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2022 Summer Updates

It has been a long winter for us. Last summer was unforgiving and dry on this first year farmer but we survived. This winter has been typically cold and snowy buy abnormally long. As of witting this on 4/13/2022 we are experiencing what will hopefully be out last accumulating snow event of the year this week.

We able to get the cuttings below and will trial them all this year on the farm. The plan is to plant them, see how they do in regards to the following criteria here in our Northern Minnesota Zone 3b climate.
In this first year we will be observing for most of the varieties below

  • Emergence vigor

  • Growth rate

  • Flower bud emergence date size and consistency if we get any on year one plants​​

  • ​Pest and disease effects

  • Height and vigor

  • We will probably snip flowers from most first year plants so were not too concerned with any first year berries.

The idea is that we would watch these plants this year and next year then select the top performing plants to propagate forward on our farm and take cuttings from the other varieties that mature too late for us and offer them for sale to people in more southern locations where they will have more time to mature into nice ripe elderberries.

  • Pocahontas - Indeterminate late maturing variety. This is the new "it" elderberry on the scene. I do not have high hopes for this variety for berry production in my Northern Minnesota farm although it is a very prolific berry producer in more Sothern locations. I am trialing this to see if I can get the same monstrous flower heads  that they do down south.

  • Anoka - This is an isolated wild variety from Minnesota, I have hopes for this one. Anoka is said to maybe the 'Ranch' of the north. I'm hoping it will space a little on berry maturity from ranch.

  • Soft - This is another isolated volunteer wild variety from Minnesota, this is another determinate variety that has shown to produce fruit on primal canes and hold berry until evenly ripe.

  • Marge - This is a European American adapted Sambucus Nigra variety that is said to grow will in cold climates. I wasn't going to grow an European varieties but until I truly know what is going to perform best in my zone 3 growing zone I though it was worth a shot.

  • Bob Gordon - This is an indeterminate variety that I know will grow here if taken care of. I have some friends that grow this variety and if I can keep the birds at bay I should get a good harvest of this variety that is know to have a higher sugar content and is valued by the winemakers.

  • York - This one is an older variety that is a cross with Adams and another variety from 1926. Supposed to be very productive with berry clusters that are heavy, quite large and a deep red color. Is a medium to late to ripen so we'll see on this one.

  • Coomer is an east coast variety. Cold Hardy decumbent cymes and large berries which will help a lot with bird predation.

  • Berry Hill was developed in Vermont by Lewis Hill. Growers say they cannot tell the difference between Coomer and Berry Hill except in some locations one will do well and one will not...we'll see which one wins in Northern Minnesota.

  • I also have three more unnamed varieties, one I found in Southern Minnesota and two from a batch of seedling to that grew to display primal cane berry production one of which had nice decumbent cymes. 

  • East  Grove - I don't know much about how this one other than it has huge flower clusters so we are very eager for this one.

The Syrup Updates
    It has been a busy winter of making and testing recipes, working with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and even got a couple of craft shows under our belt. We will be looking to wholesale our products this spring so if you're interested or know someone who owns or manages a store please give us a call or shoot us an email. 

Thank you for taking the time to keep up with our Farm we hope you enjoy and please feel free to check out the pictures below. We will have another spring update coming out soon as the weather looks like it will break soon and we'll very busy on the farm!

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