A beautiful rainbow over the orchard!
our story

whats new

2018                                     mmm
Chapter 2
Welcome to our story! You may find it interesting - I know we did! And a lot of hard work in the sun and rain and cold but in the end very worthwhile.  So lets start somewhere near the beginning shall we. First there was talk about planting a few Sea Buckthorne trees for their great medicinal berries. Very hard to pick - big thorns (it's in the name) very tart and almost unknown. During our research we stumbled upon the U of S research into Haskap berries, Dr Bob and the great U of S crew, and so the adventure began. Soon there were haskap days to be attended in Saskatoon, propagators in Henribourg to be met and a thousand details to be arranged. The fact that it happened at all is a little miracle as you will see!

2018 - A very very big year!!

The farm - a few paintball fields, some U-pic Saskatoon bushes and
U-pic raspberries and the usual bin yard with a garden along the grid. 
But not for long..... look east....

Navigate to the year you prefer here!

Had to design labels to sell our awesome berries in the local

Started off 2018 thinking to put some frozen berries into
Nutters but plan didn't work  - but it did give Murray a
chance to do an amazing job developing the logo!

Apr 19 and the orchard still sleeping peacefully.......

At least the big Indigos caught lots of snow to help fill the dugout for irrigation later :)

In addition to developing and planting the orchard there is also the additional work of processing or packing equipment so here is the first of several sea cans we acquired for storage, etc.  Auctions are very helpful :)

Easy for Ritchie Bros to load but takes a little more creativity to unload with smaller equipment and juggling to get it into place:)  It's called a tractor dance.

If you look close you can see the tape applicator ready to splice the new roll onto the old.  This old machine still does the trick even though its been around for quite some time!  Just took some adjusting to get it set to properly keep the plastic nice and tight and the edges well buried!

Another view of the mulch layer with rows of Phase 2 on either side - some already plastic mulched.  Rows need to be very well rototilled to allow the discs to fold the loose dirt back over the edges of the plastic.

My view of mulching from the seat of the John Deere - oops -- not quite straight!!  We've also incorporated laying the drip tape as part of the operation instead of separate and you may notice it inside the chain showing on the hitch to keep it centered with it feeding off a roll hanging from the bucket!!


Having to do some repair on Phase 1.  VERY important to get edges of the plastic mulch well buried so the wind doesn't catch and rip it or do damage to your plants with it flapping around!
Learned much later that driving the quad repeatedly over the buried edges of the mulch packed the dirt down and it withstood much more abuse from the wind without coming loose. Lessons learned.......

Green leaves and many new blooms on new plants in Phase 2.  All we need now are the bees!  Did you know it takes 2 blooms to make 1 berry?  And that they have to be pollinated to produce fruit!

Considering that these 6 yr old Indigo's were literally ripped out of the ground last fall, stuffed in a trailer and then manipulated into the ground and in many cases split apart too -- it amazes me to see their resilience and that they have leaves and blooms this spring!!!!!!  May 19, 2018

The most important part of this pic is the hundreds of shutoff valves we now have as part of our irrigation system - but in this case just an example of necking down the end of a hose into a drip line shutoff valve.

Because some of our orders like the Auroras always come during the middle of seeding once again had to have Martin come and plant a few hundred more on Phase 2.  Learned the hard way we should have walked each row and straightened up any that weren't perfect because this causes trouble later as they grow. Check out the video here 37 Seconds!

Unfortunately our order for Martin to plant came frozen so having to thaw and prepare to speed up the process!

Phase 1 Auroras growing and blooming now that 2 years old!  Hard to believe just a twig a year ago.

Big rain storms filled our ditch between Phase 1 & 2 and emphasized why we didn't plant straight through - and had to leave enough turn around space for harvester in case it's wet during the picking season.

4 days later and the water is even higher!  It was another gloomy day caused by the smoke laden air from the forest fires in the north! That is the sun not the moon!

We've had some wicked weather but sometimes the clouds look neat!

You never know what might come out of something like this!

Making serious fruit even this small!

Transplanted Honey Bee thriving - a setback on new growth shoots but didn't seem to harm the plant itself!

Bird's eye view of Phase 2 from top of bins!

Caught Murray in front of 6 yr old Indigos transplanted last year - lots of leaves - amazingly doing well:)

I forgot to take a pic of van loaded but you get the idea --barely enough room left for drivers! This is a load of micro propagated plants from Young Plants Canada in Elrose, Saskatchewan, ready to put into phase 2.

A prime example of lots of potential on this Haskap with all those shoots !!

Loaded the quad trailer with half the order - ready for watering or to travel to the orchard for planting as time permits.

The rest of the Young Plants Canada order hardening off ready for planting as I have time.

Large order for 2018 from Young Plants Canada and their cloned plants.  Very hard work to plant the small ones on our hands and knees:)  Guard dog Bear oversees!

Looking back towards yard and Flatlands Paintball across both phase 1 in the foreground and phase 2.

Another storm coming -- sometimes it's hard to get the work done!

Storm just passed by - and a pretty rainbow!


1 to 4 hours a day for a couple weeks was spent transplanting - whatever time I had to spare from other farm duties as we were into the busy spraying season too!  Watch video here 26 seconds.

Notice the big leaves of new growth in the couple weeks since we've had our order - very healthy!

Still have to take care of Phase 1 even though hours a day working in Phase 2!

Varieties in the test plot showing origin of cultivar.

A prolific huge beauty that unfortunately is not ours but gives us inspiration for years to come!!


Then we decided might as well buy the plants and be part of the Variety Trials!  Some look very different in leaf color and shape. Quite a mix.

Raeanne planting the variety trial - several plants of many different varieties will be something to compare in a few years.

How else could we see some of the different varieties from other regions even though we think Dr. Bob's from the U. of S. are best:)))  Listing is above because it fit better there.

Just finishing up the phase 2 planting - lots of back breaking work!!

During Murray's drone flight he also caught us as part of the action standing in Phase 2 almost all planted!


On a calm day we flew Murray's drone for some aerial views!  Shows we added 2 high row of round bales to provide some windbreak to help out the bees flying during our windy spring days trying to pollinate our Haskaps!

View of Phase 1 with dugout in the background.

Sometimes you just need to stop the work and admire Mother Nature's beauty:)
Our dog Bull enjoying the peaceful evening after the storm passed!

And a beautiful sunsets marks the end of another busy day!

After another day spent enjoying the U of S Haskap Days - we were piped into the supper organized by Haskap Central Sales.  A few people walking down the street stopped to enjoy the show as well

And from another angle with the orchard owner enjoying the skirl of the pipes and a cameo from Curtis as well!

Another gourmet meal using Haskaps in many tasty & colourful ways.


Along with a mini trade show for attendees I was asked to do a presentation of "Our Story" using these pics and talking during 45 minutes of our meal:)


Wish they'd given larger portions!

Gourmet chefs make interesting presentations!

Delicious & fancy:)

Just over a year ago we started. It is amazing to watch it come to life!

After losing every last berry off our Auroras last year we thought we'd attempt to net some this year!  Wouldn't recommend laying netting on the plants but live and learn:)

On the dry days we used the Kubota to unroll it - on the wet days chained the bar to the quad and I carried the other end of the roll and walked along all the rows!  Too many wet days I can tell you!

Now we started working on our professional image by creating small table signs as well as 2' by 4' poster boards for the weeks I went to Melfort Farmer's Market with fresh berries.  Lots of samples and teaching people about Haskaps while selling other berries from my U-pic too!

On other days - in my spare time LOL - picked & packaged berries for sale at our local Melfort Farmer's Market.  I sell in large quantity or small.   In addition to the Haskaps there is an acre of Saskatoons and half acre of raspberries to be taken care of too.

You'd think I got bored but decided we needed more windbreak so I dug up Poplar & Lilac volunteers around the farm and thought to make another row at edge of phase 2.  No idle time around here:)


Murray wondering if we are done yet????
Notice how the row perfectly follows the contour of the ditch! Pretty good freestyle tractor driving.

No drip tape here so have to manually water for first while!

We thought we'd do 2 more rows of Sea Buckthorn as well for windbreak & healthy berries so dug up suckers from elsewhere and of course still planting late into the night.  Work seems never to be done!  Almost 11 pm:) With Melfort's lights in the background,

Big quantities or small sold at the Melfort Farmer's Market or delivered into Melfort or Saskatoon if I'm traveling that way and have also taken in orders!  Customers almost fighting over them some days:)

The coins just show how lovely these ones were!  Amazing what water & some fertilizer and TLC do:)  Customers at the Melfort Farmer's Market booking ahead when I sold out!

Beautiful berries from our U-pic.  Will be getting product ready for sale at Nutters. Or call/text 306-921-8265 for your day to pick!

It's a busy time but we also picked and packaged berries for sale at our local Nutter's!  Fresh in store and posted on their Facebook too:)

Famous friends - Alex & Erin from Pointe Tango - were performing their 7 shows at Saskatoon's Fringe Festival but took a day to come enjoy the farm and berries between shows.  We gave them a very classy ride home with my 1-ton diesel GMC dually as a trip to the city had to do some business too:)

Alex and Erin with some berries in hand to build up their strength to roam the orchard eating as they went! Very special privileges for very special dancers!!

And they had to try  paintball at least in the shooting range - lots of fun and unique stuff to see and try.

Not often is the tango done in jeans and pointe shoes
but it is here - such lovely and talented dancers!

Here is their website!


Getting our manual "berry catching" machine to the orchard.  Notice the smoky haze still in the air from distant forest fires!

Used modified reciprocating saws to shake the plants then catch the berries - beats picking them one by one!!!  But 6-12 hours a day most days from July 8th to mid August gets a little old......  Beat the birds by taking netting off immediately before harvesting:) Our original Sea Buckthorn are the silvery trees
growing behind Row 1 Honeybee.
Watch the VIDEO here!

Our first attempt at picking HoneyBee.  Picked the big leaves off the top already!

Can't forget the garden produce - 5 long rows of potatoes needed digging late September between showers & combining & swathing and of course during the summer there is also baling as I have cattle and horses too :)  Notice this is happening after dark again!

The season is just about done but an overview shows that much has been accomplished.

Another drone pic showing the Phase 1 dugout with the pickup clearly visible and the surrounding field of Faba Beans.


Raeanne combining Canola with her JD - still very hard work with longer hours and a few breakdowns along the way - but satisfying in the end.  This is my real job that currently pays the bills while developing the orchard:) Video 34 sec.


We are obviously getting more professional ( or experienced) in our design planning as looking at plans for Phase 3 expansion of Haskaps and a few rows of Saskatoons--oops-no this is the one where looking at adding LOTS more Saskatoons!  We did change the south rows for almost north & south both for better matching ditch and lay of the land but also better for rows and sunlight!


Mother Nature threw an early snow at us on October 8th.  Luckily it went away so we could finish combining and lots of fall work.   As I'm on top of bins closing bin lids thought I'd take a pic looking across Phase 1 & 2.


Started cutting in rows for phase 3 and the dang snow made it a black and white project but we got it done! Quite a concept rototilling snow!

Nov 3rd and preparations for Phase 3 of the Haskap orchard and a few rows of Saskatoons for outer edge windbreaks are part of the plan for spring!

Nice straight rows of stubble only helped to show the meanderings of the tractor driver. But a later Google Earth satellite pic shows most were pretty straight.


Murray did an awesome job developing Renouf Farms business cards!  Whiz on the computer. 


Nice business cards for Flatlands Paintball too.

Wow! Has another year flown by! See you next year!
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whats new

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logo Renouf
Renouf Farms, Melfort, Saskatchewan.
We also have a Paintball business
for you to enjoy - see it here!

Tags to find us by: Haskap, Honeyberries, polyphenols, healthy, antioxidants, haskap wine, haskap jam, haskap sorbet, haskap mead, haskap puree, dried haskap, renouf farms, renouf orchard, you pick, u-pic, raspberry, Saskatoon berries, saskatoon you-pick, haskap varieties, haskap beauty, haskap beast, haskap aurora, haskap blizzard, haskap honey bee, haskap borealis, renouf haskap, fresh berries, frozen berries, haskap indigo gem, haskap syrup, sea buckthorn, sea buckthorn berries, coming soon berries,

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