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A Retirement Hobby Farm And More

Mand S Fruit is a new raspberry U-pick acreage in the Inglis, Manitoba area. After working in Inglis in various capacities for many years, Mervin and Sylvia Marzolf bought their house and acreage in 2006 – a retirement hobby farm. Mervin has always been interested in growing fruit trees, and the family orchard contains young apricot, plum, sea buckthorn and haskap trees, and he is experimenting with a blueberry tree. Sylvia suggested that they try to launch a U-pick raspberry operation also.

So began a thorough research project to investigate the possibility. They visited U-picks in Altona and Portage la Prairie, and gained valuable information from Anthony Mantenko and Waldo Thiessen, members of the Prairie Fruit Growers Association. Delores Muir in the Russell agricultural office was also another generous source of information. The Marzolfs had their soil tested and enriched it for raspberries, and joined the Fruit Growers Association. They have used no chemicals on their canes and opened for business August 5, 2009; late for raspberry picking, but the cool, dry, then damp spring made the growing season later than usual.

Mervin has built a storage shed near the patch for storing berries, and to provide a place for offering cold drinks and refreshments, and plans to fence the patch and build a playground. They did have a dugout stocked with a few fish, but in July, 2008 a wild hailstorm with pounding rain swept through the area and, “I think all of our fish ended up in the lake somewhere,” Sylvia says. For now, they look forward to see how this new venture fares on their retirement hobby farm and more.

M and S Fruit is located two miles east of Inglis on Road 366.

Turn north for 1/2 mile and the farm is on the west side of the road with a large metal rose marking the driveway. Phone (204) 564-2383.

– Judy Bauereiss, writes from Inglis, Manitoba

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