Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE94-055
Deborah Kavakos wanted to diversify production on her farm. She knew that lingonberries, though seldom grown commercially, are native to the area. As an indigenous species, she reasoned, they ought to be well-suited to the climate and acid soil of her farm, so she applied for a SARE grant to experiment with them.
Ms. Kavakos obtained potted plants and tissue culture plugs of several varieties of lingonberry from a supplier. She planted them and fertilized them with fish emulsion, applied various mulches, and in late fall covered them with evergreen boughs for protection over the winter. She reports a total absence of disease and pest problems, and says further that they did not appear to suffer at all during a period of drought during their second summer, nor during a period of steady heavy rains that followed. However, three years into the experiment she reports that the plants still do not appear to be well-established. There has been a heavy mortality each winter, only one variety–Red Pearl– has flowered, and she has yet to see any plant bear fruit. Ms. Kavakos says she is left with the impression of having overlooked something, of having neglected some vital element in the cultivation of this species, and she laments how difficult it is to obtain information and advice on obscure crops like the lingonberry.