Blockchain On The Farm?

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers ON 2/9/2018

You have heard of blockchain, right? 

The best known blockchain is Bitcoin, but this is NOT a get rich quick blog.

The concept of Blockchain provides a resource to have access to a lot of information that you wished you could have had in the past. For instance, when you bought that lug of blueberries, did you wonder if they all came from the same source? Did you think about the fact they could have been allowed to warm up during shipping? Did you wish you knew what day that they were picked?  The world is getting closer to providing these answers and many more.

Consumers will, for the most part, be thrilled, but what about the growers? Well, in this case, if you are hoping to work with other growers for a bulk order going to a major processor, you will be thrilled too.

This article, from Modern Farmer, lays out more detail on how Blockchain (even totally separated from financial transactions) will be a big help, but will also change the way we farm every day:

The Blockchain Comes to Agriculture


Michigan – the largest saskatoon producing state in the US?

POSTED IN For Growers ON 1/11/2018

While there are several commercial growers in the lower peninsula of Michigan, most saskatoons in the upper peninsula are for personal harvesting. That may be changing soon, as more information becomes available regarding the potential for saskatoons growth among Yupers.

Michigan State University has been providing essential research and services in the development of this fruit that is relatively new in Michigan as a commercial crop.

The biggest problem so far is that growers cannot grow enough to satisfy the demand. But as an industry, we are working on that. Large customers wait in the wings as we see increasing acreage being planted.

If you are a Yuper, or even if you are just interested in getting some of this yummy fruit for commercial or personal purposes, you can learn more through the following article from The Daily Mining Gazette:


Zach Douglas, CEO, Retires to Grow Saskatoons

POSTED IN For Growers ON 1/11/2018

Zach Douglas, CEO of MacMaster Innovation Park in Saskatchewan, retires from a career in research park development in order to start a career as a saskatoon orchardman.

Mr. Douglas noted that the research park has come to fruition.  Now he changes his focus for the future to fruit itself.

To read the article by Mark McNeil go to:

Are You Ready To Look At Growing Saskatoons Commercially?

POSTED IN For Growers ON 12/26/2017

You can learn more about growing saskatoons commercially at the 2018 Northwest Michigan Orchard and Vineyard Show in Traverse City, MI on January 16th & 17th.

Growing saskatoons can produce over 10 pounds of fruit each season

Ripening saskatoons on the bush

For more information, go to:

You can also learn more on this website by going to About Saskatoons

Consumers and processors need more growers to take advantage or the developing interest in commercial quantities of saskatoons.

Saskatoons (Amelanchier alnifolia) at the Great Lakes Expo 2017

POSTED IN For Growers ON 12/1/2017

There are 3 ways to learn more about saskatoons (Amelanchier alinifolia) at the Great Lakes Expo 2017 in Grand Rapids, MI from December 4th – 7th, 2017:

  1. On Tuesday at 2:00 PM you can hear Saskatoon Berry Establishment Practices, by Robert Spencer, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry, Alberta, Canada.
  2. Blue Sky Berries will have a booth (number 1507). Blue Sky Berries is a grower and nursery as well as a U-Pick farm and processor of frozen fruit
  3. Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America officers and members will be onsite, both for the Tuesday presentation and on the Tradeshow floor.

The Expo focuses on fruit, vegetables, Farm Markets and Greenhouse Growers.

Please let us know if you want to schedule a time to talk to someone during the Expo.

Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) Was Not An Issue For Saskatoons in 2017

POSTED IN For Growers ON 11/3/2017

While Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), an invasive species of fruit fly, did significant damage to fruit crops in Michigan in 2017, including cherries, raspberries and blueberries, there were literally zero reports of damage to saskatoon berry crops.

Saskatoon berries are harvested earlier in the summer than many other fruit varieties, which may have helped some. However, the SWD counts rose much earlier this year than in the past few years, which provided opportunities for damage, yet growers were spared.

The saving grace may be related to the character of the fruit itself. While saskatoons look much like blueberries, they are actually a pome fruit, a family of fruit that includes apples and pears.

The combination of season timing and fruit characteristics provide hope that, in this changing environment, saskatoons will remain a good crop for production, consumer satisfaction and economic return for growers.

For more information on Spotted Wing Drosophila in Michigan, go to

To learn more about saskatoon berries, keep reading on this site, and visit one or more of our members in July 2018 that offers U-Pick and/or a variety of products made with yummy saskatoon berries.


Background (From Michigan State University)
The Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) is a vinegar fly of East Asian origin that can cause damage to many fruit crops. This small insect has been in Hawaii since the 1980s, was detected in California in 2008, spread through the West Coast in 2009, and was detected in Florida, Utah, the Carolinas, Wisconsin and Michigan for the first time in 2010. Because the flies are only a few millimeters long and cannot fly very far, natural dispersion between states is unlikely. Human-assisted transportation is a more likely cause of the recent rapid spread. It appears that this insect has become widely established through North America.

Novel Berries Will Have Half-Day Breakout At The Great Lakes EXPO

POSTED IN For Growers ON 11/3/2017

The 2017 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, Farm Market, and Greenhouse Growers EXPO will include a half-day breakout sessions on Novel berries on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 from 2:00 – 4:20 PM.

This breakout will include presentations on: , including: saskatoons, haskaps, aronia and goji berries.



The Expo is held annually in Grand Rapids, MI at Devos Place Conference Center and The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

4,200 people from 42 states and 8 Canadian provinces attended the 2016 Expo.

the 2017 Expo will include 70+ education sessions and workshops and 450+ tradeshow exhibitors.

Come learn more about how these berries can help you diversify your crops and affect your financial future.



2017 GL EXPO Education Program


To register, go to:

When is the best time for soil testing? Right now?

POSTED IN For Growers ON 10/13/2017

This article provides good perspective on why fall soil testing can give you the best start for next spring.

To see the full article, go to –

Will spotted wing Drosophila become a pest of saskatoon berries in 2017?

POSTED IN For Growers ON 7/5/2017

Duke Elsner, of The Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center, has been studying spotted wind Drosophila (SWD) for the last few years.

In this article

Will spotted wing Drosophila become a pest of saskatoon berries in 2017?

he reports some of his findings, and suggests some ways to deal with SWD if you are seeing them in your orchard.

Farms in Michigan have another tool, just in case they need to fight SWD

POSTED IN For Growers ON 6/30/2017

Michigan State University Extension confirms that a new pesticide Special Local Need (SLN) Label includes saskatoons too!

Dr. Erwin “Duke” Elsner Ph.D. reports that Delegate WG can be used, in Michigan, if saskatoon growers are seeing signs of Spotted Wing Drosophila in their orchards.

All regular safety requirements are still in play.

FIFRA Section 24(c) Special Local Need (SLN) Label