[Market-farming] Blackberry Storage
mf at austinfarm.org
Sun Feb 20 08:49:13 EST 2005
On Sun, Feb 20, 2005 at 06:29:37AM -0600, TxBeeFarmer wrote:
> I put in 200 blackberry plants this year and should have a small harvest
> this year. For now, they'll only be sold at the Farmers' Market. Since the
> berries need to be picked almost everyday and the market is only twice a
> week, I need to know how to store them between market days? Any experienced
> berry people in this group?
Shelf life is a function of variety. My target is to get the berries
sold and delivered the day after picking. Navajos are more durable
than others I have seen; they might last two weeks. Common thorny
varieties have a maximum shelf life of a week. You have Apache and
Arapaho? You might find those between a week and two weeks, though
they might look pretty funky after 2-3 days. Refrigeration is a must
even for holding overnight.
I haven't found that "pick your own" does much to take up my berry
slack. All the pick-your-owners want to pick Saturday while my slack
demand is early and mid week. Grocery stores tend to order more
heavily for Thursday and Friday delivery for week-end sale.
Last year, I built a couple of insulated boxes for hauling cold stuff,
including berries, in trucks. 2" thick walls, holding about 4 bu,
around 12-15 dozen pints. Before the boxes, any berries that came back
from a farmers market were of no value.
Willie, ONWARD! Through the fog!
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