LOON CREEK SASKATOONS
Tyler Weisbrod became a fruit grower almost by accident. Working for his parents Stan and Kathy on their bison and grain farm, he learned that it was valuable to try new things. At just 17 he decided to plant some Saskatoon trees in his family’s farmyard, near Cupar mostly out of curiosity. The next year he ended up planting ten acres of the trees, another ten and so on.
Now he has more than ten thousand dollars invested and he’s working hard to get those trees to pay off. At 25, he’s a confirmed Saskatoon grower, and a fairly rare breed-only two of 17 boys in his high school graduating class are still on the farm.
His operation, Loon Creek Saskatoons is a family operation, but he makes most of the key decisions. Seventeen of the 20 acres are now producing fruit. Some of it is sold to a berry farm in Southey which processes saskatoons, and the balance are being sold through the Regina Farmer’s Market, and now through Local and Fresh.
Tyler is working on a saskatoon berry beverage he developed at the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre in Saskatoon. His goal is to develop a niche value-added market for his berries, like the juice he’s working on, rather than enter the usual jams and jellies market.
You’ll find Tyler in his orchard every day keeping tabs on insects and disease. He believes that a good weeding program is key to a good crop. He is now a director of the Saskatchewan Fruit Growers Association.