- Fruits: berries (strawberries)
- Crop Production: biological inoculants, organic fertilizers
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension
- Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides
- Production Systems: holistic management
- Soil Management: organic matter
Fruit producers are constantly looking for ways to produce high quality, low input (possibly organic), out of season fruit. These factors allow farmers to get a premium for their product and stretch their marketing season. In the northeast most of the strawberry production is that of short season June bearing varieties. These varieties under the normal production system produce fruit from the first of June to the first of July. A gap exists in local production between the end of the June bearing season and the beginning of the everbearing season. The ideal situation would be to be able to produce high quality organically-produced local fruit during the summer months of July and August. Organic strawberry production requires production systems and varieties which provide the least amount of stress from diseases and insect pests. A short production cycle would reduce exposure to pests. Thus, the challenge to getting plants to produce sufficient quantities and quality of fruit 60 days after planting.
Project objectives from proposal:
Having plants that will fruit in July and August will give farmers that market at tailgate markets the ability to have fresh fruit while the market is open. Traditional the local tailgate markets have not opened for the season until late June which is at the tail end of the June bearing strawberry season. This will enable farmers to market their product at a premium to consumers whom are asking for high quality fruit.