[Market-farming] Berries

Wyatt Jones wyatt_jones at netzero.com
Wed Nov 2 07:27:40 EDT 2016


I've been growing different berries and thought I'd start a discussion about it

I've thinking about growing Elderberries, I know having at least two varieties increases production so I'm thinking about getting Bob Gordon, a particularly high brix type,  and Wyldwood, both are supposed to be good producers with high sugar, any comments or suggestions are appreciated about varieties , characteristics, growing and harvesting hints, bird thwarting etc and of course wine recipes (especially ones that use alternatives to sugar)!!!!  Also I've heard about using the flowers in beer, wine and other things.

I've been trying different varieties of Blackberries.  In bad winters the canes die so it seems the Primocane varieties are a better bet here.  Ohio is marginal for spring blackberries but it depend on the year.  Also I've noticed my Primeark 45 are much more vigorous than the Flourocane types and much more upright though I'm finding that , though the claim is that they don't need staking they need staking here because we get some pretty high winds at times.  Has anybody out there grown PrimeArk Traveler Yet?  They are supposed to be a few weeks earlier, have firmer fruit and are thornless all of which are attractive features.  I tried PrimeArk freedom, which is also thornless, but the yield was lower, the fruit softer and wasn't as vigorous as the PrimeArk 45.  the spring types I have are Apache, Navaho, Triple crown, Chester and Satin.  Those don't seem near as hardy, upright or as vigorous as the PrimeArk though the Navaho in particular has some pretty sweet fruit.  The Triple crown isn't bad if you spend a lot of time training it but its also not that hardy, I think its rated zone 6 as are the rest of the spring types.  I think the Prime Ark is rated to zone 5.

Raspberries, also mostly growing primocane types though I do have a few flourocane varieties.  I'm thinking about getting "Vintage", which is an earlier Primocane type that is supposed to have excellent flavor though as a newer variety is still propriety and as such still high in price and not widely available.  Anybody grown it and is it worth the extra cost?

Also growing Gooseberries.  Have had good luck except for the weeds, its hard to keep them out.  I've been growing them as bushes but am thinking about going to Cordons to enable me to control the weeds better.  I have Hinomaki Reds, which is a good berry, fairly vigorous, Pixwell, ok, but a bit sprawling and Poorman which has great fruit but low yeilds and I had a few die on me.  I've been thinking about planting Black Velvet and Jean, a late variety, anybody have any experience with those, especially growing as Cordons?

Been growing  a few Blueberries but the soil is alkaline here and its expensive to amend the soil for larger plantings so I'm keeping it small for now.

I planted some Goji berries, People say they want them but I wonder how soft the market is for them.  I went around to a few health stores and got a somewhat lukewarm response.  Personally I think they are OK, I mean I know they are supposed to be a "superfood" but the flavor isn't much, though they are somewhat bittersweet.  Its a lot of picking too as they are small.  I heard some people were selling them for $9 a pint but I wonder about that.  For now I just pick a handful and eat them in the morning as a sort of vitamin but really haven't noticed any effects one way or another.  They seem to bear late in the season, (mine still have flowers and fruit now and frost is around the corner)  but they are still young.  Anybody selling these and what do you charge?  What kind of market is there for these?

I found some pretty good prices at Hartman's Plant Company out of Lacota, Michigan.  The wholesale minimum is 100 plants total but you can order as few as 10 of each variety.  They have a lot of stuff there including fruit trees and vines as well as berries.  You can get 2 inch pots of Blueberries for $1.35 each for example

Well Happy November, take care everybody

Wyatt

Jamestown Ohio
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