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Category: New Plant Discoveries

Commercializing the Thimbleberry: The Cultivation of a Wild Plant

The thimbleberry represents one of those plants with a certain mystique around it.  Many people throughout the world know this plant in its northern arboreal habitats as well as in mountainous regions within the United States. It is one of many of circumpolar plants found on many continents. Yet no one cultivates it. Why would …

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Dude, what happened to your corn?

It all started with jury duty. In this case, it was purgatory with magazines. The waiting room was stacked with magazines as it was the era before cell phones.  A Smithsonian article on corn and its possible origins caught my attention. I dove in. Apparently a scientist discovered a species of grass unrelated to corn …

Category: New Plant Discoveries

The Thicket Bean Makes a Return to Michigan

Last seen on Belle Isle, Michigan in 1896, the thicket bean established itself in the thickets of this island in the middle of the Detroit River. It was never seen again. “If native, this was surely at the northern edge of the range for this species” wrote Edward G. Voss in Michigan Flora Part 2 …

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Perpetual Potato Harvest, New Sunchoke Varieties, Seed Crops are In

New seed crops as well as our newest perennial vegetables are available this fall yet and next spring.

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Perennial Beans-One small bean is a giant among bean plants.

When the giant of all beans reaches new heights unseen of by modern society, then it’s natural to find out why something so ancient was used so extensively.

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Tiny Tuber On The Run Saves the World

The hog peanut is an unassuming plant of immense importance producing a delicious small tuber.

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Shining a Light on Blight: PART 2

More on the people behind the plants and the origins of blight  and a series of solutions that develop as a result… (To read Part 1, click here). The Plum Guy The Story Behind the Plant:  Ralph loved the idea of a tree crop farm. Having worked in the paper industry his whole life, he …

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Shining a Light on Blight: PART 1

Chestnuts: Immune to Blight In 2010, we received an email from a long-time customer who conducted some research he had done on our trees. The research used a group of hybrid American Chestnut trees from our farm, (namely Timburr American Hybrid Chestnut and Ken’s Select Hybrids), to determine the amount of blight resistance and cold tolerance. …

Category: New Plant Discoveries

In praise of discovery and the spirit of sharing

Recently at Oikos Tree Crops we have been reflecting on some inspiring stories of plants and people we admire for various reasons. Here are three short stories we think you will enjoy. Mirabelle Plums represent one of the most widely distributed and highly coveted plums throughout the world. Part of the mystique is its label as …

Category: New Plant Discoveries

Growing Thimbleberries – More than a Raspberry

Of all the so called ‘wild plants’ I have grown under cultivation, there was no greater mystery for me than that of the thimbleberry. This species of raspberry like almost all Rubus is highly vigorous, produces a fair amount of flowers and beautiful dark green maple-like leaves. Collecting them on my up north vacations with …