What is on these leaves?

POSTED IN For Growers, For Members ON 5/28/2013

Brad Reddekopp, of Hazelton BC, sent the picture shown below, reporting:

Subject: White fuzzy growths on Saskatoon leaves

This has to do with wild Saskatoon berry bushes in north-west British Columbia. This year, I’ve noticed some strange, fuzzy white growths on the leaves and I’m wondering what they are.

Discussion ensued on Facebook before his submission to the Institute, suggesting spider mites or larval cocoons.

Our resident specialist, Erwin “Duke” Elsner, Small Fruit Educator with Michigan State University Extension, responded with:

Hi Brad,

I can’t tell for sure what you are seeing on the Saskatoon leaves, especially since I am only familiar with what infests them in Michigan, but…

Based on many years of investigating leaf deformities on many types of plants, I suspect the causal organism to be a small gall midge or gall wasp.  My hunch is a gall midge, because the growths look to have a natural opening which will later allow the insects to escape from the gall (gall wasps can chew their way out of galls, so they usually do not have a pre-made escape route).

These sorts of insects are often just curiosities, often having no significance to the growth of the plant.

–Duke Elsner

If anyone else has a good idea what this is, please let us all know.

Thank you for asking Brad. We do support wild varieties too.

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We Are Starting To See Saskatoon Berry Formation!

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers, For Members ON 5/28/2013

photoJacque’s Orchard is seeing berries start to develop!


Edible berries are still probably a couple of weeks away, but we will try to keep you posted.

Making Saskatoon Berry Crisp

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers ON 5/24/2013

Leah West shows us how to make saskatoon berry crisp.

Fresh berries are only a few weeks away!

Pork Tenderloin with Saskatoon Sauce

POSTED IN For Consumers ON 5/18/2013

Today was primarily dedicated to school fundraisers, so we were challenged with dinner prep. This morning we started thawing a frozen pork tenderloin with lemon/garlic marinade. This evening we made up a quick saskatoon berry sauce, and then steamed green bean almondine. What a simple way to enjoy an awesome dinner! Notice how well the saskatoons held their shape…

Pork Tenderloin

The recipe for the saskatoon sauce, from Kelly Rossiter, and based on one pound of pork tenderloin, is as follows:

1 Cup saskatoon berries
1/4 C red wine (we used a local cabernet sauvignon)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp corn starch (optional)

In a small pot place the berries, sugar, 1/4 cup red wine and lemon juice and heat until boiling. Lower heat and let cook for 15 minutes or so, until berries are tender. If you are using corn starch, mix the starch with a bit of water and pour into the berry mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring. If the consistency is too thick, you can add a bit of water.

Thanks Kelly!

Field of Flowering Saskatoons

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers ON 5/17/2013

Rows of flowering saskatoons smaller

This field, at Saskatoon Michigan Farm and Nursery (Williamsburg, MI), was in full flower yesterday. It is beautiful to see, and makes ones mouth water in anticipation of the berries to follow in about a month.

Saskatoon Berry Butter Tarts Recipe

POSTED IN For Consumers ON 5/16/2013

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Fresh or frozen Saskatoon berries
Pie pastry or store bought tart shells
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 packed brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 cup corn syrup
2 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Tart Shells
Prepare muffin pans by rolling out pie dough and cutting circles slightly larger than the muffing cups. Fit dough circles into muffin cups; set aside in fridge until ready to fill. If using store bought tart shells, place shells into the muffin tins

Butter Mixture
In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Place a few Saskatoon berries in each tart shell. Pour the butter mixture into all tarts. Make sure that you only fill mixture about 3/4 full otherwise filling will overflow when baking.

It’s time to be preparing soil for this year’s crop!

POSTED IN For Growers ON 5/8/2013

If you need information on pest and disease management, contact us soon.

May 2013 Meeting

POSTED IN For Members ON 5/8/2013

This is a reminder for members that we will meet on Thursday, May 9th at Noon. We will enjoy lunch together and discuss new developments with promotion and plant maintenance.

The Saskatoons Are Here!

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers ON 5/8/2013

Here is an article by Neil Moran, published May 1st, regarding the growing interest in saskatoon plants: The Saskatoons Are Here!

I am sorry to report that this article is not referring to the fruit. As of today, it’s still too early. Check in with us again come mid-late June to see who has berries ready to pick and/or purchase.

Saskatoons: A small fruit with big ambitions

POSTED IN For Consumers, For Growers ON 5/8/2013

Check out Duke Elsner’s April 4 article about growing saskatoons at:Saskatoons: A small fruit with big ambitions