A new grant from the Montana Department of Agriculture could change the way some farmers in Montana grow fruit.
New superfruits will be grown and tested out in Kalispell. They're bigger, better for you and they'll be grown right here in the Flathead.
Pat McGlynn with works with Montana State University's agriculture development extension agency in Kalispell. She's excited to bring the new food to the Flathead.
"These fruits have been hybridized in nurseries to create a larger fruit or more production or heavier production, more pounds per shrub, but they were basically a North American shrub to start with," McGlynn said.
Fruits like goji berries, elderberries and yellow raspberries are just some of the 23 different types of fruits that McGlynn will work on growing.
The superfruits that McGlynn is growing will be different than your everyday blueberries and grapes, and that's because they'll be even healthier than most everyday fruits.
"The dark fruits have a lot of health benefits. A lot of antioxidants, antimicrobial, high vitamin C,” said McGlynn.
By creating the superfruits, McGlynn says they'll be making more profitable fruit for people to sell at farmers markets or elsewhere. And they'll be good for more than just eating.
"You can dehydrate them, put them in baked goods, you can make jams and jellies out of them, make juices out of them. There's a lot of different ways you can process these,” McGlynn said.
McGlynn says they're just awaiting the approval from the United States Department of Agriculture so they can find out when they can start planting and harvesting the superfruits.