• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Nicole Alderman
stewards:
  • Mike Haasl
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • John F Dean
  • Rob Lineberger
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
gardeners:
  • Greg Martin
  • Ash Jackson
  • Jordan Holland

Pics from Jeff’s new berry farm in north Idaho. Need help choosing high-producing berries

 
Posts: 5
1
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi All,
I’m looking for a mentor for my new project. Plans are to initially develop 1 acre of my 20 in North Idaho into a berry and herb farm that will provide ingredients for jams, jellies,  infused oils and vinegars.  It needs to be a niche product so I will avoid blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries other than for personal consumption.  The emphasis is on high health-value berries like sea berries or currants, etc.  I’m looking for recommendations on plant material as well as spacing and placement.  It’s a north-facing parcel in zone 6 but I’m planning for zone 4.  I’m hoping for feedback from designers or others with experience in this climate/plant combination.  

Cheers and happy growing!
01790573-93C4-4DA5-8174-DA91761C7176.jpeg
The farm in winter
The farm in winter
3FD14F38-B525-4583-9F63-88D85CACD243.jpeg
Berry bed and orchard layout
Berry bed and orchard layout
908BDDC4-4700-41B5-B08C-96574066206B.jpeg
Just after stump removal this fall
Just after stump removal this fall
E787E0C2-D82E-45A7-A2FB-E733B0719F73.jpeg
The last of the work before snow
The last of the work before snow
8CBBE0D3-BF3A-4FD9-9C68-48F6EFC01E35.jpeg
So looking forward to spring and the return of green!
So looking forward to spring and the return of green!
 
Posts: 12
Location: PNW Columbia Gorge
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jeff McClintock wrote:Hi All,
I’m looking for a mentor for my new project. Plans are to initially develop 1 acre of my 20 in North Idaho into a berry and herb farm that will provide ingredients for jams, jellies,  infused oils and vinegars.  It needs to be a niche product so I will avoid blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries other than for personal consumption.  The emphasis is on high health-value berries like sea berries or currants, etc.  I’m looking for recommendations on plant material as well as spacing and placement.  It’s a north-facing parcel in zone 6 but I’m planning for zone 4.  I’m hoping for feedback from designers or others with experience in this climate/plant combination.  

Cheers and happy growing!


If your going for niche Sea Berry would be valuable. Its easy to propagate them so you should be able to raise your own to save money. Its hard to harvest but the product is worth it. Since your planning to do do added value product you should do well.
 
Posts: 41
Location: Ontario zone 4b/5a
13
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jeff,

You might consider looking into haskaps. Unfortunately I haven't tried growing them myself yet but I've been wanting to. Now, a farm near us lost almost their entire first crop to birds...so heads up on that. But the berries are still a very niche super fruit that is extremely cold hardy.  
 
Posts: 64
Location: Northport, NS. Canada
7
forest garden chicken homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've tried haskaps and really didn't like them. It's true because they are so early the birds will get most and the rest seem to drop off very easily and deteriorate quickly.
Here is a link to a very detailed catalog that should give some great ideas. It is Canadian but once you know what you want I'm sure you can find it more locally.

https://www.whiffletreefarmandnursery.ca/catalogue/
 
Jeff McClintock
Posts: 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you all for your replies.  I’m definitely thinking sea berries. As well as the following:
Red, black and golden currants
Lingonberries (though I don’t know how productive these are)
Guomi berries
Hardy kiwi
Gooseberries
Edible wintergreen
Wine grapes

I thought about then rejected autumn olive.  Even though they are highly productive, they are not in Idaho and are invasive.  

For trees I’m thinking a mix of apples, cherries, plums, pears, figs, hazelnuts, walnut and heartnut.

Matt was right about sea berries. I found a nursery that sells a bundle of 100 3-6 inch seedlings for $200

Also thinking hops and possibly some veggies for this year as most of the berry and tree plantings won’t bear fruit for awhile and I still have to pay the bills😊

Thank you, Lorne for the website!

As always, your input is gratefully received.

Jeff
 
Jeff McClintock
Posts: 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Forgot to add that I wonder if anyone has experience with bare root plants.  Here’s the issue:
I still have 2 feet of snow.  The nursery ships in April which is when snow usually clears off.  Lots of wet clay soil until may.  I have at least a week of prep work before I can plant so I’m concerned about timing.  
Anyone have experience pre-planting bate root plantsIn fiber pots?  
I have a big walk-in cooler I can use to help keep them dormant but then you have to keep them moist and with the size of the order that 9x12x9 cooler will be bulging at the seams so dragging them in and out doesn’t seem practical.
 
Lorne Martin
Posts: 64
Location: Northport, NS. Canada
7
forest garden chicken homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most plants are ok to plant in pots for up to 2-3 years. If it is only for a month or so they would be better put in the ground as a bunch. Make sure to open the bundle to get soil to all the roots. Choose a spot that is sheltered and mostly shaded and not water logged. When ready to replant remove them carefully as new roots may already be growing.
May your crops prosper.
 
pollinator
Posts: 120
Location: Central Indiana
22
kids books homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'll second you Jeff with the gooseberry choice.  Get a breed that makes larger berries and they are very productive, easy to propagate and typically they're picked green before the birds eat them.  They do have thorns but they can work good for edging because of it.
 
Nicky McGrath
Posts: 41
Location: Ontario zone 4b/5a
13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Jeff, just thought I'd share this info on planting bare root: How to plant bare rooted trees

We completely buggered up our first attempt at apple trees (clay soil). Hoping to do better at a second attempt sometime.
 
Jeff McClintock
Posts: 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for all the help!  My soil is clay-ish so the planting link was a real money saver.
 
Posts: 618
Location: Northern Maine, USA (zone 3b-4a)
57
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i highly recommend the romance series sour cherries from Canada they are vigorous bushes 6- 10ft. tall and produce huge amounts of cherries. i have 5 thriving in my heavy clay / rocky soil. they are also very disease resistant and cold hardy to z2. might consider hybrid hazelnuts but this depends how many squirrels you have there. mulberries are another option . i have 2 here illinois everbearing is a good productive one and is z4 hardy. i have black , red and white currants. i eat them off the bush but they really shine in jams and are very easy to grow from cuttings. so is elderberry. blackberries and raspberries sell well at farmers markets and bring a good price as well. they are pretty much maintenance free other than seasonal pruning . just some ideas. good luck Jeff! I'm jealous!
 
That's a very big dog. I think I want to go home now and hug this tiny ad:
Greenhouse of the Future ebook - now free for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/greenhouse
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic