Strawberry Season Extension, Berry Marketing Workshop Offered March 19
Ohio – The growing popularity and demand for locally grown foods offers growers
who are looking for ways to generate additional income a viable alternative using
land they already have, according to an educator with Ohio State University’s
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
the increased consumer demand for healthier food, growers who are able to add
small fruit production to their farm operations may find that berry production
is one potentially lucrative option, said Eric Richer, an Ohio State University Extension
“Berries are a great option because the
fruits are extremely popular with consumers and can be produced on small
parcels of land,” he said. “Because berries are full of nutrients
and are best purchased locally, they make a great option for growers looking to
generate extra income.”
To help berry growers -- new and experienced alike -- learn how to
extend their growing season and how to recognize spotted wing drosophila, a
relatively new-to-the-region winged pest that
negatively impacts berry crops, horticulture and viticulture experts from the
college will host the Northwest Ohio Berry Production and Marketing School
March 19. The workshop will offer insight into these issues as well as other
key concerns facing small fruit growers, he said.
The program is 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Robert Fulton
Agriculture Center, 8770 State Route 108, in
The workshop will focus primarily on issues surrounding
production, management, and food and community, Richer said. That includes
offering information on how to grow plasticulture strawberries, information on
wine grape production, and guidance on how growers can get started in
blackberry, raspberry and other alternative berry production, as well as legal
and food safety concerns, he said.
berry school will provide both small and niche farmers with various ideas on
how to diversify their operations while increasing their revenues,” Richer
Researchers and educators with OSU
Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC)
will conduct the workshop, including horticulture specialist Brad Bergefurd
and Gary Gao, an OSU Extension specialist and
associate professor of small fruit crops. Rebecca Singer, with the
Center for Innovative Food Technology, also will speak at the workshop.
Extension and OARDC are the outreach and research arms, respectively, of the
Topics to be discussed
- Blackberry production.
- Wine grape production.
- Raspberry production.
- Alternative berries.
- Direct marketing.
- Business plans.
- Legal considerations.
- Blanching and freezing.
- Local foods.
- Berry preservation.
Registration for the workshop is $40 and includes the program, a growers panel,
handouts and lunch. Payment can be sent in the form
of a check made payable to OSU Extension and mailed to: OSU Extension,
Fulton County, 8770 State Route 108, Suite A, Wauseon, Ohio, 43567. The deadline to register is March 14.
For more information, including detailed planting and production
details, contact Richer
at 419-337-9210 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the workshop can be
found at www.fulton.osu.edu.