There is growing interest in the commercial production of high-value specialty fruit such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Much of the small fruit grown in North Carolina is currently marketed through pick-your-own establishments or roadside stands. A strong demand for these small fruit items from grocery stores and restaurants has prompted many growers to consider expanding their production to take advantage of these new marketing opportunities.
Imports of fresh berries into the European market from developing countries have doubled over the past five years. Berries are increasingly offered as a convenient and healthy snack, seducing shoppers into buying them. Although many berries are grown in Europe itself, demand is much higher than European production and imports from developing countries are filling in the gap.
Good Agricultural Practices for the Production and Handling of Strawberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, and Blueberry
Hickory Bluff Berry Farm is open seasonally from April-July.
You-Pick Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries
Various jams made from our own berries
Fresh farm vegetables
A wide array of garden plants, bedding plants, hanging baskets, and cut flowers
If you are unable to visit our farm, you can find us at the Charleston Farmers Market or the Summerville Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. If you are interested in making arrangements for a delivery, please call us or email us. Find us on facebook for the most up-to-date information.
Field heat should be removed from fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers as quickly as possible after harvest. Each commodity should be maintained at its lowest safe temperature. Cooling and storage requirements for specific commodities are presented below, in NC Cooperative Extension Service Publication AG-414-1, and USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 66.
Proper postharvest cooling can:
Postharvest handling and cooling of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers for small farms: Mixed Loads
At times, it is necessary to transport or store different commodities together. In such mixed loads it is very important to combine only those commodities that are compatible with respect to their requirements for:
In a companion article in this issue, Michael Porter’s Five Forces model plus two additional forces were used to analyze fundamental forces for change in the fresh produce supply chain (see article by this author titled Fundamental Forces Affecting U.S. Fresh Produce Growers and Marketers).