Saturday, May 25, 2013

'Hinnomaki Red' Gooseberries were developed in the early 1900s!!

I am shouting the title of this blog post at the top of my internet lungs, folks.

I consider myself a pretty decent googler. It generally only takes me a good 15 minutes max to google even the most obscure topics. Well, this morning I bought myself a Hinnomaki Red gooseberry at the Sara Hardy Farmer's Market in Traverse City. I had a hunch it was an heirloom, but wasn't totally positive on its intro date. I knew it was at least pre-1930, but beyond that... well.. I figured I'd buy it and google it later.

So, yeah.

I just spent three hours googling the hinnomaki red gooseberry. Three Hours Of My Life. (Of course this is three hours of my life, as spent at the Cherry Capital Comicbook Convention, so... it's alright. I love me a good comic book convention, sure, but when faced with the option of googling some horticultural mystery, well... you can see where this is going.)

So! I found out through a basic search that Hinnomaki Red (and Yellow and Green) are hardy cultivars introduced from Finland. Beyond that, there is nothing in the American Google results. Nada... at least not in the first 15 pages or so. I found sites that called them heirlooms, sites that called them new introductions and sites that ignored the history of the variety altogether.

After the U.S. Google failed me I decided to get serious. I found the URL for the Finnish Google and started googling Hinnomaki, after which I discovered the repetitive use of "Hinnonmaki" and some other similar words. I then was struck with a stroke of genius and wandered over to a Finnish dictionary site and looked up the word for "Introduced" which turned out to be "esitellä". After that it was as simple as pie! I just plugged in the words "Hinnonmaki" and  "esitellä" and up came a web site about the various Finnish varieties of Gooseberry!

And there, under 'Hinnonmäen Yellow' and 'Hinnonmäen Red' was this information:   
This home-like, the ever-popular variety was bred in the early 1900s.  
This is somewhat powdery mildew resistant variety was bred in the early 1900s Hinnonmäen test station.

Finally! Now I not only know when it was bred, but where! I feel like I have attained all new Google Mastery. I should get a badge or something! 

So I'm putting this blog post up specifically for people out there who are looking for a breeding date on the Hinnonmaki or Hinnomaki Red gooseberry. Early 1900's. I'll keep looking for a specific date, but... there ya go, plant geeks!


  1. Thank you! You have solved my quest of the day, and I truly appreciate all your effort!

  2. The yellow Hinnonmäki was released in 1938 according to the swiss genebank:

    Unfortunately they dont have that information on the red one:

    Im pretty sure both were developed at the Lepaa horticultural institute between 1910 and 1940. Hinnonmäki red may be identical to Lepaa red.

    Hope this helped

  3. Lol I found this blog looking for more detailed info about my recently aquired plant. I'm glad to find I'm not the only one that spends hours of its life searching for even the smallest details of the plants I buy. Thank you!