Jeremy Conaway Facilitates Strategic Intent Retreat

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 4/3/2014

After a year of great progress on goals, The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America held a Strategic Intent Retreat on March 28th, 2014 to develop a clear view of where the organization intends to be in 2017 vis-a-vis efforts and accomplishments.  The Institute’s board and members worked together, considering the reflections of guests and speakers, to identify their potential and challenges regarding both the saskatoon berry industry and the Institute’s role.

The event was facilitated by Jeremy Conaway, nationally known retreat facilitator and keynote speaker. Mr. Conaway’s firm, RECON Intelligence Services, will continue to work with the Institute to hone their Strategic Intent statement and track their progress.

Saskatoon berries (Amelanchier alnifolia), also known as serviceberry, shadbush and juneberry, are grown in a variety of northern states and Canadian provinces. They are a very healthy and tasty fruit, though they are not yet widely known to the general population.

Issues raised at the retreat include maximizing plant health, farming best practices, working together on market development, ways to handle commercial orders which are larger than any one farm can currently fill, and taking into consideration many commonly accepted perspectives on local and sustainable farming.

Institute Introduced at 2014 Small Farm Conference

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 4/3/2014

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The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America greeted many attendees at the 2014 Small Farm Conference with their table of information and samples.  Special thanks to AJ MacArthur and Jim Dixon for staffing the table. Steve DuCheney gave out lots of samples of fruit filling.

Saskatoons Spark Significant Sparty Stimulation

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 11/13/2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.41.57 PMAutumn Fest, an annual event held on the Michigan State University campus, occurred this year on Saturday, November 2nd, and The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America was there. Sparty appears to indicate that he selected saskatoons as the number one entry at the Autumn Fest, though no on witnessed his taste test.

This was a great opportunity to showcase produce and processing technologies for fans of MSU and also The University of Michigan, as they apparently had a common event later that afternoon. Many who came to the table had not previously heard of saskatoons, and were thankful to have been introduced. In the picture below you can see some of the crowd that came over to investigate.

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As shown below, SBINA distributed dried saskatoon berries (in plastic cups), saskatoon jam on crackers (donated by AJ’s berry Farm), and a really tasty dip made with saskatoons and cream cheese (from Saskatoon Michigan).

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Our thanks to Bob and Brenda Ricksgers and Duke Elsner for staffing the booth.

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If you were there, please let us know what you thought.

What’s Happening On The Back End of The Saskatoon Berry Harvesting Machine?

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 11/8/2013

This video shows how the berries are collected. The bushes are not harmed, and will be bigger have even more berries next year.

 

MSU Team Visits AJ’s Berry Farm

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 9/13/2013

AJ'sA team from MSU Product Center is heading to AJ’s Berry Farm on Tuesday, September 17th to take a tour and see some of the new ideas AJ has implemented.

This is their first visit to the greater Alpena area, and a well deserved destination. To learn more about AJ’s, go to: http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/location/ajs-berry-farm/

Thanks AJ for introducing this group to saskatoons and your facilities. And thank you for feeding them in your barn/store.

Ed note: If you offer boxed take out, please let us know 😉

Simple Fruit Salad – Could anything be better?

POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/23/2013

The salad pictured below includes watermelon, strawberries, saskatoon berries and grapes. What a great picnic treat! No sugar or carbs added.

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Saskatoon Berry Institute To Be Showcased on Michigan Farm & Garden TV

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Members ON 7/16/2013

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 12.56.56 PMSteve DuCheney, Vice President of SBINA had the wonderful opportunity to meet the host of the Michigan Farm and Garden Show, Jody Pollok-Newsom yesterday after being invited to be a guest on the show to talk about Saskatoon’s.

Steve says: Being my first time in “Hollywood” you might notice a slight nervousness about me. Jody does a great job with the show, keeping a fast pace (or so it seemed to me) and making it all look very easy. I hope you can all tune in for a laugh or two. I am quite anxious to see it myself, it was somewhat of a blur. Enjoy!!

Show times are the weekend of July 20/21 2013, as follows:

Lansing and Mid-Michigan
Fox 47 WSYM
Saturday at 7:00 a.m.

Kalamazoo and West Michigan
CBS 3 WWMT
Sunday at 6:00 a.m.

Northeast Michigan
Fox 45 WQFV
Saturday at 7:30 a.m.

Northwest Michigan
Fox 33 and Fox 54
Saturday at 7:30 a.m.

Upper Peninsula
Fox 64 (Pickford) and Fox 61 (Sault Ste. Marie)
Saturday at 7:30 a.m.

 

 

Saskatoon Michigan Farm & Nursery Announces End of Season

POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/16/2013

Well I’m sorry to say that the Saskatoon harvest has come to a close for us. The hot weather has made a short season of it this year. I would like to say it was nice to meet all of you and hear your ideas of how you plan to use the fruit: the pies, scones, muffins, waffles, smoothies and so on. Sounds delicious. Thank you all for coming out to visit us and hope to see you all again next year. Keep in mind that we do have frozen berries available year round and we can make pies with advanced notice. Enjoy the rest of your summer in this most bountiful region we live in.

Steve DuCheney

ed. note: You are welcome to check our directory for other You Pick locations.

Saskatoon Berries Introduced to Weight Watchers

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 7/10/2013

ed. note: Weight Watchers does not endorse any one fruit product, so this is not about Weight Watchers endorsing saskatoon berries. However, Weight Watchers does encourage the consumption of fruit as a key part of a healthy diet, and many Weight Watchers members are on the lookout for new fruit options. What follows  is an account of events and discussions that occurred, not an endorsement.

 

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Steve DuCheney, of Saskatoon Michigan Farm & Nursery, reports:

I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Isabella, a recipe creator for Weight Watchers, and the personal chef to Florine Mark, President and CEO of WW Group, Inc. on Monday evening, July 8th, at a cooking demo at the Traverse City Weight Watchers. The demo was free and open to the public. Having never had any exposure to Weight Watchers, I must say that my misconceived perception of their bland, tasteless food choices was totally wrong. Chef Isabella had many great grilling tips to offer, as well as several wonderful recipes, one of which she prepared and served that was full of robust flavor and healthy as well. (see recipe, below) Chef Isabella was very energetic and informative. If you have the opportunity to see her at one of the Weight Watchers cooking demos, you won’t be disappointed. I also took advantage of the opportunity to introduce her to saskatoon berries, which she seemed very excited to try. Enough so, that she visited our Saskatoon farm the following day to learn more of her new found fruit.

photo I enjoyed her visit and learning more about her culinary skills as well. I would have to say that I believe she feels there is definitely a place in the market for this healthy, flavorful fruit. I look forward to meeting with her again!!

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Whether or not you are trying to loose weight, you can learn more about Chef Isabella, and see some of her yummy recipes, at: http://askflorine.com/chef-isabella/

P.S. The berry pickin’s are great right now! Come on out.

ed. note (2): Several Weight Watchers staff and members tried saskatoon berries and, to a person, reported that they tasted great. Their opinions are, of course, their own, and not an endorsement of the organization. As a bonus for those who are weight conscious, You Pick provides both a pleasant calorie burning activity and great fruit to eat. For those who are less concerned about their weight, this website includes some awesome recipes to supplement the consumption of the raw fruit. To see more, read on.

AJ’s Berry Farm, Near Alpena, Announces You Pick Hours

POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/5/2013

AJ'sAJ’s Berry Farm announces You Pick Hours beginning Saturday, July 6th from 7 AM – Noon, and continuing until the crop has been picked.

For directions and contact information, go to: saskatoonberryinstitute.org/location/ajs-berry-farm/