Up until about a month ago, I'd never heard of a serviceberry. Thanks to a passing comment from the nature-loving, Michigander vice principal I work with, now it's one of my favorite plants ever. If I could resist devouring the berries the instant they're picked I might be able to come up with a recipe for them beyond "eat out of hand." They look kind of like blueberries, but I think taste closer to black currants. In short: they're delicious. And abundant right now.
According to Better Homes and Gardens -- which is not my usual go-to garden resource guide, mind you, but their snapshot in this particular instance makes a good case for why you should run out and get one to plant at home -- "Serviceberry is rare in that it offers interest in every season. It kicks off in spring with beautiful white flowers, which develop into tasty purple berries that attract birds in early summer. Or harvest the berries and use them to make delicious jams, jellies, and pies. The plant's bright green or bluish green leaves turn stunning shades of red and orange in fall, and its silvery bark offers winter appeal. You can grow serviceberry as a large shrub or small tree."
Wouldn't you know it, there are 4 of these berry-laden small trees at the school garden I maintain a few days each week. And I am clearly not the only one who loves them....
How can we get kids to eat more fruit? Plant serviceberry trees in their schoolyard. Nice work, Tyler Elementary outdoor classroom team!