As a young city, newcomers brought many of their personal, cultural practices to Edmonton. Over decades, this unique mixture of cultures has added to the vibrancy of our City.
When the Chinese community first settled in Edmonton many of them took up farming. According to the author Kathryn Chase-Merrit, in her book "Why Grow Here" the Chinese community owned and operated as many as fifteen market gardens around the City - many located in Edmonton's river valley. Among the plants that they would have grown were goji berries - a brambly shrub in the tomato family that produces oval orange-red berries and edible leaves popular in soups and prized for their medicinal qualities.
While the market gardens are long gone - some pushed out due to controversial city policy - at least one by the flood of 1915 - many large goji berries remain. The decedents of plants imported by the Chinese community they have long made the North bank of the river valley their home; longtime residents of Edmonton's downtown.
It could be noted that goji berries have become popular at local nurseries over the last decade. However, most people don't realise that a hardy, Edmonton lineage of this plant has naturalised and perfectly adapted itself to call this city home.