POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/12/2017
Many members of the Institute that offer U-Pick are saying that the opportunity to pick saskatoons may be over within the next 5-7 days.
It may not be too late, yet.
South Island Saskatoons in Victoria Island, BC reports that they still have fruit ready to pick, but not for much longer.
Jacobs Farm in Traverse City, MI has fruit left on the bush as this post is being written, but much of that will be gone by the end of this coming weekend.
POSTED IN For Growers ON 7/5/2017
In this article
he reports some of his findings, and suggests some ways to deal with SWD if you are seeing them in your orchard.
POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/2/2017
UPDATE: Saskatoon Michigan reports that business has been very good and their fresh fruit is now depleted. So they will have no more fresh fruit to sell at the Elk Rapids Farmers market until 2018.
Saskatoon Michigan has a booth at the Elk Rapids Farmers Market, which is open Fridays from 8:00 – Noon.
Fresh berries will last only a few weeks.
Other available products include saskatoon jam and saskatoon pie filling.
Whichever form you prefer, saskatoons are unique, healthy and refreshing.
POSTED IN For Consumers ON 7/2/2017
Stop by and see us! Pick a pint or a while pale! Bring the kids. Fun for the whole family!
Open from sunrise to sunset.
We have some strawberries left too, and the raspberries will be ready soon.
The saskatoons will only be here for about 3 weeks, so don’t delay.
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.
POSTED IN For Growers ON 6/29/2017
Birds are wonderful to have around, except when they are picking your pocket.
Many who hope to produce a significant harvest of saskatoons and other fruit can be confounded, just a day or two before harvest, by a swarm of hungry birds.
Many who would like to reduce their losses have no ill-intent towards birds. They do not want to hurt the birds. Rather, they seek to redirect the birds away from their cash crop in which they have made a significant investment of effort and money.
While we, at the Institute, have not yet identified the fool-proof (or bird-proof) method, we continue to seek options with some level of proven effectiveness. It is in this light that we provide this article by Carols Martinez del Rio, Michael L. Avery and Kristin E. Brugger.
We are also aware that several have reported positive effects with Avian Control.
If you have had positive experiences over whole fields with other bird repellents, please let us know at: http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/contact/
POSTED IN For Consumers ON 6/23/2017
We have our first report of U-Pick hours for saskatoons! Saskatoon Michigan, in Northern Michigan, is the first to be ready for you to come pick fresh saskatoons. The season may last only about 3 weeks, so make your plans now!
Learn more at: http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/sbi-events/saskatoon-michigan-u-pick-open/
POSTED IN For Growers ON 6/10/2017
“In the next 20 years, 70 percent of the privately owned farmland in the United States will change hands. Our region has over 80,000 acres,” says Sam Plotkin, farm programs manager at the Leelanau Conservancy.
Meanwhile, 20- and 30-somethings view farming as an emerging career option, as “farm to table” dining and craft wine and beer generate more visibility. The challenge is how to connect those farmers who want to sell with those looking to buy.
Farmer to Farmer
That’s the rationale behind a new collaboration between the Leelanau Conservancy, the Grand Traverse Conservancy, Taste the Local Difference and MSU Horticulture Station. Farmer to Farmer is a web-based platform that organizers believe will help those looking to purchase or sell farms and farmland.
Plotkin says an aging agricultural industry will inevitably lead to what he calls “a significant generational property transfer.” That’s where Farmer to Farmer – F2Fmi.com – comes in. The website (expected to launch next week) will include a database of farmers looking to divest themselves of land holdings and persons looking for agricultural opportunities. Tricia Phelps, operations director at Taste the Local Difference, says it is a marriage of today’s tech world with the agricultural industry that helped shape the region. “It’s an opportunity offered by technology…going back to our agrarian roots,” she says.
Farmer to Farmer is intended to keep farmland in the hands of those who see the value of tilling the soil, rather than having property sold for development.
Opportunities in an Essential Industry
Agriculture is increasingly being looked upon favorably, says Phelps, because of both its economic impact and its scenic beauty. “Farms weren’t looked at as part of the business community, as being important to the economy,” she says.
No more. The wine, brewing and distilling industries have focused attention on growing everything from grapes to hops, rye and wheat, while restaurants clamor for fresh, local meats and vegetables.
Despite their far-reaching social networks, many younger people are stymied when looking to get into agriculture, often just communicating with their peers in the 25-to-35 age range – not the likely age of someone looking to get out of farming.
But they’re hardly the only ones looking. “In the past three months, I’ve had 15 people call me looking to buy or lease, or sell or lease. And I only serve one county,” says Plotkin. That’s where the regional approach will broaden the audience; the site will list properties for sale in Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Benzie and Antrim counties. Potential buyers will be able to search by price, acreage, or location, as well as whether they are looking to buy, lease, lease to buy, or enter into partnership with the owner.
The site will also list what machinery or equipment is available, any buildings, and what kinds of farm-related jobs are available. “That’s what we think is unique,” Plotkin says. Think of it as a combination of Craigslist and Zillow for farming.
Both Plotkin and Phelps add that the site is in no way meant as a replacement for the real estate industry, but rather to complement it. Whether a landowner or a realtor, there will be no cost to post on the new site, they say.
Identifying and Coping With Infestation in Saskatoon Berry Crops: presentations at the 2017 Northwestern Michigan Orchard & Vineyard Show
POSTED IN For Growers ON 4/17/2017
Extension office researchers presented their findings regarding infestation at the 2017 Northwest Michigan Orchard & Vineyard Show (click on topic name to see presentation). This information will be valuable to many growers to assist in protecting top quality fruit production and availability. One newcomer for many types of fruit is Spotted-Wing Drosophila. So far these insects have had little impact on saskatoon berries, possibly partly because the ripen earlier than many fruits. Vigilance can be essential in minimizing crop damage due to infesting insects.
Saskatoon fruit-infesting insects – ID, phenology and impacts (Duke Elsner, MSU Extension)
Results and Observations from the Pruning Demonstration Plot (Duke Elsner, MSU Extension)
Novel Berry GREEEN Grant (Duke Elsner, MSU Extension)
SWD in Strawberries, Blueberries and Raspberries Carlos Garcia-Salazar, MSU Extension
Detecting SWD larve in fruit samples Karen Powers, NW Michigan Horticultural Research Center, MSU
SWD Adult Detection With Traps Carlos Garcia-Salazar, MSU Extension
Other topics of this Concurrent Session included an introduction to The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America, Pesticide Recertification, and time to learn more about vendor products and services.
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!