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Documents on this page:

  1. Flathead Cherry Report 2013
  2. Cold Hardy Grape Variety List
  3. Hops Variety List
  4. Hops for Hops Article in The Daily Interlake March 17, 2013
  5. Hops Article in Flathead Business Journal April 28, 2014
  6. Glacier Hops Ranch Article in Big Sky Small Acres Spring/Summer 2015
  7. Fruit Tree Variety List
  8. Small Dark Fruit Variety List
  9. Health Benefits Background
  10. New research project studies dark fruit Article in Flathead Business Journal August 25, 2014
  11. Dark fruit trials begin at FVCC Article in The Daily Interlake Business Journal May 24, 2015
  12. Shining the Spotlight on Dark Fruits Article in the Flathead Beacon May 25, 2015

Sweet Cherry Research Trials 2011-2013

The cherry growers are enthusiastically watching for the results of this research. Funding was obtained for this project from the Montana Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture.

To assist Montana cherry growers identify new varieties to meet market demands for later cherries and larger fruit, image of Santina cherryMSU Agriculture Extension Agent Pat McGlynn, established a sweet cherry variety research trial. Seven replicated trials around Flathead Lake were established in 2010 in grower’s orchards– one organic and six conventional. Data has been collected on vigor, winter hardiness, bloom and harvest dates, size and flavor. All six test varieties came through with flying colors. Three including Attika, Pine Dale Ruby and Glory appear to be standouts. Full production is expected in 2014 for the first time. Evaluations will be made at that time. Funding was obtained for this project from the Montana Department of Agriculture through the Growth Through Agriculture and the Specialty Crop Block Grant programs.

For more information please see our annual report and grower comments. 

Printable version of Flathead Cherry Report 2013 (PDF)

Sweet Cherry Variety Trials on Flathead Lake

 Annual Report March 2013


In early 2009, a number of cherry growers from Flathead Lake individually came to speak with Dr. Pat McGlynn, Montana State University Extension Agent, about challenges facing the industry. McGlynn called together a group of cherry growers, both independent and Monson Food Co-op members, to discuss the situation.


The majority of orchards around the lake are planted with Lamberts and Lapin sweet cherries. The cherries are well-suited to the Montana climate and the flavor is world renowned. More than half of the small acreage cherry growers belong to the Monson Food co-op. The co-op sends the Flathead Lake cherries to Washington for processing. In the past, Washington cherries were finished processing just as Montana cherries were harvested. However, Washington has continued to plant later varieties of cherries on higher elevations and are now harvesting at the same time as Montana’s crop. Because of this, the processing plant becomes overwhelmed and Montana cherries are refused. The sustainability of the Flathead orchards has been in question.

An advisory group of Flathead Lake cherry growers was assembled. This group included independent contractors, Monson food co-op board members, organic and conventional growers. They decided that research was needed to test the new varieties of cherries that had been developed at Washington State University under Montana conditions. These varieties had been bred to be larger, firmer than, and just as delicious as the Flathead Lambert and Lapin. The timing of these cherries needed to be investigated. A later cherry would help mitigate the processing challenges of fruit sent to Washington State. Earlier cherries would help roadside stand owners compete with cherries being trucked into Montana markets from the west coast. Firmer cherries would be more suitable for international packaging and transport.

In the spring of 2010, the group was awarded $9,912 from the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) Growth Through Agriculture Program. This funding was for the trees and supplies to establish six research plots on grower’s orchards. Additional funding of $14,638 was given to the project from the MDA Cherry Research and Market Development Program. This funding allowed the project to contract with Dr. Matt Whiting, Horticulture Extension Specialist at Washington State University and to hire a part-time research technician to assist with the project for the first year. The MDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program granted the cherry research project $29,425 to continue consultant and assistant support for two additional years. With these grants, the project had funding for three years of study.

Figure 1: Flathead Lake cherry growers Bruce Johnson, Tom Lawrence and Joe Hurst join MSU Extension Agent Pat McGlynn in Prosser, Wash., to study high density production techniques. Photo by Pat McGlynn

Figure 2: Pine Dale Ruby. Photo by Willow Drive Nursery


Six research plots were established on Flathead Lake cherry grower’s orchards in 2010. The hosts included: Dick Beighle, Gerald Bowman, Barry Hansen, Wade Rediesel, Mark St. Sauver and Louise Swanberg. An organic plot was planted in May 2011 on the Allen Rodgers' orchard.

The later varieties tested were Regina, Hudson, SR500/Pine Dale Ruby, Attika and Skeena. The earlier variety tested was Santina. Sams were being used as a pollinator for Regina. Eight trees of each variety were planted in the same sequence on the seven orchards. Glory/Goodwin was added in 2011.

Variety and Rootstock



8 days before Bing

Regina/Gisela 6

12 days after Bing


7 days after Bing


12-15 days after Bing


14-21 days after Bing

Pine Dale Ruby/Mazzard

21 days after Bing


Timing to be determined

Lapin for comparison

10-12 days after Bing

Cold Hardy Grape Research

Cold hardy hybrid wine grapes were planted in 2011 at four locations across western Montana. This three-year research project is testing 12 varieties of the newly developed crosses between European vinifera and the native North Americanimage of the start of creeping oregon grapes grape. Site location has proved to be the most important consideration when establishing a successful vineyard. Grapes prefer a south to southwest slope, well-drained soil, out of the wind and adequate water.

This research grant is in its third year. We have found that grape vines need a weed and grass free area of about 3 feet around the plant the first three years of growth and are very susceptible to herbicide damage. Plants grow best on a south facing slope that is not in a frost pocket. Because of our short growing season, grape clusters should be trimmed to around 12 per plant which allows maximum growth directed to the fruit.

Printable version of Cold Hardy Grape Varity List (PDF)

Grapes for Research Trial

Red Wine Grape

Leon Millot

Petite Pearl




White Wine Grape

Louise Swenson White


La Crescent (MN 1166)

Frontenac Gris (MN 1187)

Osceola Muscat

Table Grape

Somerset Red

Brianna White


Additional Grapes Recommended Red Wine

Marachel Foch





White wine

L Acadie Blanc

St. Pepin



Prairie Star



Petite Jewel Red

*Recommended in Flathead Lake Area because these are less hardy than others.

#May have disease problems and is susceptible to crown gall.

Note: Recommended varieties have growth characteristics that may not suit them to all areas in western Montana and have varying qualities for wine making, consult with us on these varieties for more information. Recommended table grapes may be somewhat less hardy than trial grape

The Montana State University Extension is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran’s Preference Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.

Hops Research 

 The hops trial, located south of Whitefish, is in its fourth year. The project has recently been awarded a second GrowthImage of Hops harvest fall 2014 Through Agriculture grant to obtain processing equipment. Hops grow well in the Flathead Valley. The research is being conducted to identify which varieties will best meet the needs of Montana brewers.


Printable version of Hops Variety List (PDF)

Revised: April 23, 2014


Montana Hop Research Project announces expanded variety research trials in cooperation with national hops research center.


We’re pleased to announce collaboration between the Britz Ranch Hops Research Project near Whitefish, Montana and Great Lake Hops, one of the two private hops research, propagation and breeding centers of its kind in North America.


This collaboration is resulting in access to 22 additional varieties for 2014. This will make the Britz Ranch Research Plot the largest hop variety field trials between the Yakima Valley and Southern Michigan, with 39 total varieties in the field trials for 2014.


To follow the progress of the research project, go to our Facebook page “Glacier Hops Ranch” and “like” it.

New 2014 hop varieties

  1. AlphAromavf 1151 – 2013: New Zealand super alpha aroma
  2. Cashmere Higher alpha acid content than Cascade and twice as much humulene. Provides smooth bitterness with mild aroma.
  3. Cluster L-8: Classic all-purpose, original “C” citrus hop
  4. Columbia vf1152 – 2013: developed for Budweiser in 1960s; favored by brewmasters in 6 out of 6 brew tests; overruled by head brewer at the time.
  5. Copper (aka T212) new proprietary variety bred at Great Lakes Hops
  6. Crystal: super aroma, often used with Magnum
  7. Fuggle H: USA version of classic, with higher oils and more potent than original.
  8. Glacier: all-purpose aroma flavor with low cohumulone level that brews a very smooth, balanced beer.
  9. Horizon: high alpha / aroma variety
  10. Magnum: German extract/bittering hybrid
  11. Newport: new high alpha bittering variety
  12. Santiam; all-purpose aroma hop bred from Tettnanger/Hallertauer noble cross
  13. Sererbriankavf 2013 “Silver Hop” ; Russian noble aroma hop. Name translates in Russian to “smooth tongue”
  14. Southern Brewer: South African high alpha aroma variety
  15. Southern Cross: New Zealand high alpha aroma variety
  16. Spalter Select: a superior Noble aroma hop used in ultra-premium beers. Pairs well with Magnum.
  17. Ultra: Noble cross, reports of good yields in northern growing areas.
  18. Vojvodina: Yugoslavian high-alpha aroma hop; “Super Golding” with double the alphas of Golding.
  19. Wye Challenger: English Svaloef cross, unusually higher alpha profile
  20. Yeoman: high alpha aroma. Robust bittering variety with high oils.
  21. Zeus: super high-alpha commonly included with CTZ, but different. Makes a “heady” IPA
  22. Zenith: high alpha aroma variety bred at Wye College in England. 

Second-year 2013 hop varieties

  1. Amallia: vigorous, native New Mexico variety with strong orange citrus notes
  2. Brewer’s Gold: heirloom American hop
  3. Cascade: by far, the most popular craft brewing hop among Montana brewers.  
  4. Centennial: sometimes called “Super Cascade”, has nearly double the alpha profile.
  5. Chinook. Popular super alpha hybrid, dual purpose bittering/flavoring hop
  6. Columbus (aka CTZ): very high alphas & oils. high bittering qualities.
  7. Galena: vigorous super-alpha bittering-type hop
  8. Golding: Classic English aroma hop
  9. Liberty: noble aroma variety
  10. Mount Hood: noble aroma variety, most popular variety in Hallertauer breeding program
  11. Multihead: Newer native New Mexican variety; not much is known.   Floral aspects, can produce double cones. Good all around hop.
  12. Neo 1: Native New Mexican variety, “super lemon” citrus aspect
  13. Northern Brewer: Good versatile all-purpose hop with high-oils.
  14. Nugget: high alpha bittering / flavoring variety in the US and Germany
  15. Sterling: improved Saazer type. a noble / American aroma type
  16. Tettnanger: Noble-type aroma variety derived from Swiss Tettnanger clone.   Dual purpose hop.

39: Willamette: a widely grown, quality aroma / flavoring “workhorse” hop

Printable version of Hope for Hope Article in The Daily Interlake March 17, 2013 (PDF) 


Daily inter lake Sunday March 17, 2019

Field trial the newest ag research in Flathead

By LYNNETTE HINTZE The Daily Inter Lake A field trial to evaluate the feasibility of commercial hops production in Western Mon-tana will get under way this summer at a Whitefish area ranch, once again putting the Flathead Valley in the spot-light for progressive agricul-tural research. Tom Britz, who ranches southwest of Whitefish, has been awarded an $11,820 state Growth Through Agricultural grant for a five-year hops vari-ety trial. Britz has been work-ing on the hops project with Pat McGlynn, the Montana State University agriculture extension agent for Flathead County. “The question is not if we can grow hops here,” McG-lynn said, “but if we can grow varieties the brewers want.” With a strong background in horticulture, McGlynn has been the driving force behind several major research proj-ects here that now are in vari-ous stages. The sweet cherry variety trials on Flathead Lake are testing new varieties that ripen either earlier or later to better compete with Washing-ton cherries. Cold-hardy wine grape trials testing a dozen hybrid grape varieties in Northwest Mon-tana began last year. The idea is to spur wine production that could create a shoulder tourist season for the Flat-head. Flathead County also is par-ticipating in a project to test apple, pear and plum trees in this area. An orchard will be planted next month near Columbia Falls Junior High and students will participate in the research. Eventually the fruit will be part of the hot-lunch program at the school. Because there always are matching funds put into the grant-driven research, “we are looking at over $250,000 in research projects,” McG-lynn said. “The Montana Department of Agriculture has contributed about $115,000 but local growers have made matching or even more invest-ment in the projects with their land, labor, machinery and cash.” Britz wasn’t thinking about hops when he went to McG-lynn a while back for advice on growing a legume forage crop he’d heard about from a neighbor. His acreage histori-cally has been used for hay and pasture and he was look-ing at ways to make the land more sustainable. “Instead of going down the path of traditional agriculture, Pat suggested that I research hops and gave me a path to determine if a niche market might exist for this crop.” He liked McGlynn’s big- picture approach. Her advice was broader than just cultivation, he said. It encompassed economic development, with an eye on helping grow the craft brewing industry here. McGlynn, known as the “lone non-ranger” when she joined the ranks of her extension agent peers who largely focus on the livestock and grain indus-tries in Montana, said she always has taken an entrepreneurial approach to how agricultural prod-ucts can build the local economy. “I am an idea person,” she said. “I get excited being part of creating a bigger vision.” McGlynn had been thinking about the hops trial for some time when Britz “took my idea and ran with it.” Britz did much of the leg work, meeting with the Montana Brewers Association and local craft brewers. The con-sensus among brewers was that they’d love to have access to Montana-grown hops. Nearly all commercially grown hops in the United States are produced in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, though other states recently have begun studying small-scale pro-duction because of craft brewers who prize locally produced ingredients. Great Northern Brew-ing Co. in Whitefish and Tamarack Brewing Co. in Lakeside have stepped up to help sponsor the hops trials. Marcus Duffey, gen-eral manager of Great Northern Brewing, said he immediately supported the hops project. Craft brewers generally strive to use locally grown ingredients and have access to Montana-grown barley, he said. The sup-ply of local hops, though, is limited to backyard and ornamental growers. Hops have been used in brewing for centuries as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. The effect of hops varies by type and use, but generally hops are used either for their bitterness or aroma. The hops research will involve surveying craft brewers to determine the most popular of more than 100 varieties. The research plot at the Britz Ranch will include about 16 test varieties of hops grown on two different trellis systems — angled and vertical — using 18-foot poles. Data will be collected on survivability, vigor, production quality and quantity, and start-up costs. Britz acknowledged it will be a challenging crop to grow in Montana. As he was researching hops, growers in Washington and Oregon told him point-blank not to consid-er hops for this area. But, he said, their advice was based on their business model. Britz, who has a background in marketing and busi-ness development, has an alternative business model in mind that would be based on a cooperative approach. McGlynn, too, envi-sions a kind of regional growers cooperative to use commercial harvest, processing and packag-ing equipment that comes with a hefty price tag. Commercial hops produc-tion is both capital- and labor-intensive and the infrastructure for har-vesting and processing doesn’t exist anywhere in Montana. The study also will determine market feasi-bility for certified organic and non-organic hops. Britz said it may be possible to offer better quality hops in Montana by using a processing method that uses less heat and therefore would burn off a lesser amount of essential oils. “But we’ve got to prove it,” Britz added. Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or by email at lhin-tze@dailyinterlake.com.

Printable version of Hops Article in Flathead Business Journal April 28, 2014 (PDF)

Hops Flathead Business Journal

By RYAN MURRAYFlathead Business Journal

It’ll be worth the wait, say Mag-gie Doherty and Cole Schneider, owners of Kalispell Brewing Com-pany.Founded in 2012, the long-await-ed opening of Kalispell’s very own brewery is just a few short weeks away, according to the brew gurus. Setbacks and delays have kept the brewery from its initial proposed opening during the summer of 2013.“Construction is almost done,” Doherty said in early April. “We plan to finish this week.”The sluggish permitting pro-cess, along with the challenges of renovating a nearly 100-year-old building, plus inclement weather, have left the construction process behind schedule. On April 21, the brewers were finally approved by the city of Kalispell to brew.“No one delay held us up for more than a few weeks,” Sch-neider said. “It was weather, slow deliveries, asbestos removal from the old building; I just really want to brew.”All the brewing equipment is ready to go, he said. Kalispell Brewing Company is waiting on permits, but the grain is just waiting for a brewer’s touch.“I could put grain in today and have wort by the end of the day,” Schneider said. “It takes four or five weeks to brew a beer, so we are hoping to be open by the end of May or early June.”The wort (pronounced wert) is the liquid mash from the grains that contains the sugars which will ferment into alcohol. Kalispell Brewing plans to use a 10-barrel brewing system in its 6,000-square foot production floor. The attached tasting room — including the balcony overlook-ing Kalispell’s Main Street with a view of the Swan Mountains — will have 3,000 square feet for patrons to enjoy brews.The brewery will employ nine or 10 servers and plans to serve beer seven days a week from noon to 8 p.m. Beers will be served in 12-ounce glasses specific to the style. For example, the Two Ski Brewski Pilsner will be served in a stemmed pils glass and the Winter at Noon Dunkel in a dimpled glass mug.“The glassware really does affect the flavor and the aroma,” Doherty said. “Beer is kind of the everyman’s drink. It’s really like a marriage of science and art.”Kalispell Brewing Company plans on opening with several lagers — beers that are top-fermented and considered more difficult to brew than ales. Bay-ern Brewing in Missoula is one other Montana brewery that focuses heavily on the subtler lager styles.“We are opening with five beers on tap,” Schneider said. “Everybody brews ales. Everyone focuses on extremes, and subtle, well-balanced beers are harder to find.”The brewery plans on using golden Montana grains and Northwest hops. The Cloudcroft IPA, for example, will feature CTZ, Chinook, Summit and Cascade varieties of hops.The large building on Main Street, which used to be a car dealership, leaves plenty of room to grow.Doherty and Schneider plan to offer the 12-ounce pours for $3 each, and growler fills for $9. With $2 million already sunk into the project, the own-ers are excited to open and start pour-ing.“We got married during this pro-cess,” Doherty said. “Some people get divorced over a kitchen remodel. If we can stay together, that’s a good sign. Beer is our passion.” The hops at Britz’s place was har-vested by hand last fall. “It was so small, I was really sur-prised we had enough to do a beer tasting,” McGlynn said, adding that 17 varieties were used in 23 different craft beers. Nearly all commercially grown hops in the United States are produced in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, though other states recently have begun study-ing small-scale production because of craft brewers who prize locally pro-duced ingredients. Great Northern Brewing Co. in Whitefish and Tamarack Brewing Co. in Lakeside helping to sponsor the hops trials. The hops research will involve sur-veying craft brewers to determine the most popular of more than 100 variet-ies. Test varieties of hops are grown on trellis systems. Data is being collected on surviv-ability, vigor, production quality and quantity, and start-up costs.

Printable version of Glacier Hops Ranch Article in Big Sky Acres Spring/Summer 2015 (PDF)

featured landowner: Tom and Annie Britz

Is growing hops economically feasible in western Montana?

by Pat McGlynn

Flathead County Extension Agent, Montana State University

Nineteen years ago, Tom and Annie Britz arrived in Montana’s Flathead Valley from Vail, Colorado. Settling in the Whitefish area, the Britz’s bought their original 10-acre piece of heaven to raise horses and graze a few head of cattle in the summer. Within three years, they acquired an adjacent 10-acre parcel plus an additional 30-acre parcel to both expand cattle pasture and raise forage crops. Dissatisfied with the quality of horse hay he was finding on the open market for his own performance horses, Britz learned how to produce his own hay. Initially he raised hay on the 30-acre parcel. Later when he fenced that parcel to be summer-pasture for yearling cattle, he needed hay for training their performance horses. Tom expanded his haying operation up to as much as 120 additional acres of his neighbor’s lands. Over the course of nearly 15 years, 35 acres of the property had been dedicated to pasturing cattle and horses, and even yaks for a couple of summers, but the land badly needed reworking. In 2012, Britz asked Pat McGlynn, MSU Extension Agriculture Agent Flathead County, about potential alternative crops for this parcel. McGlynn mentioned that she was considering looking at hops as a potential commercial crop in northwestern Montana. The latitude in

the Flathead Valley is similar to that of a 1,700-acre hops yard in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, which led them to believe hops

could be successful in the area. Britz admits, to this day, that he thought it was a crazy idea. With his background in marketing, he began conducting his own informal needs assessment, talking to a number of local breweries about the concept. Many in-state brewers he contacted were excited about having access to a potential supply of Montana-grown hops, particularly since Montana is already well-known as a premier malt barley producing state. The initial enthusiasm expressed by these brewers for being able to produce a product with 100% Montana-grown ingredients overshadowed the contrasting negative feedback he received when doing a similar assessment in Washington and Oregon. In 2012, McGlynn and Britz began the project, with McGlynn identifying possible funding sources and Britz developing a formal survey for members of the Montana Brewers Association. The survey included questions about preferred hop varieties, level of demand, and what format breweries would need the hops to be supplied in, such as fresh-picked, dried whole leaf, or pelletized. Many varieties of hops can grow almost anywhere between the 35th and 55th parallels, but the real challenges were found to be in harvesting and in processing since no specialized hop harvesting, processing, and packaging infrastructure existed anywhere in the state at the time. The hop is a dried cone or “flower.” The cone must be removed from the “bine” (i.e., a twining stem or flexible shoot of a hops plant) and dehydrated within 24 hours to stabilize it and preserve the unique oils and acids needed for brewing. The dried, featherweight cones are then compacted into bales and frozen. Later, bales are broken up to be pelletized (the format used by 98% of all breweries in America) and then packaged in a UV-resistant mylar packaging with a nitrogen flush to remove all the damaging oxygen. Only a small percentage of hops can be used as fresh or “wet” hops by a brewery and that is typically only during harvest season. In-state craft brewers threw out cautious, yet optimistic support. The burgeoning Montana craft brew industry was able to purchase Montana-grown malt barley for their beer but most hops were obtained from out of state. The Yakima Valley in Washington, has a sunny, semi-arid climate and produces 78% of the U.S. crop, with most of the rest (18%) coming from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The prospect

of Montana-grown hops was intriguing, but with generations of established infrastructure and known quality from those large producing regions, the question came down to “can you produce the same high quality that we can get from existing hop sources today?” Britz and McGlynn received a grant from the Montana Department of Agriculture’s (MDA’s) Growth Through Agriculture (GTA) program to complete a feasibility study for producing commercial hops. The Tamarack Brewing Company in Lakeside and the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish contributed the matching funds required by the grant toward the first phase of research. In early spring 2013, Britz worked with his neighbor, Tom Christenson, to prepare and till the land that had been horse pasture. They created an elaborate system of 22-foot larch poles and aircraft cable to support the plants, with concrete anchors set five feet deep in the ground, to secure the trellis system. In the initial year, Britz planted 17 varieties of rhizomes acquired from sources in Oregon and Washington. Green sprouts began to emerge within 7 days, but only after many laborious hours of hand-watering 800 plants prior to installation of a drip irrigation system. As the plants matured, Britz and a friend, Bart Slaney, tied coconuthusk coir (i.e., a stiff, coarse fiber from the outer husk of a coconut) twine from the top of the trellis cable, secured each twine to the ground, and hand-trained each bine to climb clockwise around each twine to support the highly productive plants. By mid-summer, over 80% of the plants had survived and emerged, but so had years of dormant weed seeds that thrived in the freshly turned soil. The weeds presented a new challenge and controlling them by hand along the 2,500 linear feet of hop rows became a back-breaking chore. Surprisingly, a limited amount of hops cones appeared the very first season. Staff from Great Northern Brewing Company joined volunteers from the Flathead Home Brewers Association, McGlynn, and Britz to harvest the first hops. Enough hops were harvested from ten of the varieties for home brewers to create single hop brews as a means to test the flavor of the new varieties. Over the winter of 2013-2014, Britz had time to step back and seek out new resources for help. With hop producers in Washington and Oregon less than enthusiastic to help any potential competing grower, he found a resource in a

seemingly unlikely place…Zeeland, Michigan. Great Lakes Hops, and its owner Lynn Kemme, had quietly emerged as one of two privately-held hop research, breeding, and propagation facilities in the U.S., and Kemme was very forthright about sharing his knowledge, earning the title “Hop Jedi” from Britz. Kemme persuaded Britz to switch from rhizomes to live plant crowns and test additional varieties in the Flathead Valley’s microclimate, ultimately providing 26 new varieties in 2014, which created the largest single varietal field test between There are several fungicides that can be used to protect highly susceptible trees such as chokecherry. They must be applied in early spring and, depending on

the fungicide used, may not be labeled for fruit trees if you are harvesting the cherries. They also may need to

be sprayed every 7-10 days until the middle of summer. Chemical treatments that have been effective on black knot are Captan, Chlorothalonil, Thiophanate-methyl and lime sulfur. Be sure to read the label before using any pesticide.

Q Everywhere I look, from lawns to flower beds

to vegetable gardens, the recommendation is

to irrigate one to two inches per week. How do I

measure that?

– Musselshell County

A Water efficiency will help your plants grow better, therefore, understanding how much water you are applying is important. If you use overhead watering, either with a sprinkler system or a hose-end sprinkler, use a tuna fish can to gauge applications. Common tuna fish cans (or cat food cans), when totally full, are the equivalent of one inch of water. Place several cans randomly around the sprinkler head. Run the sprinkler for a set time and see what the average water depth of water is in the cans. From there, you can adjust your sprinklers accordingly. Remember, depending on your soil’s texture (i.e., proportion of sand, silt, and clay), you may need to water more or less frequently and adjust the amount of time the water runs. If you need additional help on how much to water certain plants in your area, contact your local MSU county or reservation Extension agent. Yakima and southern Michigan. It became obvious that under the right conditions, hops could be commercially grown in Montana…but then what do you do with them? The second phase of the project was to acquire a mechanical hops harvester, determine appropriate processing systems and do a comprehensive chemistry analysis on his Montanagrown hops to determine whether the prized acids and oils were at the necessary concentrations. Britz and McGlynn obtained additional grant funds from the MDA’s GTA

program for the next phase of the project. After months of research by Britz, a refurbished, German-built Wolf harvester, which came off a small farm in Bavaria, was chosen for a harvesting machine. After a two-month complete

refurbishment, it was cut in half, put in a high-capacity container, and shipped halfway around the world. Once the machine was in Montana, the two main sections had to be re-assembled on a specially-built concrete pad designed

to hold the 10,000-pound machine. Lacking an Englishlanguage instruction manual, Slaney managed to weld it back together and get it operational just in time for the second season harvest. Britz named the behemoth, Hildegaard, after his great aunt in Minnesota. A majority of the 2014 harvest was used in fresh hop seasonal ales at Great Northern Brewing and Tamarack Brewing, all of which were sold out before the end of Montana’s general hunting season. The feasibility of a commercial hops industry is looking very positive for northwestern Montana, but many challenges remain to be tackled before commercial production can commence. Will Montana eventually have the complete infrastructure in place to support an in-state commercial hop industry? It’s not black and white yet, but there is guarded optimism that the stiff challenges will eventually be surmountable.


Fruit Tree Research

The Columbia Falls Wildcat Peace Garden located at Columbia Falls Junior High School is hosting a research trial of apple, pear, and plum trees. The three-year study is being conducted to determine the feasibility of a commercial fruit industry and establish production guidelines. Varieties are being monitored for winter hardiness, rate of growth, fruit size, pest problems and production rates.

Printable version of Fruit Tree Variety List (PDF)

Tree Varieties










Sweet 16


Northern Lights






Arkansas Black




Flemish Beauty




Golden Spice










Mount Royal







Small Dark Fruit

There are many health and benefits from small dark fruit consumption. There are different health benefits from theDark Fruit Harvest 2018 image different types of fruits. Further explaination in the documents below.

Printable version of Small Dark Fruit Variety List (PDF)


Small Fruit Varieties for Research Trial:

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Northline’

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Martin’

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Smokey

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Lee3’

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Lee8’

Amelanchier alnifolia ‘JB30’

Black Currant - Ribes nigrum ‘Titania’

Black Currant - Ribes nigrum ‘Blackcomb’

Black Currant - Ribes nigrum ‘Stikine’

Black Currant - Ribes nigrum ‘Tofino’

Red Currant - Ribes rubrum, Ribes sativum ‘Rovada

Red Currant - Ribes rubrum, Ribes sativum ‘HRON’

Aronia melanocarpa ‘Viking’

Aronia melanocarpa ‘McKenzie’

Dwarf Sour Cherry - Prunus cerasus x Prunus fruticosa ‘Carmine Jewel’

Dwarf Sour Cherry - Prunus cerasus x Prunus fruticosa ‘Crimson Passion’

Dwarf Sour Cherry - Prunus cerasus x Prunus fruticosa ‘Romeo’

Dwarf Sour Cherry - Prunus cerasus x Prunus fruticosa ‘Juliet’

Haskap - Lonicera caerulea var. edulis ‘Indigo Gem’

Haskap - Lonicera caerulea var. edulis ‘Aurora’

Haskap - Lonicera caerulea var. edulis ‘Borealis’

Haskap - Lonicera caerulea var. edulis ‘Sugar Mountain Blue’

Haskap - Lonicera caerulea var. edulis ‘Boreal Blizzard’

Evaluating at Corvallis Research Station:

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Bob Gordon’

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Johns’

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Adams’

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Nova’

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Ranch’

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Wyldewood

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Samdal

Elderberry - Sambucus Canadensis ‘Samyl

Goji Berry - LyciumBarbarum or Lyciumchinense ‘Sweet Life’

Goji Berry - LyciumBarbarum or Lyciumchinense ‘Goji-Wolfberry’

Goji Berry - LyciumBarbarum or Lyciumchinense ‘Goji ’

Printable version of Health Benefits Background (PDF)

Health Benefits Background

Anthocyanin (flavonoids) briefly explained

Excerpt from: Willy Kalt,  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Atlantic Food and Horticulture Research Centre
"An important group of health-promoting phytochemicals are the flavonoids. These compounds are particularly abundant in fruits, but also occur in vegetables. One notable group of flavonoids are the anthocyanins. The anthocyanins are pigments - they impart the red, blue, purple color to the peel of fruits such as Saskatoon berries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, etc. A good indicator of anthocyanin content of fruit, is the color intensity of its juice. For example, a blueberry juice would be much more deeply colored than say a strawberry juice, due to its higher anthocyanin content.

One important property of the flavonoids is that they are antioxidants. This means that antioxidant compounds like flavonoids, may provide some protection to human against the deleterious effect of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been strongly implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease, many types and cancers, and certain neurodegenerative diseases."

Flavonoids have other health benefits.  For example flavonoids have a “blood-thinning” effect; they inhibit the aggregation of blood platelets which otherwise contributes to the formation of blood clots, and the deposition of atherosclerotic deposits in blood vessels.  As antioxidants, flavonoids inhibit the oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), and together these effects contribute to the general protective properties of these compounds. 

The “French Paradox”, which is the unexpectedly low incidence of cardiovascular disease in high risk groups (smokers with high fat diets) has been explained by the high consumption of flavonoid-rich red wines in these populations.  

Fruits contain many anti-oxidants like poly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, and anthocyanins.These compounds, firstly, help human body protected from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, and secondly; help the body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant value, which is something measured by their "Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity" or (ORAC).

  1. Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some"blue-fruits" like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberry, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections, etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin. 

Health benefits of black currants

  • Black currants have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of blackcurrants have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
  • Black currants have anti-oxidant value (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity- ORAC) of 7950 Trolex Equivalents per 100g, which is one of the highest value for fruits after chokeberries, elderberry, and cranberries. Red currants, however, possess comparatively less ORAC value at 3387 TE than the black variety.
  • These berries are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin, vitamin-C.  100 g of fresh currants provide more than 300% of daily-recommended intake values of vitamin C. Research studies have shown that consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents and also help scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals from the body.
  • Black currants are very good in vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin levels. 100 g fresh berries provide 230 IU of vitamin A. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining integrity of mucus membranes and skin, and essential for healthy eye-sight. Furthermore, consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh blackcurrants are also rich in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and required for metabolism.
  • They also contain good amounts of mineral iron. 100 g currant berries provide about 20% of daily recommended levels. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome oxidase guided cellular metabolism. It is also required for red blood cell (RBC) production in the bone marrow.
  • Additionally, the berries are also a very good source of other important minerals like copper, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which are very essential for body metabolism.
  • Quotes on Black Currant from Dr. Richard St. Pierre Native Fruit Specialist University of Saskatchewan
    “Historically, black currant fruit, roots and leaves have had many medicinal uses.  Black currant fruit are very rich in vitamin C.  Black currant juice, tea and extracts have been used to treat sore throats (quinsy).  Consequently, the name “squinancy berry” was adopted in Great Britain.
  • The leaves and buds of European black currants have been used as an anti-inflammatory drug.  Various North American native tribes used the roots of the native black currant to treat many conditions including intestinal worms, kidney problems and uterine disorders.  The fruit of one species was used a mild laxative, while early settlers used root infusions to treat dysentery in cattle and fevers in people.
  • Oils extracted from leaf and flower buds of black currants have been used in cosmetic creams, lotions and perfumes.  Black currant seed is considered to be a potential source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for the treatment of asthma, premenstrual syndrome, skin conditions, and arthritis.
  • Black currant has exceptional nutritional value.  Seeds are rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  Fresh fruit have an abundance of vi

Health benefits of blackberries

  • As in other kinds of bush berries, blackberries too are packed with numerous plant nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and dietary fibers that are essential for optimum health.
  • The berries are very low in calories. 100 g provide just 43 calories. Nonetheless, they are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber (100 g whole berries consist of 5.3 g or 14% RDA of fiber).Xylitol, a low-calorie sugar substitute in the fruit fiber, absorbs more slowly than glucose inside the gut, and thus does not cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
  • Blackberries compose significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals such asanthocyanins, ellagic acid, tannin), quercetin, gallic acid, cyanidins, pelargonidins, catechins, kaempferolandsalicylic acid. Scientific studies show that these antioxidant compounds may have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
  • Fresh berries are an excellent source ofvitamin-C (100 g of berries contain 23 mg or 35% of RDA), which is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals from the human body.
  • They contain adequate levels of vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K (16% of RDA/100 g) and in addition; they are rich in much other health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such aslutein, zea-xanthin, and ß-carotene in small amounts. Altogether, these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Blackberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity, a measure of anti-oxidant strength) of about 5347µmol TE per 100 grams.
  • Further, blackberries contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese,copper, and magnesium. Copper is required in the bone metabolism as well as in production of white and red blood cells.
  • They contain moderate levels of B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Aronia:At least two species of chokeberries are cultivated widely, black and red. The plant bears numerous small, about 1 cm size fruits with relatively thick, pigmented skin. Red berries are sweeter in taste than black varieties; the latter are slightly bitter in taste; however, black and blue color berries are rather rich sourcesanthocyanin class of anti-oxidants.

Aronia: The North American super berry with cancer-fighting properties

By Chris Kilham

Published June 07, 2013

| FoxNews.com


While elderberry from Austria, acai from the Amazon, maqui from Patagonia and sea-buckthorn berry from Northern Asia have all made headlines as super berries packed with nutrition, a lesser known North American berry is gaining ground, poised to hit the nutritional spotlight as a world class super berry: Aronia.

Commonly found wild in woodlands and swamps, aronia is also known as chokeberry, due to its astringent flavor. The berries come naturally in three colors – red, purple and black-purple. Aronia melanocarpa, the black-purple species, has a much deeper purple color than blueberries, which are also North American natives. The berry is now cultivated, and that cultivation is expanding in anticipation of the berry’s impending popularity.

The deep purple color of Aronia melanocarpa has attracted a lot of scientific attention. Purple fruits by virtue of their color are rich in the category of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. These pigments demonstrate potent cell-protective properties, and are also anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce systemic inflammation – a key factor in the development of chronic diseases.

But this is just the start of the benefits offered by aronia. Digging more into the compounds found in this native berry, scientists have found a number of more specific agents, including caffeic acid, cyanidin-3-galactoside, delphinidin, epicatechin, malvidin, and many more. You’ll likely never have to remember these names, but to health researchers, the presence of these compounds in aronia is big news.

Combined, these specific agents in aronia are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-diabetic. They fight the formation of arterial plaque and lower serum cholesterol, and they protect the liver against a host of insults and toxins.  In our ever-increasingly diabetic society, aronia’s compounds help to lower blood sugar and improve the body’s own natural production of insulin.

Several of the compounds in aronia are natural cancer fighters, and protect against the development of tumors of the bladder, breasts, colon, lungs, ovaries and skin. In addition, these compounds fight Crohn’s disease, inhibit HIV, reduce uncomfortable symptoms of PMS and fight herpes. Preliminary studies have also shown that aronia may prove helpful in slowing the growth of glioblastoma – a form of fatal brain cancer.

Since the 1940s, aronia has been commercially cultivated in Russia, and since the 1950s, it has been a commercial crop in Europe. In 2009 the Midwest Aronia Association formed in Iowa to provide information and resources to farmers who wanted to get involved with commercial farming of this super berry. According to the association, members are now found in California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada.

In the world of berries, antioxidant activity is a major factor in the endless jockeying for position as top berry. Aronia has greater antioxidant activity than cranberry, blueberry, strawberry, cherry, pomegranate, goji and mangosteen. You can think of aronia as the King Kong of antioxidant berries. This awesome antioxidant power gives growers of the berry confidence that super-stardom for aronia is close at hand.

Aronia berry products are already in the market, and some have received coveted USDA Organic certification – the highest standard of agriculture purity in effect today. Unlike strawberries and many other fruits, aronia is naturally pest-resistant and does not require the use of agricultural toxins. This spells good news for those who do not want unhealthy chemicals in their fruits.

In the contest for ever healthier foods, aronia is surely a winner in the making. With science demonstrating significant benefits to health, farmers planting large acreage and the media increasingly boosting its fortunes, it’s only a short matter of time before aronia, the North American super berry, leaps to prominence in juices, jams, jellies and many other products.

Health benefits of chokeberry

  • Chokeberries are low in calories and fats. 100 g of fresh berries contain 47 calories. Nonetheless, they are one of the nature's richest sources of flavonoid anthocyanin antioxidants. In addition, the berries contain handsome levels of minerals, and vitamins, and dietary fiber obtained through their peel.
  • The oxygen radical absorbency capacity or ORAC (measurement of antioxidant strength of food items) demonstrates chokeberry with one of the highest values yet recorded among berries-16,062 micro-moles of Trolox Equivalents (TE) per 100 g.
  • Black color berries consist of significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals calledanthocyanins. Total anthocyanin content is 1480 mg per 100 g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100 g (Wu et al. 2004, 2006). Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries on a regular basis offers potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. (- By Dr. Paul Gross, 2007-07-09).
  • Laboratory analyses of anthocyanins in chokeberries have identified the following individual chemicals:cyanidin-3-galactoside, quercetin, peonidin, delphinidin, petunidin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, pelargonidinand malvidin. These flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants have proven health benefits through scavenging dangerous oxygen-free radicals from the body.
  • Cancer research on anthocyanins where in black chokeberry preparations were first used to inhibit chemically induced cancer in the rat esophagus was found to reduce the disease severity by 30-60% and that of the colon cancer by up to 80%. Effective at both the initiation and promotion/progression stages of tumor development, these berries are a practical research tool and hold a promising therapeutic source, since they contain the highest amount of anthocyanins among native North American berries [J. Agric. Food Chem. 50 (12): 3495–500].
  • They are also rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, luteins and zeaxanthinsZea-xanthinhas photo-filtering effects on UV rays and thus protects eyes from age-related macular disease in the elderly (ARMD).
  • Further, they are an also good source of many antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene and folate and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. 100 g of fresh berries provide about 35% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C.


Table of Contents:

Chokecherry is a fruit that belongs to the cherry and berry family of the bird-cherry species. This is one of the suckering shrubs. The fruit is also known as Virginia bird cherry and bitter-berry.

Chokecherry Scientific Name

Chokecherry is scientifically known as Prunus virginiana.

Chokecherry Description

Color : This fruit has a rich Canada red color complete global. Sometimes when the fruit over ripens it turns dark purplish red.

Shape : The fruit is evenly round.

Size : Each fruit of chokecherry is exactly of the size of a glass marble.

Taste : The fruit has a sweet and acidic taste of its own.

Picture 1 - Chokecherry

Chokecherry Varieties

Chokecherry is found in two varieties, Eastern chokecherry and Western chokecherry.

Chokecherry Distribution

This strange fruit is found all over U.S.A., Canada and France.

Chokecherry Cultivation

Sowing :

  • Chose low alkaline and well drained soil to sow the chokecherry seeds.
  • They seeds should be sown in winters as they require cold for germination.
  • Plant the seeds at three inches apart from each other.

Sunlight : These shrubs need open space and full sun to grow.

Water : Water the area of plantation thoroughly and make sure the water is drained out completely.

Chokecherry Health Benefits

Chokecherry is quite beneficial for health. It nourishes the body from deep within. Find out all about its health benefits below.

Picture 2 - Chokecherry Image

  • It contains flavonoids that are phytonutrients. This property nourishes the various organs of human body and boost up their functioning.
  • Vitamin C content in chokecherry improves immunity of human body.
  • It has high level of anti-oxidant contents. This protects our body cells from free radical damages.
  • Its manganese content is extremely beneficial for maintained functioning of thyroid hormones.
  • The same manganese is also beneficial for healthy functioning of nerves and well maintenance of bones.

Chokecherry Side Effects

The fruit has many side effects as well if over eaten.

  • The mildest side effect results in headache.
  • Over eating of this fruit can cause constipation.
  • Sometimes it even results in ushering ulcers.
  • Leaves and seeds of this fruit have been studied to be toxic.
  • Consumption of wild chokecherries’ leaves and seeds has also proven to be fatal.

Chokecherry Edibility

Chokecherry is eaten raw as a fruit like berries and cherries. It is also processed and used in deserts.

Chokecherry Uses

Chokecherry has various uses since ages back. Find out the edible, medicinal and other commercial uses of this fruit.

Edible Uses

  • It is used make deserts like pies.
  • Jelly is made from the extracts of this fruit.
  • It is also stewed sometimes.
  • Liqueurs and spirits are flavored with extracts of this fruit.

Medicinal Uses

  • Extracts of this fruit is used to treat chronic cough, dry dough and whooping cough.
  • It treats nervous dyspepsia.
  • Helps in improving digestion.
  • It helps in curing gastritis.
  • The fruit treats diarrhea.
  • It cures convalescent debility.
  • It has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Other Uses

Extracts from the bark of chokecherry tree is used in flavoring many canned edible things and liqueurs.

Chokecherry Interesting Facts

Find some of the strange and extremely interesting facts about chokecherry listed below.

  • Chokecherry is has properties that are extremely beneficial for human health.
  • Though the fruit is nutritious and beneficial for health but the seed and leaves of the same fruit are extremely toxic. Consumption of these seeds and leaves can even prove fatal.
  • This fruit’s extracts has more medicinal uses than culinary ones.
  • Though it is a fruit but it cannot be eaten raw as it is. It has an acidic taste. Though is used to flavor a lot of deserts and liqueurs.
  • This fruit looks quite similar to berries from a distance.
  • Nutraceutical Properties of Cherries
  • 'Listen to Rick Sawatsky research technician U. of  S. and see what all the excitement is about!'
  • Quote " Researchers in Michigan have found that tart cherries, one of the parental species of dwarf cherries, contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Cherries have been linked to beneficial health effects in that cherry growers, who eat six times the amount of cherries as the average American, have a lower incidence of cancer and heart conditions.  The most active antioxidant compounds in the cherry fruit are superior to vitamins E and C and some synthetic antioxidants.  The same researchers have speculated that the natural antioxidants in cherry fruit could be extracted for use in food processing.  It is interesting to note that these superior antioxidants in tart cherries are anthocyanins that are associated with the bright red color.  Our dwarf cherries have a more intense red color than Montmerency, the most commonly grown tart cherry in Michigan.  Our dwarf cherry fruit has not been tested for antioxidant concentration, but it is reasonable to expect high levels.
  • These scientists also found that compounds from tart cherry fruit have anti-inflammatory properties which supports anecdotal information that tart cherries may relieve the pain of gout and arthritis.  A family member reports relief from gout after eating our dwarf cherry fruit.
  • A food scientist in Michigan reports that adding tart cherry fruit to ground meat resulted in 50% greater reduction in the formation of mutagenic compounds during cooking.  This was compared to ground meat to which other antioxidant compounds had been added.  Dr. Alden Booren, professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Michigan State University, says,  "We found that tart cherries reduced the formation of mutagenic compounds by 90% - a 50% greater reduction than with the other compounds.  They are the most significant source that we have found for preventing mutagen formation in ground beef.  Our trained taste testers found the cherry-beef mixtures to be very desirable and had equal to or better flavor than those from lean ground beef.  We also found that reheated ground beef with cherries was essentially devoid of oxidized or rancid flavors."  He and other scientists believe that the antioxidant properties of tart cherries are responsible for these effects.  For complete information, see the Cherry Marketing Institute" end of quote.
  • So what is a Nutraceutical you ask?  A nutraceutical is a food or food component considered to provide medical or health benefits.  These foods assist in the prevention or treatment of disease.  This is a new area of study but scientists are now just proving that mom was right.  She always said to eat your fruits and vegetables.  Live long and healthy  - Eat your berries!

The great health benefits of elderberry

by Dr. David Jockers 

(NaturalNews) Elderberries have been used for their medicinal benefits for thousands of years throughout North America, Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a Holy Tree due to its ability to improve health and longevity. Elderberries are full of powerful nutrition and have incredible health benefits.

Elderberries are a dark blue, purplish berry that is both rich in color and nutrition. These berries contain very high amounts of the polyphenol anthocyanin, which give them their dark color. Anthocyanin's antioxidant ability allows the berries to survive periods of intense UV light radiation from the sun. These antioxidants are passed on to those who consume the berry and provide anti-carcinogenic benefits.

Elderberry has a very high ORAC, or oxygen radical absorbance capacity, score: over twice as much as blueberry and cranberry. Elderberry also contains trace minerals and has more vitamin C than oranges. Studies have shown that elderberry supports brain health, improves immune coordination, protects blood vessels and reduces cancer cell growth patterns in the body.

Elderberry has potent antiviral effects:

German studies have linked anthocyanins with greatly increased immune coordination. Anthocyanins have been shown to boost the production of immune cytokines. The cytokines are key messengers in the immune system to help regulate the immune response. This allows the body to defend against disease. These studies have shown the antioxidant balance of elderberry to be greater than equal doses of vitamin E and vitamin C.

Studies have also looked at the effect of anthocyanins on the mucous membranes and the sinuses. They have found that these antioxidants protect the mucous membranes and reduce inflammation-associated swelling. A study published in 2004 demonstrated elderberry's ability to improve flu-like symptoms. This study examined 60 people with the flu. The group that received elderberry extract for five days had their symptoms subside four days earlier than the placebo group.
Viruses multiply by invading our cells through their hemagglutinin spikes. These spikes allow them to penetrate the cell membrane and move in and take control the cell. Elderberry contains a potent antiviral agent called "antivirin" which helps neutralize the activity of the hemagglutinin spikes. When these spikes are deactivated, the viruses are no longer able to get inside of the cell and replicate.

Elderberry protects and promotes good circulation:

A 2000 study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine showed that elderberry anthocyanins protect the inner layer of blood vessels from oxidative stress. The inner membrane of the blood vessels are called the endothelium. This study and others have shown that the epithelial cells absorb anthocyanins into their membrane, which gives them a strong protection from inflammatory stressors. This effect improves circulation and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Elderberry Benefits


  • Elderberry benefits
    • Beneficial components in Elderberries
    • Health Benefits of Elderberries
    • Are Elderberries poisonous?
  • Notes / side effects
    • Latin Name
    • Common Names
    • Properties
    • Uses
    • Indicated for
  • Where to buy Elderberry
  • Elderberry reviews

Used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.

Elderberries (Sambucus) have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, hence the medicinal benefits of elderberries are being investigated and rediscovered. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not.

Beneficial components in Elderberries

Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies2 these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Health Benefits of Elderberries

Elderberries were listed in the CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs as early as 1985, and are listed in the 2000 Mosby's Nursing Drug reference for colds, flu, yeast infections, nasal and chest congestion, and hay fever. In Israel, Hasassah's Oncology Lab has determined that elderberry stimulates the body's immune system and they are treating cancer and AIDS patients with it. The wide range of medical benefits (from flu and colds to debilitating asthma, diabetes, and weight loss) is probably due to the enhancement of each individual's immune system.

At the Bundesforschungsanstalt research center for food in Karlsruhe, Germany, scientists conducting studies on Elderberry showed that elderberry anthocyanins enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines. These unique proteins act as messengers in the immune system to help regulate immune response, thus helping to defend the body against disease. Further research indicated that anthocyanins found in elderberries possess appreciably more antioxidant capacity than either vitamin E or vitamin C.

Studies at Austria's University of Graz found that elderberry extract reduces oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol is implicated in atherogenesis, thus contributing to cardiovascular disease.

Elderflowers are also used for their health benefits.

Are Elderberries poisonous?

Most species of Sabcucus berries are edible when picked ripe and then cooked. Both the skin and pulp can be eaten. However, it is important to note that most uncooked berries and other parts of plants from this genus are poisonous. Sambucus nigra is the variety of Elderberry that is most often used for health benefits as it is the only variety considered to be non-toxic even when not cooked, but it is still recommended to cook the berries at least a little to enhance their taste and digestibility.

  1. J Alt Compl Mod 1995: 1:361-69 2. Youdim KA, Martin A, Joseph JA. Incorporation of the elderberry anthocyanins by endothelial cells increases protection against oxidative stress. Free Radical Biol Med 2000: 29:51 60

Nutraceutical, Nutrition & Health

Saskatoon Beries are a "Super Fruit". The word "Super Fruit" refers to antioxandant rich fruits. Saskatoon Berries naturally rich dark royal purple color comes from anthocyanins. Saskatoon Berries rank high in berries rich in anthocyanins with 562.4 mg / 100 g dry basis.


There have been numerous studies and research on the nutritional values of high antioxidant content fruits that help to fight cancers and heart diseases. Consumers are looking for more natural and healthy fruits to add into their diet. One of the studies done by C.Hu, B.H.L. Kwok, and D.D Kitts shows Saskatoon Berries are good source of anthocyanins (Phytochemical Antioxidant)1 . Recent research indicates that Saskatoon berries have higher levels of antioxidants compared to other more common berries such as wild blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Antioxidants rich fruits may also have health contribution in heart diseases. Research showed anthocyanins from fruits "inhibits in vitro oxidation of human low-density lipoprotein"2,3, and serving fruits rich in flavonoids compounds "has shown to be inversely related to coronary heart disease mortality" 4,5. Other studies and research have shown that anthocaynins rich fruits could help in reducing oxidative stress associated with aging 6,7.

Nutrition and Health

From a nutritional perspective Saskatoon berries contain a very high source of fibre. A 3/4 cup (100gram) serving of frozen Saskatoon berries contain 6 grams of fibre or 24% of the daily requirement.

Unfortunately, not everyone understands how good the fibre helps our bodies to defend against certain diseases. Fibre contributes to reducing the risks of heart diseases, diverticular disease 8, and evidence now shows a possibility of defence against diabetes. "Studies found that high total dietary fiber intake was linked to 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to a low fiber intake. Soluble fibre breaks down as it passes though the digestive tract, forming a gel that raps some substances related to high cholesterol. There is some evidence that soluble fibre may lessen heart disease risks by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. 9"

Benefit for those with diabetes. "Soluble fibre may help control blood sugar by delaying gastric (stomach) emptying, retarding the entry of glucose into the bloodstream and lessening the postprandial (post-meal) rise in blood sugar. It may lessen insulin requirements in those with type 1 diabetes. Because fibre slows the digestion of foods, it can help blunt the sudden spikes in blood glucose that may occur after a low-fibre meal.

Other Nutrients

Saskatoon berries just don't quit when it comes to health and nutrition. Saskatoon Berries are a source of 5 essential vitamins and minerals. Exploring the health benefits of Saskatoon berries today, is the one step forward reaching healthy lifestyle. 

The Saskatoon berry is a tasty purple berry native to the southern Yukon, Northwest Territories, the Canadian Prairies and the northern plains of the United States. It has long been a feature of jams and pie fillings in Western Canada but has never achieved the proper recognition it deserves given the abundance of health benefits it provides.

Berries of all sorts contain numerous health benefits.  They lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol (HDL), are high in anti-oxidants and are packed with a variety of nutrients.[i] Blueberries get the most praise due to their anti-oxidant content. However, did you know that the less famous Saskatoon Berry contains more nutrients and has a higher anti-oxidant content than many of its berry relatives, including strawberries, raspberries and even blueberries?

The Saskatoon berry is a little purple berry with intense health benefits. They have been found to contain higher levels of the anti-oxidants such as phenolics, flavonols and anthocyanins than most other berries.[ii]

Anti-oxidants play an important role in preventing damage to cells within the body caused by an excess of free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules and occur through normal biochemical processes. Too many free radicals can cause damage to the cells in our body. They can accumulate as a result of environmental factors such as exposure to radiation, pollution, diet and exposure to chemicals we encounter in our daily life. By increasing anti-oxidants in your diet your body will be better equipped to protect and detoxify itself against free radical damage. This can help reduce the risk of a number of diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. Saskatoon berries are a delicious, versatile and simple option to increase anti-oxidant intake.

On top of all this Saskatoon berries are also a wonderful source of calcium, carotene, iron and manganese[iii], which are all vital nutrients to maintaining proper health. So consider making this tasty native northern berry part of your summer diet!  The Saskatoon berry can be found in fresh or frozen at the Kingsland Farmers Market at Little Purple Apple and Sunrise Berry Farms: The Pie Store. Both the Little Purple Apple and Sunrise Berry Farms: The Pie Store serve up Saskatoon Berries as fillings in some of their delicious pies. Now your family and guests can enjoy a delicious desertand increase their anti-oxidant and nutrient levels.
Best of Health,

Dr. Stephanie Moody
LifeMark Health- Heritage Hill

return to 
Farmers Independent Weekly

July 18 , 2002

By Arnie Hydamaka, Department of Food Science

Saskatoon Berries - A Potential Nutraceutical Crop

July in Manitoba signals the start of the native fruit industry in the province. Apples, blueberries, raspberries, saskatoons and strawberries are some of the more common Manitoba fruits. Traditionally the choice of fruit for the consumer has been one of availability, taste preference or home recipes.

Fruits have long been associated with nutrition and health. Recently, the role of the diet in this regard has evolved with a new classification of "functional foods" or "nutraceuticals", foods which have health-enhancing properties in addition to normal nutritional benefits. Fruits play a prominent role in this new classification.

One fruit in particular which has tremendous appeal and opportunity in the nutraceutical and functional food market is the saskatoon berry. Saskatoon berries were picked in the wild and used as a major food source as well as medicine by the native people and early settlers in the Prairies. Orchard production began in Manitoba only about 20 years ago, with current planted acreage placing the fruit second only to strawberries as a commercial fruit crop. In terms of nutrition, saskatoons are a good source of the recommended daily allowance for iron (22%), manganese (34%), calcium (11%), vitamin C (30%) and carotene (20%) for each 100 gm serving, as well as supplying other nutrients.

Several diseases of aging are believed to result from cumulative damage to cells by free radicals generated in the body through normal metabolism. Free radicals also result from environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and chemicals such as pesticides or herbicides. Fruits play a major role in preventing the oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals. This function is attributed to the antioxidant power contained in the flavonoid composition, including pigments which give color to the fruits.

United States Department of Agriculture studies in 1998 ranked blueberries number one in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. In comparison, strawberries were slightly more than half as potent as blueberries in antioxidant activity. Basically, the study revealed that the more intense color the fruit, the higher the antioxidant activity.

Based on these findings, and that consumer interest in eating foods that prevent disease is at an all time high, the blueberry industry has greatly expanded its markets and popularity in the diet. While variety is still key to a healthy diet and the current recommendation is to eat a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, just one half cup of blueberries delivers as much antioxidant power as the recommended five servings of common fruits and vegetables.

Similar opportunities exist for saskatoon berries. The intense purple color of saskatoon berries is due to the presence of pigments called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins (from two Greek words meaning "plant" and "blue") are part of a large and widespread group of plant constituents known as flavonoids. Flavonoid compounds have been attributed to provide health benefits against chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. The deep color of saskatoon berries suggest that this fruit should contain high levels of anthocyanins and antioxidant activity similar to blueberries.

With support funding from the Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI), Graham=s Groves, a berry farm operation just south of Carmen contracted the Food Science Department at the University of Manitoba to study the nutraceutical potential of saskatoon berry varieties being grown in their orchards over a two-year period.

The current research data indicates that the anthocyanin content and antioxidant activity in saskatoons is comparable to values reported for blueberries. The major varieties grown at Graham's Groves B Honeywood, Smoky, Northline and Thiessen B all scored high in test results. A recent study conducted at the University of British Columbia reported similar findings.

These research results should encourage and assist in further development of the saskatoon berry industry in the province. Although there may be approximately 170 saskatoon growers in Manitoba, there are only about 10 commercialized orchards, and only two that are involved in value-added processing. The Manitoba saskatoon berry industry is largely based on U-pick operations, farm gate sales, and limited retail of processed products such as juice beverages, pies, jam, fruit toppings and jellies. Most growers rely on the short opportunity of few weeks in July to move the berries as fresh product.

As consumers awareness of the health benefits of saskatoons grows, market demand will follow. A major problem is that saskatoons are a Prairie fruit and not well known outside this area. The subtle unique flavour of the berry and its high antioxidant potential could soon change the market development. The nutraceutical and functional food industry is expected to generate annual sales of $500 billion worldwide in the next decade. Saskatoon growers are in an ideal position to expand market potential and share in this growth industry.









Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences
University of Manitoba - Winnipeg, MB, Canada - R3T 2N2
Tel: (204) 474-9295  Fax: (204) 474-7525
Questions or comments?  email agfoodsci@umanitoba.ca

Honeyberry Health Benefits:

One of its many advantages is the high content of vitamins that are found in the honeyberry varieties.  Thus, the amount of ascorbic acid up to 170 mg per 100 g of berries, i.e. more than strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, approaching black currant.  In terms of P-active compounds (catechins, rutin, anthocyanins, leykoantotsiany etc. 2800mg per 100g of berries)  Honeysuckle is second only to black chokeberry.  Vitamins B1, B2, B9 found in much smaller quantities.

Honeyberries contain a rich set of macro-and micronutrients.  They accumulate a lot of iron, calcium, and phosphorus.  For magnesium, a component of nervous tissue, honeysuckle has no equal.  In terms of sodium honeyberry retains leadership among wild berry bushes.  It is rich in potassium and contains twice as much as black currants, raspberries, blackberries, and yields in these only lingonberries.  Trace elements - catalysts of metabolic processes in living cells - are manganese, copper, aluminium, barium, silica, and iodine.  Honeyberries contain a rare trace element Selenium- an element of youth.

Glucose, fructose and organic acids
Honeyberries contain sugars that are dominated by glucose, fructose, and organic acids - malic and citric.

In ancient times honeyberries were considered a priceless gift in the (Taiga region) northern barren lands of the Artic, and in the treatment of many ailments by using different parts of the plant: flowers, leaves and branches.

Fruits are used in cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, hypertension, gastritis, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, they are particularly valuable in diseases of the liver and gall bladder, as an antipyretic and a diaphoretic for colds, and they are used for frequent nosebleeds.

Honeyberry juice is used as a health-improving drink for weakened immune systems, anemia, beriberi; it is used to treat ulcers and herpes.  Honeyberries are also used to strengthen cell walls, anti-inflammatory, astringent and diuretic.

A mixture of flowers and leaves can be used to treat diseases of the mouth and throat as well as cure skin diseases and burns.

Infusions are used in the edema of different origin, in diseases of the kidneys and bladder.

Broth of branches and bark can be used to treat dropsy.

Printable version of New research project studies dark fruit Article in Flathead Business Journal 8/25/14 (PDF)

New research project studies dark fruits

Flathead Business Journal 

Monday, August 25, 2014

By RYAN MURRAY Flathead Business Journal

Thanks to a grant from the Montana Department of Agriculture, Flathead residents may get to experience some unusual fruits. The $119,000 grant will allow for the growth of small, dark fruits on the Flathead Valley Community College campus.Pat McGlynn, Montana State Uni-versity agriculture extension agent for Flathead County, said the fruits could be grown on a half acre and used by local businesses.“It seems like we add a new one every year,” she said. “We have the hop project, the cherries and the grapes.”The agricultural research projects, which have spanned several years, look at the feasibility of growing out-of-area crops in Northwest Montana. These include the hop farm south of Whitefish, which already has ben-efited local brewers. The other projects McGlynn mentioned, the sweet cherry research project and cold hardy grape project, are all bearing fruit as well.The fruits promoted in the most recent grant — 23 varieties of fruits such as red and black currants, sas-katoons, chokeberries, sour cherries, elderberries, goji berries, yellow rasp-berries and several other varieties — are small, dark, low in sugar and high in vitamin C.The fruit maintenance would be largely managed by Flathead Valley Community College Agriculture Pro-gram Director Heather Estrada and her staff and could be used in courses at the college.“It’s going to be great for the col-lege,” Estrada said. “I’ll be able to use my research background to teach stu-dents about scientific methods, collect-ing data and research protocols.”She said it was likely a graduate student from Montana State University would be collecting the official grant data, but FVCC’s agriculture program would be tasked with maintaining the research crops — getting valuable research experience in the process.The exact layout has yet to be deter-mined, but McGlynn thinks about 12 plants of each variety of fruit will be placed on the plot to get a good sam-pling. Some of the plants are more vine-like, others are small trees or shrubs.“When we wrote the pitch, we framed it as “superfoods,” or foods very high in antioxidants,” she said. “We’ll be testing for cancer-fighting possibilities. There is so much nutri-tion packed into a tiny berry.”The schedule for the dark fruits grant means that the first trial plants will not be planted until spring 2015 and won’t be harvested until 2017.“It will make a nice demonstration plot for farmers in the area,” Estrada said. “There are lots of interesting dark fruits coming, a lot of which I’ve never seen before.”McGlynn said she has talked to dis-tillers in the Flathead who are inter-ested in using the dark fruits to infuse liquors. The berries have too low a sugar content to distill, but can be made into syrups that distilleries are clamoring for.Research projects such as the small dark fruit grant will allow Flathead farmers to get new ideas about crops which might grow well in the short growing season, McGlynn added.

Printable version of Dark fruit begin at FVCC Article in the Daily Interlake Business Journal May 24, 2015 (PDF)

Dark fruit trials begin at FVCC



The Daily Inter Lake

The quest to develop alternative agricultural crops in Flathead County continued last week with a new dark fruit research plot planted at Flathead Valley Community

College. The study is a collaborative effort between FVCC and Montana State University. It follows on the heels of similar research studies of cherries, grapes

and hops, shepherded by the Flathead County Extension Office to help local farmers increase profits. “There are over 85,000 parcels of land in Flathead County that are

between 5 and 10 acres, MSU Flathead County Extension Agent Pat McGlynn pointed out. “These smaller-acreage landowners are looking for innovative ideas to

maintain their agricultural landscape. They need something nontraditional with higher value. “You can’t grow a 10-acre wheat field and have all equipment needed for that, so I’m looking for crops that fit with our new landscape,” McGlynn said.

“I am excited about the potential for growing considerable acreage in small, dark fruits. These plants are coldtolerant, do not require expensive infrastructure and can produce within the first two to three years.” During a Made in Montana assembly at

the state capitol three years ago, McGlynn interviewed a number of business owners about the fruits used in their products. Barbecue sauces, wines, ice cream, granola mixes, cookies, jams, jellies, salsas and candies are being assembled in Montana, but the fruit was purchased out of state. “The quantity of fruit needed was just not available in state,” she said. “Here was an opportunity for Flathead

farmers to grow high-value fruit and sell to Montana businesses eager to buy local ingredients. Many of the small dark fruits grow in extremely frigid temperatures from North American into Canada, some in Northern Europe. Small dark fruit in the MSU/FVCC study include Saskatoons, black and red currants, aronias, shrub cherries,

haskaps, elderberries and gogi berries. The fruits can be juiced, dehydrated, used fresh, made into jams and jellies and maintain their health benefits, McGlynn said.

“I do not anticipate issues with cold hardiness. It will be most informative to study

the economics of these crops,” she said. “How many tons per acre can we achieve, what harvesting equipment will be needed, will businesses contract with growers to obtain local ingredients and what type of processing will be needed? The bottom

line is, does it make money for the grower?” Through the coldhardy wine grape

research trials initiated by McGlynn locally in 2012, growers learned where wine grapes can be grown profitably in Montana. “This allows growers to make a profit

and wineries to purchase local fruit,” she said. “The new hybrids developed in Minnesota made that a possibility.” Heather Estrada and Julian Cunningham, instructors of the integrated agriculture and food systems curriculum at FVCC, will use the dark fruit study as a learning lab for their students. “I am thrilled to have

the research located at FVCC where there will be no accidental herbicide drift,” McGlynn said, citing the challenges of conducting on-farm horticulture studies. “Fertilizer recommendations will be followed and fruit will be removed when

appropriate.” McGlynn had intended to start the dark fruit study in 2013 when

the hops project jumped ahead in priority. She said she’s now glad she waited because there are similar trials underway in Helena, Bozeman and Corvallis.

“It’s a benefit to our region and to the state to have these trials located across Montana and to be able to pool our expertise,” she said. The small, dark fruits

in the trials are considered “super foods.” The anti-oxidant and vitamin benefits surpass almost all other fruit, McGlynn pointed out. Aronia, one of the plants in the study, is a native North American plant in high demand for its health benefits and natural disease fighting qualities.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or by email at


Printable version of Shining the Spotlight on Dark Fruits Article in Flathead Beacon May 25, 2015 (PDF)

Shining the Spotlight on Dark Fruits

New research plot at FVCC will test various fruits and berries for their growth and sale potential


It’s not unusual to find plants growing in the Flathead Valley Community College campus farm, but a new plot of small, dark fruits represents not only new growth in the land, but in a budding relationship between the college and the county extension office.

Continuing its work trying to help Flathead farmers find ways to increase their bottom lines, the Flathead County Extension office, led by Pat McGlynn, began its trial plot of dark fruits two weeks ago at the FVCC agricultural fields.

It’s the first joint venture between the college and the extension office, and McGlynn said she’s looking forward to the research she’ll be able to do on a non-private farm.

“On-farm research can be a challenge, because people make mistakes,” she said.

Those mistakes could be accidentally spraying the wrong chemical on the plants, or watering issues, she said, and while they are a normal part of farming, an experimental plot at the college will allow her to work with farmers like Julian Cunningham and Heather Estrada, who understand research methodology.

Cunningham and Estrada are instructors in the college’s Integrated Agriculture and Food Systems program, which is entering its second growing season at FVCC. The farm he and his students and colleagues maintain is organic and under constant scrutiny.

The small, dark fruit project will look into which types of these fruits – Saskatoons, black and red currants, aronias, shrub cherries, haskaps, elderberries and gogi berries – work best with the climate here, and which farmers could grow to expand their seasons and potentially their profits.

Many of the fruits and berries in the study are usually ripe by August and can be turned into value-added products, such as jams and liquor flavorings.

“These varieties have been improved upon, but they’re natural stock,” McGlynn said. “These should be a choice of fruit crop when people want to grow cherries but they’re not closer to (Flathead) lake.”

The fruits are hardy and easy to grow, not requiring much infrastructure in the form of irrigation or wiring to hold the plants up, and the produce fruit within two to three years.

“Somebody could grow these in their backyard and make their own juice,” she said. The health benefits are also important to consider. Anthocyanins like these plants produce low-sugar fruits that are high in antioxidants, which can combat cardiovascular disease and many types of cancers.

“I’ve been so excited about these because of the health benefits,” McGlynn said.

There’s a symbiotic relationship between the plot and the school, Cunningham said, because not only will the students learn about proper research practices, but the FVCC culinary program has also voiced interest in using the fruits grown there.

“We are a community college, and a purpose we can serve in the community is to try things that have merit,” Cunningham said.

The research plot contains nine beds of fruit, planted randomly, taking up about one-fifth of an acre. McGlynn said the plants won’t be allowed to grow fruit this summer to focus on whole plant growth, but should be providing fruit in the next couple of years.

There are also plots in Bozeman, Helena, and Corvallis, allowing the research team to compare the data and figure out which fruit works the best in each location.

At FVCC, the plot will provide data and fruit, but also the opportunity to educate, which McGlynn and Cunningham said is one of their biggest, shared goals.

“We will be using it for educational workshops and training,” McGlynn said.

Flathead Beacon