The juneberry (known commonly elsewhere as a “saskatoon berry”) is a dark-colored fruit that is grown on the Canadian prairies for wholesale processing, with some fresh market and you-pick sales. The species of commercial interest is Amelanchier alnifolia, a close cousin of our Eastern serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), which is found as a tall shrub in our local forests.

The flavor of the fruit resembles dark cherry or raisin, with a hint of almond in the tiny, soft seed. Not only are they flavorful, they are nutrient-dense, with high levels of protein, calcium, iron, and antioxidants.

Juneberries are not yet widely known in the Northeast U.S. Even though they look much like blueberries, they are more closely related to cherries and plums. This project is focused on bringing this interesting new crop to small farms, berry growers, and home gardeners in New York and the Northeast US.

There are very few farms in the Northeast that have been growing juneberries for you-pick or farm market sale.  Fortunately, more than 20 farms in the Finger Lakes and Central New York have new juneberry bushes in the ground, but it will take another year or two before they are fully productive.