PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — PBS television affiliate Mountain Lakes PBS in Plattsburgh, N.Y., highlighted the first Juneberry research nursery in New York State in a late August broadcast of its weekly news magazine Mountain Lake Journal. The research site was established with funding from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.
Amelanchier is the scientific name for Juneberry, considered a “super fruit” for its antioxidant value. The Juneberry research nursery at Willsboro represents one of the largest living collections of Amelanchier varieties in the U.S.
A grant from the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) providing research and technical assistance to farms in the six northernmost counties of New York State established the Juneberry nursery at the Willsboro Research Farm. The farm is a Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.
“The farmers who review grant requests to the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program put value on the potential of Juneberry to become a significant new fruit crop for regional growers,” says NNYADP Co-Chair Jon Rulfs.
Mountain Lake PBS Senior Producer Thom Hallock says, “We wanted to feature this research and the Willsboro Farm Juneberry nursery to give our viewers a look into the fascinating work that is going on to develop several varieties of Juneberries for commercial scale production that may, in the not-too-distant future, be available at farmers markets across New York State.”
Hallock interviewed Juneberry project leaders Michael B. Burgess, Ph.D., a botanist and an assistant professor of biology at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and Willsboro Farm Manager Michael H. Davis, Ph.D.
To start the project, Burgess and Davis collected cultivars of wild Juneberry growing in multiple states in 2013 and 2014. Burgess grew the cuttings out in the greenhouse laboratory at SUNY Plattsburgh for transplant to the new nursery site at Willsboro. The nursery also includes commercially-available varieties of Juneberry.
Farms in the Northern New York region have also begun adding on-farm Juneberry plantings.
The Associated Press and such publications as Fruit Growers News, Nursery Management, Producer Grower, and the international Horti-Daily have also reported on the progress of the Northern New York-based Juneberry research.
Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
More information is online on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.
Mountain Lake PBS has been the public media station for the Adirondacks and Champlain Valley regions for more than 40 years. Its reach includes audiences in New York and Vermont, and Quebec and Ontario, Canada. Mountain Lake Journal airs on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 10 a.m., and on all the Mountain Lake PBS social media platforms. Learn more at www.mountainlake.org.
–Northern New York Agricultural Development Program
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