Monday, December 3, 2012
Germany and Poland - We made it!
What a conference! So much new information. I met people from Estonia, Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Kazakhstan, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the Lower 48 (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota) that are breeding new varieties of grapes and other plants suitable to northern climates. I also brought back several ideas to use in the vineyard that will increase my chances of ripening grapes here on the farm. It was loads of fun, too. Besides seeing Neubrandenburg, Germany, we visited Szczecin (think 'chechin'), Poland and two vineyards in between. It is beautiful country - part of the Pomeranian Region. And, yes people thought I was a little crazy thinking I could grow grapes in Interior Alaska, but they were very supportive and I received many offers to send breeding material to help me make it happen. In addition to grapes, I gathered quite a bit of useful information on growing currants, sea buckthorn, aronia, and other berries in the far north. I hope to put it to good use and I'm even planning on conducting some rigorous scientific experiments that I hope will add to the research already being done on grape growing in northern climates.