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!
POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2017
Come join us for the Concurrent Saskatoon Session on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Our day-long session will include presentations on insects (identifying, impacts and options), pruning, SBINA activities over the last year, and the Novel Berry GREEEN Grant. For more information, check out our calendar post at http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/events/ and click on the event listed for January 18, 2017.
POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2017
Attention members: Our annual meeting will be held on Thursday, January 19th, 2017. You should have already received an announcement via email, so this is a reminder. You can get more detail at http://saskatoonberryinstitute.org/events/ Click on each event to see more information about times, locations and descriptions.
POSTED IN Uncategorized ON 1/12/2017
The Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America will have a booth at the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference (http://www.smallfarmconference.com). Along with about 100 other organizations, we are promoting farming as a career (including second careers), and encouraging education and development of peer communication. Come see us on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 at The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (https://www.grandtraverseresort.com).
POSTED IN For Consumers ON 8/18/2016
If you missed the fresh saskatoon season, you can still get frozen saskatoons in Michigan.
In northern Michigan individuals, chefs, restaurants and food processors can purchase frozen saskatoons at Oleson’s Food Store in Petoskey – 2000 US-31, Petoskey, MI 49770
In southern Michigan restaurants and food processors can purchase frozen saskatoons from Del Bene Produce.
Frozen saskatoons can be used in sauces, vinaigrette, baked goods, ice cream, beverages and or there tasty dishes.
POSTED IN For Consumers, For Members ON 8/9/2016