New owners thriving at Linden fruit farm
Posted By Ted Meseyton, From the Garden
Posted 1 month ago
Meseyton Submitted photo...Karen and Philip Ronald show a potted tumbler
tomato and castor bean, available at their Riverbend Orchards Greenhouse.
If there s an annual that s close to a tree, castor bean has gotta be the
one, Philip commented. The Singing Gardener refers to castor bean
(Ricinus) as the Canadian tropical palm tree. Some varieties can grow 3
metres (8-10 feet) in a single season.
We've all heard the expression "there's a new kid on the
block." Well, there's a new greenhouse on the block at Riverbend Orchards on Old
Bridge Road, leading off Highway 240, in the southern fringe of Portage la
… to Philip and Karen Ronald. They acquired the former Linden saskatoon and
raspberry fruit farm a year ago and named it Riverbend Orchards. This past
winter, they put up 1,500 square feet of greenhouse growing space that's now
chock full of plants.
"I hope we've got some of the tomato varieties gardeners are looking for,"
Philip said, pointing out that beefsteak was always a personal favourite of his
"since I was a kid." Philip spieled off names such as Big Beef and Better Boy,
as well as Rutgers, Tiny Tim and Tumblers in patio containers. Some are already
Along with tomatoes
… are started vining plants such as cucumbers, watermelons, muskmelon and
squash. Further, there's eggplant, cauliflower, sweet and hot peppers. On the
floral side, Philip directed my attention to a selection of flowering annuals
such as marigolds, petunias, Early Splendour amaranthus, geraniums, nicotiana,
and snapdragons plus colourful, edible ornamental Swiss chard. Some herbs such
as coriander, lemon balm, Rosemary, oregano, and parsley are also on hand.
Potted Oriental lilies
… are on the bill of fare too. But, as Philip explained "mostly what we've
done this year is focused on flowering annuals and vegetables. This will be a
year to find out what people are looking for."
Two new varieties of Haskap honeyberry named Tundra and Borealis will be
going into the field for berry production on the orchard site. Both are
introductions from the University of Saskatchewan. Blackberries and other fruits
are also being cold hardy tested at Riverbend Orchards.
Spring leafing out … A weather poem
This is a poem I like to share with my readers from time to time.
If the oak is out before the ash,
We will only get a splash;
If the ash is out before the oak,
We will surely get a soak.
The last two lines of this tree leafing out poem appear to merit a good
measure of accuracy this spring; at least in many parts of western Canada,
including Portage la Prairie. We won't soon forget the deluge of late April and
early May rain and/or snow, depending on where you are.
There would be few songbirds in the trees if there were only those that sang
Ted Meseyton is the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la
Prairie. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org