The farmers market gives growers a place to showcase their crops. This year, there's a new fruit in town, the Gogi berry. For high school art teachers Susan Metzger and Gary Hauschulz their encounter with the Gogi berry was a chance meeting.
"My husband and I both had West Nile virus and one of his students had some Gogi juice and brought him some," says Susan. After many home remedies they thought they would give this one a shot. "I tasted the Gogi juice and it tasted good so i did a little research," says Susan.
That Research led her to find that grand junction's hot, dry, high altitude climate was perfect for this healing berry.
"Gogi juice is pretty expensive so I thought we could save a little money and get healthier at the same time," says Susan. They started off small, but this years wet spring gave them more than they needed. "We're only supposed to have a harvest in late August or September but ours started in May," says Susan. So with the overabundance of crop and it's many healing uses, it was only natural to spread the wealth.
Audry Barrett at Integrative Medicine has been using this little healing berry for years. It has been in Chinese medicine for centuries and before now you had to get it imported and dried. "The closer you have it to the time it was picked the better," says Barrett. Gogi juice is good for your liver, kidney's and blood, but it's not a remedy for everyone. "If you have more flem or heaviness in the body then it's a sign that it's not for you," says Barrett.
The Gogi's popularity is just starting to take off in the Grand Valley, which has Susan and Gary planning for a bountiful future. "I'm a little nervous because we have so much now but my husband is willing to take over and expand," says Susan. Because they see a future beyond the farmers market. "Hopefully we can supply more markets and maybe some health food stores." says Susan.