Saskatoon(s) in Manitoba?
I recently attended a tour of Bill and Marie Linden’s Saskatoon fruit orchard in Portage la Prairie. Saskatoon berries are native to Manitoba and have historically been widely used as a native Prairie fruit crop – but in recent years it has become an exciting new commercial crop in Manitoba. The first saskatoon orchards were planted around 20 years ago. There is estimated to be approximately 170 saskatoon growers in Manitoba with about 10 commercial orchards, The saskatoon berry the second largest commercial fruit crop in Manitoba (next to strawberries). Studies indicate that the anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity in saskatoons is comparable to values reported for blueberries. This nutraceutical benefit is helping to promote interest in consumption of saskatoons. During the tour I got to see demonstrations of a mechanical harvester and their cleaning and sorting table. I also got to do some tasting as well, as saskatoon picking season had just begun. The following is a picture of some saskatoon fruit “on the bush”.
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