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Bob Larson Blackberry Harvest Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: August 18, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. For the adventurous, blackberries can be found easily in the wild for only your travel expenses and the sweat of your brow.

But, when I told Northwest Berry Foundation director Tom Peerbolt of my great childhood memories of picking wild blackberries with my grandparents, and that I had no idea commercial production was so prevalent, he says the Pacific Northwest is a leader in that market …

TOM PEERBOLT … “It’s a great crop. I mean, I really love working with it and it has an amazing amount of versatile qualities and different cultivars. So, I think a lot of people have very good memories about it and are unaware how large the actual industry is for growing them.”

Peerbolt says blackberry lovers should really keep their eyes open for a couple of new varieties at the market …

TOM PEERBOLT … “There is a shift in the industry away from thorny-type cultivars like Marionberry into newer, improved material that’s thornless. And we’re also improving the quality of the fruit a lot. There’s some new cultivars that have just been developed by USDA so we’re into a shift in cultivars toward a couple in particular which are called Black Diamond and Columbia Star. And so, if folks are out and at the farmer’s markets, or whatever, and happen to see in particular, Columbia Star blackberry. It is an amazingly good quality berry that’s come out in the last few years.”

Peerbolt blames a cooler, wetter Winter on a blackberry tonnage this year nearly 30 percent below last year. He says the berry quality is excellent, but yield this year is terrible.

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