[nafex] New Member

Dean Kreutzer deankreutzer at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 14 08:06:30 EST 2001

Hello everyone,

My name is Dean Kreutzer, and I'm from Regina, Saskatchewan Canada, which is 
about 5 hours north west of Minot, ND.

My wife and I have started an organic fruit orchard of tart cherries, 
apricots, plums, pears, apples and raspberries.  Why organic?  Well, we 
believe in it, and we sort of fell into it actually....Due to our zone 2b 
(USDA zone 2/3) climate, we had to seriously mulch(landscape fabric & wood 
chips) most of our trees in order to give it a good chance of survival.  In 
doing so, we have eliminated the need for herbicide usage.  Fungus and 
diseases are not much of a problem because of our arid and very windy 
conditions.  Pests, besides grasshoppers, are not much of a problem because 
of our harsh climate.  So it seems that we are in a relatively perfect 
location for growing organic, if we can find plants to survive, that is.

I have spent this year going to horticulture school, and acquiring plant 
germplasm to do breeding in the spring with apricots, plums, grapes, and 
pears.  The is my personal goal, to breed high quality fruit, that can be 
successfully grown here.  Quite the goals, but I have the determination to 
fulfill it.  I have also begun to accumulate pear and plum scions for 
grafting and budding onto dwarf rootstocks.  The pears will be grafted on 
Amelanchier (Saskatoon/Juneberry) rootstock, and the plums on a Prunus 
Besseyi(Sandcherry).  So I am always on the lookout for new germplasm that I 
have not yet collected.

We have also travelled to 4 different areas of North America to learn how 
different people combat different problems.  While visiting Minnesota, we 
grately enjoyed the Alderman plum, as we feel it was superior to anything we 
have tried in the supermarket.

We are also cooperators with the U of S horticulture department, which 
enables us to be a test plot for the latest hybrids of fruit that the U of S 
have produced.  The have specialized in tart cherries and apples, which they 
have released two cultivars in 1998, the SK Carmine Jewel cherry and the 
Prairie Sun apple.  The Carmine Jewel cherry is a hybrid between a selection 
of superior mongolian cherry and the Northstar cherry, which many of you are 
probably familiar with, as it was released out of Minnesota in the 1950's I 
believe.  The fruit is a little smaller than the Northstar, about 4 grams in 
weight, with a very small, very round pit, which is good for a pitting 
machine.  The flesh is red, as is the juice, and the taste is great (taste 
is a relative thing however!)  It ripens at the end of July here, and can 
stay on the tree for a few weeks.  The U of S will be releasing probably at 
least 2 other cultivars next year which offer a larger size (5 gram) cherry, 
which is very exciting.  I can hardly wait until the seedlings we planted 
this year produce fruit in 3 years!

Sorry for the length, but if anyone has any questions or comments, please 
don't hesitate to email!

Dean Kreutzer
Zone 2b

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