Press-Republican

August 18, 2013

Farm briefs: Aug. 18, 2013


Press-Republican

Willsboro Farm getting Juneberry nursery

WILLSBORO — Northern New York is getting on the Juneberry super fruit bandwagon. With funding from the farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, one of the largest Juneberry research nurseries will be established at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm.

Juneberry, scientifically known as amelanchier, pronounced ama-lan-cheer, is a blueberry-like fruit noted for its antioxidant and nutritional value. The fruit is rich in iron, calcium, manganese, protein and fiber.

Cornell Willsboro Research Farm Manager Michael Davis is excited to see how well Juneberries will grow in the Northern New York climate and is participating in a multi-state project evaluating opportunities for the Northeastern U.S. production of the berries.

“Juneberry is grown in the western U.S. and Canada as Saskatoon berry. In the Eastern U.S. and Canada, it grows in the coastal states stretching from Virginia north to Maine and in Nova Scotia,” Davis says.

“The multi-state project team is collecting wild cuttings and seeds in multiple states and Canada for a genomic database and the development of lines suitable for production in the Northeast,” Davis said.

The plants flower from March into May and produce fruit in June and July. It reproduces by self-fertilization. While the plants prefer sandy coastal habitats, it has also been known to grow in New York in woodland and forest openings, pine barrens, dry open areas and pond margins.

Juneberry is a New York State endangered species with populations on Long Island and Staten Island.

The crop is part of North American history as native peoples often incorporated Juneberries into pemmican, a high-energy mix of available meat and fruits. The name Amelanchier Nantucketensis derives from a description by botanist Eugene Bicknell of plants growing on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts in 1911.

“As a June-July harvest crop, Juneberry would produce revenues early in the growing season for producers. Juneberry could prove to be a super fruit not only nutritionally, but economically for Northern New York growers,” Davis said. The first commercial-scale crop is expected at the Willsboro farm in 2015.

Vegetable growers invited to field meeting

WILLSBORO — Cornell Cooperative Extension invites commercial vegetable growers to a field meeting at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday. Featured speakers will be Judson Reid, vegetable and high tunnel specialist from Cornell University, along with Michael Davis, manager of the research farm and Amy Ivy, commercial horticulture educator.

The program will include a tour and discussion of the ongoing research trials on tomato production in tunnels as well as a visit to a nearby commercial grower.

The theme of the program is commercial tomato production in tunnels including organic and conventional practices. Topics for discussion will include varietal disease resistance, leaf mold (a disease particular to tunnel production), trellising and training for best yield and management, and considerations when growing indeterminate versus determinate varieties.

Registration is requested by email to Amy Ivy, adi2@cornell.edu, or by calling 570-5991. The meeting is free and open to the public and is funded in part by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (www.nnyagdev.org).

New ad campaign promoting wineries

ALBANY — A new television ad campaign to promote New York State’s award-winning wines and further grow the Taste NY experience will be launched, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The 30-second ad was developed in response to input received at the State’s Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit where the governor pledged to support New York’s position as a leader in wine production and boost tourism to grow the economy upstate. Cuomo premiered the television ad at the Governor’s Cup Wine Tour and Competition awards ceremony.

At the ceremony, the governor also announced Keuka Spring Vineyard’s 2012 Riesling of the Finger Lakes region won this year’s Governor’s Cup, a large silver chalice, recognizing the Best of Show or top prize from more than 800 entries in the annual New York Wine & Food Classic wine competition. In addition, McCall Wines from Long Island won the Winery of the Year award.

“New York’s wine industry supports thousands of jobs across the state and is an important partner to our agricultural and tourism industries,” Cuomo said. “Our promotional efforts — including this ad campaign as well as initiatives like Taste NY and special wine events — are putting New York’s wine products on a national and international stage. Our local wineries are producing truly world-class wines, and we want these businesses to thrive and people to enjoy a taste of New York.”