The Montana berry industry is thriving. With the demand for locally grown fruit steadily increasing, growers struggle to produce enough supply. Montana Berry Growers Association (MTBGA) aims to connect, support, and assist berry growers throughout the state as they develop their businesses, and the market continues to expand. Growers such as Melissa Allred of Aspen Grove Farms, Gillian Thornton Andrews of Thunder Road Farms, and Zach Miller of Western Montana Agricultural Research Center are reaping the benefits of their own hard work, Montanans love of fresh berries, and MTBGA’s collaborative network.
We visited with Melissa, Gillian, and Zach to learn about the growing berry industry, why they’re so excited about their fruit, and the exciting changes that are happening in the Montana berry market, such as the increasing popularity of honeyberries.
You may be asking, “what is a honeyberry? Honeyberries, (sometimes known as haskaps) are a super fruit that is rich in antioxidants and phenols. They are a hardy deciduous shrub that are native to the Northern Hemisphere and have only recently been bred for cultivation. Remarkably cold tolerant, the Honeyberry is uniquely suited to the harsh mountain climate.
Melissa cultivates four different varieties on their six acre farm. Honeyberries have a unique sweet tart flavor that could be described as a combination of raspberry and blueberry, with hint of wild, reminiscent of its native relatives. The berries are incredible eaten fresh, in smoothies, in your favorite recipes or of course, in tasty honeyberry jams and syrups.
Listen to what Mellissa, Gillian, and Zach have to say about honeyberries, strawberries, and other types of berries, in the video above!
Shot in Corvallis and Arlee, MT
Special thanks: Gillian Thornton Andrews, Melissa Allred, and Zach Miller
Video By: Anthony Pavkovich
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