowy here. Hopefully when they sprout it will be gone.

  7. Jerry Says:

    I’m from edmonton, alberta in canada. Would anyone know where i could get these goji berries near here. Appreciate the help. Thanks.

    • junglegirl Says:

      You can buy dried berries in any health food store or if they’re not in your area, online, then remove the seeds and plant them.

      • Jerry Says:

        Thanks. Were you able to successfully grow the berries even in winter time indoor?

        • junglegirl Says:

          You should read the wikipedia entry about their habitat, or try a google search on how to grow them. I live in Hawaii so I would have no reason to grow them indoors and haven’t tried it. I think they are a sun-loving plant so it might not work indoors without professional grow lights, but you could try it and see what happens.

  8. Linda Says:

    I have a friend that is very successful growing them, out doors, in Edmonton!

    • CANDY Says:

      Can you share some information for how to grow them?

      • Jane Says:

        We live in Vegreville, just outside of Edmonton. We bought a plant from costco but have seen them at Home hardware as well. We planted it last summer and just let it be over the winter. This summer we have a large crop. We will need to put up some sort of trellis as the plant just keeps spreading out. It would be a great farmers’ market crop as it is so easy to grow!
        We are planning on freezing some to use in smoothies. Will have to look into drying them as well as more recipes!

  9. Coy Parten Says:

    Goji berry is rich in phytochemicals, I always take goji berry juice and it is tasty too. `

  10. HerbLady Says:

    They are super easy to grow. Stick em in the ground and water them if it hasn’t rained for a few days. Birds like the berries so be ready to put netting over them. They do very well in Northern climates. They are grown extensively in Ningxia, China which is in Mongolia. It gets down to -22F. I think they taste more like a combination of tomato and watermelon.

  11. Shanaz Says:

    Hey I’m from London, I just like to ask how I can find how to buy fresh goji berries , I looked every where , but can not find where to buy it. Can you please please let me know please. Thanks


    • junglegirl Says:

      Hi Shanaz,
      I live in the US so not sure where you would get fresh berries but the dried are just as medicinal – try any health food store, especially where raw food supplies are sold. Otherwise your city’s asian food stores will have dried goji but it’s unlikely they’ll be organic.

      PS: St. Johnswort Oil will help your skin condition. Also, it is well-known that eliminating all dairy will radically improve eczema as well. Good luck!

  12. Para95 Says:

    Hi, I would like to know if fresh goji berries either sink or float in the water? Can anyone try for me? (I got only dried berries). Thanks :)

    • Joe wong Says:

      Hi there, FYI, out of the 20 fresh goji berries I threw in the cup of water, 6 are semi floating on top and rest are at the bottom of cup. This plant has been growing in my mom’s back yard in Calgary for over 30 years.

  13. Oliwia Says:

    I have goji bush for 4 years and i’m going to have berries for first time. It’s very easy to grow goji from seed(grows very fast-I need to cut some brunches once a year)I think you can grow it in every part of US.

  14. J Says:

    Could have froze then as well! 😉 Thawed out when ur ready for more fresh!! 😉👍
    Still can’t find any around me. 😞😞

  15. Check our our family’s goji berry farm, Gojoy Berries, one hour east of Vancouver, BC, Canada and 1/2 hour north of Bellingham, Washington!
    You can U-Pick from mid-June to Sept. 1! We sell frozen berries and smoothie mix in 40 stores too! You can buy amazing mature plants at our farm store as well as frozen product all year round,

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