Getting Started with Berry Production
If you’re exploring the idea of adding berries and bramble fruits to your farm, this course will help you consider all the aspects of this decision, from varieties and site selection all the way through profit potential and marketing.
Beginners - This course will be especially useful if you are exploring the possibilities of growing berries for income. The material presented will assume little past knowledge of farming, but a background in gardening or farming will be very helpful.
Upon completion of this course, you will know:
- Primary considerations when choosing a site for successful berry farming
- Basic cultural demands of the 3 major berry crops (strawberry, blueberry and brambles)
- Cultural requirements of an array of lesser known berry crops
- Pest complexes of the major berry crops
- Post-harvest requirements of berries
- Considerations for successful marketing of berry crops
- How to analyze costs and income and be able to incorporate them into a business plan
The bulk of the course happens on your own time with discussions, readings and review quizzes (not graded!) posted in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, live webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss a webinar, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.
Live instruction for 2022 has concluded. While we encourage live attendance so you have the opportunity to
engage with the presenters and ask questions, all webinars are recorded and
posted in your online classroom for students to watch anytime. Once you
have enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all
materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live
webinars in future offerings of the course if you wish.
Our next live session will be offered in Fall 2023. Please join us!
Jim O’Connell is a former Resource Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension
in Ulster County, NY, with responsibilities in berries and grapes. His
interest in agriculture started at the Univ. of NH, where he worked as a
research assistant in both vegetable and fruit crops. From there
Jim’s love and knowledge of agriculture grew, eventually taking
him to Massachusetts where he worked as a research technician with
cranberries for nine years. Jim made the move to New York and worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension from June 2012 until August 2022.
Anya Osatuke is the Western New York Small Fruits Extension Specialist. She works with berry growers and researchers in New York State, working with questions about berry variety selection and cultural management. Before she began working with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Anya studied strawberry growing systems for her Masters degree at Cornell University.
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