Tag Archives: cherries
This weekend was the annual Summertime Country Drive (a collection of 25 central Alberta farms & attractions). One of the destinations along the way was Prairie Perfect Orchards – a brand new fruit farm featuring cherries, honeyberries, and apples. Although this was just their first year open to the public, they easily win the “Best Presentation Award”. Their grounds are beautifully landscaped and well kept, facilities are clean, there are attractive signs everywhere so you never get lost – and even the grass was weed free!
First impressions were great. As I stated above, everything was beautiful. After we parked we walked towards the main building and were cheerfully greeted by the owners. Although we caught them between seasons (too late for honeyberries, and about a week too early for cherries), they offered us samples of cherry sauce [for ice cream and such], cherry jelly, and a delightful rhubarb beverage. We also got a tour of the apple orchard and the cherry orchard.
The apple orchard [pictured above] was not yet in production, but it is expected to come online by 2010. Our host named a half a dozen+ varieties that he was growing – all the best apples that grow in this part of the world. I’ll be interested to check out this orchard again in a couple of years.
The cherry orchard was beautiful – with cherries just dripping off the young plants. There are at least five varieties that I remember – the Romance Series cherries that were recently developed at the University of Saskatchewan. They are just four years old now (I believe) and will be ready for the picking in about a week’s time through to autumn.
A Final Word
Although I’ve never yet picked a single berry at Prairie Perfect Orchards, I certainly plan to. If your looking for cherries in the central Alberta area, this is the place to go. And if you’ve never been to a upick farm before, this would be a great place to be introduced. Their pristine property feels more like a park than a farm and I feel they will only improve with time.
Want to Visit Prairie Perfect Orchards?
Here’s what you need to know:
From QE#2 take the Cottonwood Road exit (just south of Innisfail), travel west to RR#14, north 2 miles (3.3 kms.) to Twp. Road 354, west 1.8 kms. to the orchard on the north side of the road.
Cherries, Honeyberries (and soon apples…)
Not sure – I’ll update when I go pick cherries!
You can call (403) 227-1301 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
When I was a kid growing up in central Alberta, I was pretty sure that all good fruit came out of B.C. True, I we had raspberries and strawberries on the farm, but apples, plums, cherries, grapes and the like where all “exotic” fruit that simply didn’t grow in Alberta. How mistaken I was! Or at least, how things have changed! I never would have thought that I could be growing plums, grapes and kiwis just outside of Red Deer, Alberta. But it’s true. There is a whole world of hardy fruit plants that can survive and even thrive on the northern prairies.
So if you’re looking to grow some “exotic” fruit of your own, here’s my list of 17 hardy fruits that you can grow on the prairies.
The University of Saskatchewan has really done great work in making cherries a viable prairie fruit. I now know of at least 10 varieties that are available. (I personally have 7 varieties.)
This fantastic fruit is amazing! Consider this… Can withstand -47 degree weather, ready for picking by the end of June, can produce 7 kgs of fruit per bush, and tastes great! Take a look at this article I wrote about haskap earlier.
Yup, that’s right. Grapes in Alberta. Valient is the most common variety, but there are others as well. I’ve had mine for two years now, so I’ll be looking forward to my first harvest soon.