Current Varietal Trials

Currently (2020-21) we are running a number of trials:

Grapes:
  • Currently looking at water needs and why all roots on most varieties that form in the top 8 inches of soil die each year. Looking to start breeding program that focuses on increasing genetic contribution from Manitoba V. riparia and V. amurensis. Possibility of grafting all varieties onto a sufficiently hardy rootstock.
Blackberries:
  • Ongoing winter protection trials aimed at increasing cane survivability. Complicated by fact that protection increases lygus bug survivability. Lygus bugs damage currant, grape, blackberry, and peony flowers.
Goji berries:
  • Aimed at increasing plant vigor.
Honeyberries:
  • Ongoing ripening trials. Compared to the Interior lowlands, the honeyberries on the farm tend to ripen 4 weeks or more later. Thus, they ripen in the cooler fall temperatures, which slows ripening and contributes more flavor to the berries. Sugar levels are also significantly higher. However, this also means that the later ripening varieties struggle to ripen fully before the weather turns cold in the fall.
  • We have identified a chance honeyberry seedling that germinated about 3 years ago (unbeknownst to us) from an unknown cross. One parent may have been Borealis or Tundra. At the time, we had a number of other varieties scattered around the farm. We will continue to monitor this seedling for possible use in wine.
Currants:
  • Identify most reliably productive black currant varieties (Blackdown, Minaj Smyriou, Risager, Slitsa)
  • Increasing productivity of Swedish White Currant 1301 for wine production
Flowers:
  • Hydrangeas – Anabelle types
  • Clematis – The President does very well here, flowering fairly early and consistently each season.
  • Fall-planted snapdragons
  • Lilies: species, tiger, asiatic
  • Spring bulb forcing (tulips, daffodils, hyacinth) for early spring flower sales