Farm Tour a Success

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 6/9/2014

With plantings of various ages, several approaches to pruning and informative presentations, along with perfect weather, the 2014 Farm Tour has been declared a success. IMG_2562   Saturday, June 7th will long be remembered as a day to learn about growing and using saskatoons.  Many thanks to Cherry Capital Foods and Saskatoon Michigan for donating saskatoon berry products to sample! IMG_2567   Thank you also to the various media outlets that covered the Farm Tour. In Northern Michigan there are a variety of grocers that are planning to have saskatoons in their produce departments when the crop comes in.  We encourage all to keep their eyes open, starting in about mid-July, and going through mid-August.  If you have not yet tried saskatoons, this will be a great opportunity to be introduced. And if you could not get enough of the fruit over the last couple of years, this will be a great time to stock up, but remember, shelf life is about 10 days. No fears. Saskatoon berries freeze well, and can be preserved in a variety of recipes. photo 1 Special thanks for Duke Elsner of Michigan State University Extension and Lisa Richter Manrow of Grow Benzie’s Incubator Kitchen for your lunchtime  presentations!  

Peter Payette Reports On Saskatoons

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 6/6/2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.03.09 AMPeter Payette,  News Director at Interlochen Public Radio, reported on saskatoon berries on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. You can read the text of his report at: http://interlochenpublicradio.org/post/new-berry-town-0 or listen to the story online at that same URL.

Sasakatoon bushes are blooming!

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 5/29/2014

Saskatoons In Bloom, May 23, 2014 002The saskatoon bushes are blooming! While many farms will see a weather-related harvest delay of a couple of weeks compared to last year, many should have berries by mid-July. As each member U-Pick location learns more, we will post their open hours on our calendar, where you can also find location information and mapping.

May 2014 Board Meeting Date Announced

POSTED IN For Members ON 5/5/2014

The Board of Directors of the Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America will meet on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 6:30 at Acme Township Hall, 6042 Acme Rd, Williamsburg, MI 49690.

Members of the Institute and other interested parties are welcome to attend.

Farm Tour Announcement – Come See How Saskatoons Grow

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 5/1/2014

Saskatoon Berry Farm Tour 2014

 

The agenda for the day is as follows:

8:30 AM                Meet at The Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station

(6686 S Center Hwy, Traverse City, MI 49684)

Reserve Your Lunch

8:45 AM                 Leave for first stop

9:00 AM                 Arrive at Rick Billings Farm (Harry’s Road)

FOCUS: 2 year old plantings of blueberries and saskatoons

10:00 AM              Leave for next stop

10:15 AM              Arrive at Jacob’s Farm (M-72)

FOCUS: 5 year old plantings of saskatoons And hascaps

11:00 AM              Leave for next stop

11:30 AM              Arrive at The Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station for Lunch

                               Tour of saskatoon research plot

                               Discussion of future research needs

                               Update on 2014 pest control measures

                               Presentation on the Grow Benzie incubator kitchen

Overview of The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America

 1:00 PM                Leave for next stop

1:45 PM                 Arrive at Jim Dixon Farm (Williamsburg area)

FOCUS: 3 year old plantings of saskatoons

2:30 PM                 Leave for next stop

3:00 PM                 Arrive at Steve DuCheney Farm/Nursery (Williamsburg area)

FOCUS: 3 year old plantings of saskatoons

Discussion on propagation of saskatoons and meeting future plant needs.

4:00 PM                 Final comments and Q & A

4:15 PM                 Head home or back to station

NOTES:

Car pool if possible to minimize the number of vehicles. 

To register for the tour, call Steve Fouch at 231-715-6022. 

We will need a final number by Wednesday, June 4.  

The $10.00 fee is payable at the door, when arriving at the Research station.  

Make checks payable to:  Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America. 

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

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.10.14 PM

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.

Saskatoon berries at NW MI O&V Show

POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 12/31/2013

There will be a half-day breakout session dedicated to Saskatoon berries at the 2014 Northwest Michigan Orchard & Vineyard Show. The session, scheduled for Wednesday, January 15th, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Williamsburg, MI, Room: Peninsula A, is slated to cover the following topics:

  • What are Saskatoon Berries?
  • Meet the Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America
  • Rust Diseases of Saskatoons
  • Fruit Infesting Insects of Saskatoon Berries
  • Grower Open Discussion – Production Challenges
  • Pesticide Recommendations and Use Strategies
  • Fill Out Pesticide Recertification Credits (2 credits)

The full Show, which runs January 14th & 15th, 2014, will also highlight cherries and grapes as well as other orchard and vineyard crops, and will include other break out sessions and a trade show. The registration fee, good for both days, is $30/person. The Registration Desk opens at 8:00 AM, including coffee and rolls in the Exhibit hall. Come join us for the most complete and concise presentation on Saskatoon berries available.    

Annual Meeting Announced!

POSTED IN For Members ON 12/31/2013

The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America announces that the Annual Meeting of Institute members (as well as their guests and other interested parties) is Thursday, January 16th, 2014 at Ranch Rudolph (6841 Brown Bridge Rd, Traverse City, MI 49696).

The schedule is as follows:

Pre-meeting dinner 6:00 – 7:00 PM (optional)

  • Dinner cost is $22 per person, which includes all gratuities
  • Menu includes: Spiral Ham & Baked Chicken, Twice Baked Potato, Vegetable, House Salad & Rolls, Dessert & Beverage
  • Attendees must RSVP to Brenda Ricksgers (231.331.4011) and submit payment by check to: SBINA, 4236 Ricksgers Rd, Alden, MI 49612, before January 13th.

Meeting 7:00 PM – (probably about 9:00, depending on the agenda and discusion), including:

  • Election for 2 board positions
  • Report of progress in the past year
  • Discussion of goals and plans for coming year

 

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.

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.51.54 PM

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).

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 12.44.21 PM

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.