Just a short little update from UNH to share some pictures. We are in the second full week of fruit production, and the variety 'Albion' (used in our low tunnel material study) is putting out some beautiful berries.
Many of the 'Albion' berries we picked today were large king berries (>20g), but of course, we also harvested some smaller fruit from out plots. In our experiments, we consider fruit >20mm in diameter (about 8 grams) marketable. Anything larger than ~20g is successfully sold regionally, and so this is what we use for a cutoff. We are finding 'Albion' fruit has very good flavor. While the fruit tends to be firmer than the typical June-bearer, it still has some juice, and a nice texture.
In our variety trial in Durham, NH, 'Seascape' and 'Aromas' have been the most robust and vigorous plants (vegetatively). 'San Andreas' and 'Monterey' established well and are generally healthy, but are slightly smaller in size. 'Portola' has not performed well, and plants are very small and survival during the early season was poor. Most of these varieties have also started fruiting. We are conducting a replication of our variety experiment in Hollis, NH, where the plant hardiness zone is a bit warmer. We also planted a week later at the Hollis location. We will be checking on these plants and their vigor this week.
Visit the Sideman Lab website to learn about the other neat projects we are working on!
This project is funded by the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station and TunnelBerries, a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crops Research Initiative grant titled "Optimizing Protected Culture for Berry Crops" in collaboration with the following universities: