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Re: [nafex] Non-apple inquiry

Gord Hawkes wrote:

Thanks for your response Mr. Bunny.

My reply:

Wow...formality.   : )

Gord also wrote:

We are located in eastern Ontario,
Canada zone 5.  I wish I could say that we receive consistently good snow
coverage but unfortuneately our winters vary considerably from year to
year - last year we had virtually no snow - very hard on our garlic.  I
guess you could say our planting would be of a commercial endeavour but
small by commercial standards - we plan on both selling and processing
fruit.  We plan on mulching everything that we plant.  We also plan on
planting in sheltered spots.  I realize that blackberries will require
most winter protection and that all require acidic soil.

My reply:

A few thoughts.   

My experience with brambles is that the cold is not what really gets to
them, but the desiccation cause by the polar winds.   I was able to keep
my berries going when others could not(I use to live in the center of
about 15 square miles of corn fields, so the wind really got going in a
U.S. zone 4b)by providing wind breaks of brush and a conifer tree line.  
Bearing this in mind, brambles are usually delineated along a few
different lines.  One of the ways the nurseries market the brambles to
the growers is by contrasting the so called self supporting brambles from
those that trail.  IMHO, you want the trailing type.   In this manner it
should fairly easy to get them close to the ground, giving them more
protection.   The upright varieties tend to break when you try and force
them down.  

Below are a few suggestions.  Unfortunately I have no idea what is
available through Canadian nurseries.

For a winter hardy red raspberry fresh market variety try:

Reville  - (Early) It handles unstable winter temperatures, which is
indicative of a variety  that might  not need snow over.

Killarney -(Early) pretty good quality fruit and darn good winter

For a winter hardy red raspberry processing variety try:

Boyne - (Early) a very winter hardy raspberry.  Boyne is usually
considered a bit soft but it processes well.

Another Red that is good for both the fresh market and for freezing as
opposed to processing is a Nova Scotia variety called Nova.   It is a
late season variety.

As a fail safe another Red from Nova Scotia is worth considering:  K81-6.
  It is very winter hardy, and productive.    The quality is mediocre,
but it is dependable.

Latham(mid to late) is an old stand-by and extremely winter hardy.    It
is susceptible to about everything but I think it actually enjoys the
cold   : )

On the ever-bearing side try Autumn Bliss and its sister Autumn Britten. 
    Britten ships extremely well and packs well and has great taste.   I
am growing it myself and am very pleased.  You can grow these as an
extremely early berry or play around with the fall crop.  Redwing is
another good option and can take the cold as well as Summit.

You might also try Fall Gold and see if you can get it to take.  If it
makes it you will have no trouble selling them.

On the blackberries Illinois Hardy is a thorny option of medium quality
but good flavor.

The blue berries are easy:

Northland: 3 to 4 feet, small berry
Northblue: 20-30 inches, large size berry
Northcountry: 18-24 inches, medium size berry 
Northsky: 10-18 inches, small berry size

All of them are great, although Northsky, Nothland, and Northblue have it
over Northcountry for flavor.  

It is difficult to sell the Northsky and Northland unless you give out
taste tests.  They are fairly easy to sell to premium bakeries, delis,
and specialty restaurants though. 

I haven't had any luck with lingonberries for some reason I have yet to
get a handle on, and they seem to be expensive to experiment with.

I hope this helps.

Very truly yours in growing delicious things,

				the fluffy bunny

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