POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 7/13/2018
In this blog we have previously discussed Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), an invasive, relatively new fruit fly overspreading North America. While there are few reported cases of SWD affecting saskatoon berries, there is broader concern for many fruits. Therefore, we are sharing this article suggesting that there is good news regarding organic management methods for SWD. Rufus Isaacs has addressed Institute members on several other pests, but none that present such a fast growing threat to fruit crops as SWD.
While most fruit flies are only interested in fruit still hanging from bushes and trees, SWD seem content to continue their lifecycle in fallen and rotting fruit as well. So while some USDA practices call for allowing fruit to drop, this fiend uses such situations to its benefit.
It is our hope that our friends across both the US and Canada can take note of these new developments, and be encouraged as they pursue some of these methods.
You can read more at: New guide to organic management of spotted wing Drosophila released
or go directly to the full report at: Management Recommendations for Spotted Wing Drosophila in Organic Berry Crops
POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 6/23/2018
Well, the weather appears to have been helpful for saskatoons as well as other seasonal fruit.
First off, at least some farms are seeing their fruit come in earlier than last year! Check out our directory for U-Pick locations, and by the end of this week the calendar on our website should also include actual hours for U-Pick for our members.
Secondly, a new dreaded pest seems to have been kept at bay. While Spotted Wing Drosophila (one of the newer fruit flies in the North America) had very little impact on saskatoons for most farms last year, Michigan State University reports that their development is even father behind schedule than last year, apparently related to weather. For more on that, follow this link:
So plan ahead! Figure out how you can get your fresh fruit before it runs out! Last year the season, for many growers, was only about three weeks long, and much of the fruit was picked before the end of the second week. Best wishes to you all in getting your 2018 supply in a timely fashion, and enjoying saskatoons fresh, and in so many yummy recipes!
POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 3/14/2017
Pest Management is an annual challenge for those who love to eat saskatoon berries. While saskatoons are native to North America, there are several native, as well as invasive, pests that can challenge a healthy harvest.
Dr. Erwin ‘Duke’ Elsner just released this year’s list of produce-rescuing recommendations, based on Michigan agricultural standards. This includes several organic options. The point of this list is to help growers identify diseases and insects that can damage plants and fruit, and then select responses for each based on the growers preferences and unique conditions.
Part of the effort here is to be very careful to encourage pollinators and other helpful insects. You can find more about how to develop pollinator habitat in our blog posts from last winter.
May you all have more than enough saskatoon berries to enjoy this coming summer!
POSTED IN For Consumers, For Members ON 8/9/2016
POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 2/16/2016
The presentation “The Economics of Growing Saskatoons” was part of the program of the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference on Saturday, January 30th, 2016.
Subject matter includes:
- What saskatoon berries looks like
- What saskatoon bushes looks like
- Health benefits of saskatoon berries
- Growing requirements
- Market opportunities for fresh and processed saskatoons
- Costs associated with planting and maintaining a saskatoon orchard
- Key business practices for successful growing
- Essential business considerations
- Business planning concepts
- Tax considerations
- Insurance considerations
- Legal considerations
- A financial projection example
- An introduction to resources that can help
To download the program presentation, go to: SFC 2016 Econ Saskatoons
We had a good group, with many targeted questions. It was a delight to talk through both the questions for which good answers are available and the questions for which good answers are still being researched.
What we know is that:
- People that try saskatoon berries almost always want more saskatoon berries
- Growers with even minimal marketing experience can sell out of their fruit
- Working together through the Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America we are building a larger market, and working on ways to satisfy orders larger than many farms can fill by themselves
If you are already growing saskatoons, please consider joining the Institute.
If you are considering growing saskatoons, please talk the Institute and our members.
POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 1/11/2016
Would you benefit from knowing more about the economics of growing and selling saskatoon berries? Lets talk dollars and sense on Saturday, January 30, 2016 from 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM at The Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference, located at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. SBINA will be offering a session entitled The Economics of Growing Saskatoons, which will provide:
- A basic list of the costs of developing a commercial saskatoon field
- A general timeline of cash flows and important events
- Several potential markets for saskatoon berries
- Methods to project future revenues
- A discussion of relative value of cooperating with other saskatoon growers.
Come meet current growers and learn from those with the experience of walking this path already.
POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 3/27/2015
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program is a voluntary, proactive environmental assurance program. Over 2,600 farms in Michigan have been verified as of this date, with many more currently in the process. Thank you to all the saskatoon growers that attended last night’s program. Clearly there are benefits to growers, consumers, the state, and the environment as this program develops. Thank you also to Laura and Jessica for your efforts. Your experience and drive are an asset for our region. The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America will evaluate ways that we can continue to partner with MAEAP in pursuing our common goals. This program is only offered in Michigan. Each county has a MAEAP Technician that can help farms evaluate their readiness, and help with the verification process. If you live in other states, provinces or countries, you might check with local agricultural extension officer to see if there is a similar program where you live. While not quite the same as being there, you are welcome to take a look at the PowerPoint presentation for the evening: MAEAP overview Saskatoon For more information, you can also go to: www.maeap.org
POSTED IN For Members ON 3/20/2015
The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America is teaming up with the Grand Traverse Conservation District to provide a Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Orientation program on Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 6:00 PM at Acme Township Hall near Traverse City, MI.
- MAEAP is a FREE, voluntary, non-regulatory and proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks.
- MAEAP addresses environmental risks for the entire farmstead, from safe fuel handling to the proper storage of fertilizers and pesticides as well as record keeping issues related to cropping activities.
- MAEAP follows the Michigan Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices (GAAMPs), which are the standards for Right to Farm compliance.
- Verified farms receive:
1) A FREE “This Farm is Environmentally Verified” sign 2) Promotion by press releases 3) Recognition by MDARD 4) Discounts on basic liability insurance (Farm Bureau) 5) And more Additional information can be found at http://natureiscalling.org/restore/farmlands/maeap/ or www.maeap.org If you have interest in MAEAP Verification for your farm, please reply to this email to reserve your seat for this session. The informative presentation may take about 45 minutes. Interested parties can make major progress toward verification if they stay after the presentation for about the same amount of time. There is no charge for this program. Hope to see you there!
POSTED IN For Members, Uncategorized ON 1/16/2015
The Northwest Michigan Orchard & Vineyard Show hosted a Saskatoon Break Out Day on Wednesday, January 14th, 2015. The morning’s program included: fruit grading, the Farm Service Agency (including how crop insurance might work for saskatoons), insects, diseases, mechanical harvesting and presentation and discussion by members for The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America. The available slides for the morning session can be viewed as pdf by clicking on the following: MSU Slides The afternoon program, entitled Growing Wealth As A Saskatoon Farmer, covered fundamentals of business practices, financial practices, tax practices, insurance practices and legal practices to take saskatoon farming from a hobby stage to a long-term, future-building company. The slides for that afternoon session can be viewed as pdf by clicking on the following: Growing Wealth Slides
POSTED IN For Members ON 1/6/2015
The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America Annual Meeting is next week!
As outlined in the minutes of the November meeting of the Institute, our annual meeting is the evening of Thursday, January 15th at Red Mesa, Traverse City, MI, USA
We will gather for social time at 6:00 PM. Attendees are welcome to order off the menu, but placing an order is not required.
The meeting will be called to order at about 7:00 PM. One key item on the agenda is the election of board members for 2015/2016. We must have a quorum of members at this meeting in order to hold the election. Nominations will be accepted at the meeting for three board members, each slated to serve a two-year term, before the election is held.
Are you thinking about what you will do in the coming year to make a difference?
This is a great way to build the legacy of the Institute!
Look forward to seeing y’all there!