Saskatoons: A small fruit with big ambitions
Michigan saskatoon growers are needed for a survey that will help the Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America achieve production and marketing goals.
If you have not heard of saskatoon berries, there is an energetic group of growers in northern Michigan that wants to fill you in, and fill you up, with this tasty crop. Saskatoon berries are small, dark blue to black fruits that are nutritious and have many uses. In addition to simply eating them as fresh fruit, saskatoons can be used in salads, baked goods and ice cream, or made into jams, jellies, sauces, syrups, juice and wine.
Saskatoons are a well-established and popular food crop in many provinces of Canada. Most commercial scale plantings of saskatoons in Michigan are only a few years old, but the early results indicate that we have very favorable conditions for producing good quantities of high quality fruit. It is estimated that there are 50 commercial plantings in the state with about 100 acres planted as of 2012.
Michigan growers have shown leadership by forming the Saskatoon Berry Institute of North America to support all aspects of saskatoon production, marketing and utilization. This organization is currently in the process of defining its mission and initial goals, and two goals are already set: expanding the grower membership base and accurately assessing the current status of saskatoon acreage and production.