This 500 m2, drip-irrigated orchard was planted in spring 2014, and contains Saskatoon, raspberries and Haskap from the University of Saskatchewan fruit breeding program. Raspberries produced berries in 2014, while the other berries will take several years before significant production begins. By August 2015 the raspberries had filled the entire row allotted to them.A good crop of raspberries were harvested in 2015 as well as a few Saskatoon berries. No Haskap yet, but all plants survived their first winter.
2016 update, The Hascaps produced their first crop of berries. These are early berries ready July 1, with a relatively short season. The shrubs added quite a bit of volume this year, so next year's crop should be significant. The Saskatoons were severely defoliated by the tent caterpillars and did not produce well. The plants seem to have survived though. Many, many raspberries this year.
The orchard was planted by Ecology North, and was funded by the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAF) with support of the Territorial Farmers Association. It will be maintained by the YCGC.
Ecology North began a project in 2010 to investigate the potential of commercial berry production in the area of Yellowknife, Dettah, and N'dilo. The final Phase I report from the project is available here on the YCGC website. As part of that project, Ecology North planned a demonstration berry orchard to promote the production of local berries and gain knowledge about the yield and winter hardiness of berry species. YCGC partnered with Ecology North in this endeavour, and will ensure that the orchard benefits Yellowknife residents for many years to come. Berries in the orchard will be available for picking by any residents of Yellowknife or anyone visiting the City.
In 2015 weeding (with berries and ice cream) sessions were organised each month where most weeds near the plants were removed. Occasionally the weed wacker was used between the rows. Strips of landscaping fabric were laid out along the rows to contain the raspberries and discourage weeds.
Specific details on plants chosen for this orchard are given below:
June 8, 2015
August 14, 2015