Kruisbessen 'Proef'tuin


You have reached the site of the <b>'Kruisbessen 'Proef'tuin'</b> .
Wellcome. <br />
This site was originally dedicated purely about gooseberries but gradually other small fruits
came into the picture and nowadays we have specialised in hardy berries and specialty fruits.

We want to share our collected knowledge and experiences with other (small) fruits enthusiasts with with
still a small prefernece for gooseberry lovers...

Of course we appreciate your comments, suggestions, experiences, even criticism and wellcome any additional information.
welkom...

We still are evaluating, on a small scale, different varieties for their suitability to be used in organic growing methods under the Belgian climate.

Do note we are only volunteer workers. Central person is Marc Geens. He does not only own the premises where the 'experimental' garden is located, he is also the botanist and 'basic' knowledge center. Around him several other hobbyists work together... some like to collect old literature, others just exchange information, or help practically ... just for fun...

The whole thing started when Marc discovered that the berries he was growing from his childhood on (he had already his own small garden at the age of 5) suddenly were infested with 'mildew'. So by coincidence he could buy a 'resistant' variety (mid 1980's), and a few years later, he found another variety in Germany at a garden center during a holiday... So he started to look for literature and 'varieties'...
As the available literature is mainly copied from one language into another based upon uncertain (commercial?) descriptions, he found the need to collect real field data...

With the help of some other goosberrey enthusiasts, he could start a basic collection. Luckily he did not know at that time it would not be easy to extend the collection and it would become a 'neverending' story to develope a reasonable collection of 'easy to grow' gooseberries and to share this information, we started the 'Proef'tuin (in Flemish/Dutch the word 'Proef' stands as well for tasting as for experimenting/testing).
We keep the garden open upon appointment for people willing to come to see and taste gooseberries during early July.
So please feel free to visit the garden. But do note it is only open upon appointment.

Just for your reference the 'Proef'tuin is located in between Bruges and Genth (Flanders-Belgium)

Objectives of the 'Proef'tuin are:

  1. obtaining 'real'field data of the grown goosberry varieties based upon the 'organic growing' principles
  2. collecting data about flowering times, diseaeses and infestations, harvesting time, berrys size, berry weight,...
  3. repromote 'gooseberries'
  4. show possibilities of gooseberries
  5. follow up on recent knowledge
  6. giving lectures and presentations about gooseberries and 'small fruits'
  7. write publications
  8. share the obtained information (let people see and taste the berries)
  9. distribute varieties (only when varieties are protected or readily commercially available)
  10. keep a 'living' collection of goosberries (gene bank)
  11. collect all types of written information
  12. follow up on botanical Ribes species
  13. perform own crosses to extend range of 'good' cultivars