Angela Maas

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since Nov 12, 2018
Growing fruit and perennials in Minnesota for decades. On the hunt for improved fruit varieties and better honey bee practices. 
Minnesota zone 4a
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Recent posts by Angela Maas

We have been battling deer flies on our property with some success but have not solved it completely
How to Keep Deer Flies from Biting without chemicals

Please keep up updated on this forum as new ideas get posted. We would like to keep goats in the future and need more safe ideas to keep them from being attacked.
1 year ago
I have found the herbs and mints to get the most traffic from pollinators on our farm. Also the flowering trees like fruit trees, linden, sumacs, dogwoods, maples. Lemon balm is a hit and it has a bunch of side benefits Lemon Balm for Weight Loss and Skin Aging
1 year ago
Sorry - I dont know the answer about being able to cross pollinate.
2 years ago
In our experience, the Illinois everbearing does not produce viable seeds but it can be propagated by air layering and by cuttings.

The wild mulberry produces many viable seeds but the fruit is not always as nice.

Best of luck
2 years ago
We are growing 12 acres of native prairie and many acres of fruit trees, shrubs and other pollinator friendly plants.

When we first bought our property it was a rundown rye field and horse pasture littered with trash. We saw one bumblebee the first year. Now we see bees of all kinds and many, many birds and butterflies.

It helps to remember that all restoration takes time and little improvements add up.

You can keep track of our progress at
2 years ago
Great list. Here a few more we grow in zone 4a

Mountain Ash
American Linden (edible leaves, flowers and nutlets)
Black locust (edible flowers)
Maple trees (edible samaras and sap=syrup)
Elm trees (edible samaras)
Wild black cherry
Wild American plum
Grapes - riverbank grows wild but there are many great cold hardy varieties - bluebell, niagra and somerset are reliable
Staghorn and smooth sumac
The bush cherries - romance series are tasty
Beach plum
Wild dew berries
Pin cherry

You may want to look into the edible perennials too and some wild perennials.  

A few to start:
Stinging nettles
Ohio spiderwort
Common milkweed
Eastern prickly pear cactus
Onion chives
Garlic chives
Egyptian walking onions
Ground nuts
Wild rice

2 years ago
We grow beach plums in Minnesota - zone 4a sand plains. In our climate they look and taste similar to our wild american plums - but....they are WAY smaller. Short little babies. Our American plums can get up to 15 feet tall - most being around 10ft. The beach plums seems to top out at 3 feet or so.

Jason Hernandez is correct - coyote (and bear) scat is loaded with wild plum seeds. I have not seen them "digested" or otherwise opened in the scat, but they do come out whole. In our experience, it can take cold 2 seasons (cold/hot/cold) for a plum seed to germinate, but we do not open the pits to free the seeds.

All of these native plums are worth growing. They are cold hardy, drought tolerant, and tasty.
2 years ago
New information is coming out on a safe method of killing fruit flies (specifically spotted wing drosophila but I believe this is applicable to all drosophila). It turns out they are attracted to the erythritol in truvia - a stevia sweetner and that when they drink it it shuts them down. They slowly lose their functions and die with a few days. Fruit flies are tremendously "fruitful" and can produce many offspring in just a day or two, but with their bodies shutting down, I would imagine it would severely limit their reproductive success. Definitely worth a try!

As far as groupings... If they are in the same 1 acre space, bees should adequately pollinate them. We group our orchard trees together for picking and asthetic reasons - we site according to harvest date, tree height, and fall leaf color.  If you had mechanical equipment coming through, that may also effect your choice.
2 years ago
Good to know! And isn't crazy that in 2018 we are still discovering and uncovering this helpful molecules? That just goes to show how complicated our biological systems are. We have only a surface knowledge of all that is going on. For that reason - continue to follow nature's cues. Eat a variety of whole, real foods.

This is one of the reasons (taste also being an important reason! LOL) that we grow a variety of rare foods plants on our farm. There are so many delicious things out there that you will not find in a grocery store. For all the American growers out there - look into some of the native plants we have that produce good quality food - american plum, hackberry, pawpaw, gooseberry, ground cherry, red ochre, nannyberry, nanking cherry, garlic chives, autumn olive, currants, black rasperries, pecans. Aside from pecans, how often do you] see any of the fruit from these plants in the grocery store? Rarely if ever. There is a lot of tasty, healthy stuff out there. We have no idea what we are missing by missing out on some of these varieties.  
2 years ago
Wow. That photo is amazing!!! My goal is to have at least a few corners of our farm look like that. Just wow.
2 years ago