In 2007, Rick and a partner purchased 4000 three-year-old Northline saskatoon seedlings. They planted them on the quarter section half a mile west of the home quarter. In 2008, they planted another 3000 plants bringing the total orchard size to 11 acres. Northlines are a cultivar similar in taste to the wild saskatoon berry and although they can be difficult to get started, they become a high yielding plant with large berries. The first three years there was a mortality of about 10%, but the orchard is now thriving. After 8 years, the first bushes planted were harvested by machine.
In 2015, Rick bought out his partner and Wendy took over the maintenance of the orchard. In 2016, we harvested 6000 pounds of berries, in 2017 – 8000 pounds and in 2018 a bumper crop of over 20,000 pounds of berries came off the orchard! A co-op of saskatoon growers market the frozen berries and pure berry powder. A number of food producers are sourcing our powder as a rich ingredient for bars and health foods. More information on our products can be found at PurpleFit.ca.
With its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, saskatoons, known as juneberries in the US, are rapidly becoming a super food.
Each year an increasing number of people come to our U-pick run by Wendy in the evenings and on weekends. The quiet location of the orchard makes it a destination to enjoy picking berries in a comfortable setting.
Call Wendy at 204-467-8672 or email her at email@example.com to get on our berry mailing list, or follow us on Facebook at Manitoba Saskatoons. Harvest is usually the first couple of weeks in July or you can buy frozen saskatoons at any time of the year. Check out the PurpleFit website for more information.