<![CDATA[Site Title]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/ Wed, 28 Feb 2024 05:29:21 GMT Wed, 28 Feb 2024 05:29:21 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[Frequently Asked Questions]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfrequently-asked-questions https://noursefarms.com/news/postfrequently-asked-questions Mon, 05 Feb 2024 00:00:00 GMT

How can I order?

You can order online on our website, call our Customer Service Team at 413-665-2658, or mail your order form to 41 River Road, South Deerfield, MA 01373.

When can I order?

We recommend ordering as soon as you know your order. Our inventory sells out fast!

Do I need to set my shipping date when I order?

When placing an order online, choose from a list of available ship dates based on your region. When placing an order over the phone, you can leave your ship date open. You can call us anytime in the season to set your ship date. We need ten days' notice to ship your plants. For example, if you would like your plants shipped on Monday, April 24, 2024, please call us by noon on Friday, April 12, 2024.

What are the shipping days?

Your plant order will leave our facility on a Monday of your choice. We ship on Mondays to ensure your plants arrive by the week's end and do not sit at a shipping facility over the weekend.

What are the shipping costs?

Charges are based on the value of the order and the method of shipment.

Can I come to the farm and pick up my order?

Of course! You can pick up your plants on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pick-ups must be scheduled by noon the day before to ensure the order is ready when you arrive.

Do you sell plants to home gardeners?

Yes! We offer our plants in small quantities. Here are our plant order minimums:

  • strawberry plants: 25
  • asparagus roots: 25
  • raspberry plants: 5
  • blackberry plants: 5
  • black raspberry plants 5
  • horseradish roots: 5
  • rhubarb crowns: 3
  • blueberry plants: 1
  • elderberry plants: 1
  • currant plants: 1
  • gooseberry plants: 1

How can I prepare for my order?

Read our Planting and Success Guide before receiving your plant order! You should also check your soil nutrients, pH level, and organic matter percentage.

Do you have a question that we didn't cover? 

Call our Customer Service Team at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com. We're here to help you grow!

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Common Home Garden Blueberry Plant Diseases]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-garden-blueberry-plant-diseases https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-garden-blueberry-plant-diseases Mon, 05 Feb 2024 00:00:00 GMT It's never too early to learn about plant disease symptoms. Early detection of plant diseases is crucial to protect your crop.

What is a pathogen?

A pathogen is an organism causing disease to its host. Bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and fungi are pathogens that can cause plant diseases. Pathogens enter their host and seize the plant’s energy for their use. Pathogens can enter a plant in various ways, including wounds or natural openings, penetrating plant tissue, mechanical damage, or insect transmission.

What is a disease cycle?

A disease cycle is a series of events involved in disease development. In most disease cycles, the basic steps are inoculum production, the spread of inoculum to a susceptible host, penetration of inoculum into a host, infection, secondary cycles, and pathogen survival between host plants.

Why is identification vital?

Identifying pathogens is the first step in controlling plant diseases and producing quality crops. Proper identification is necessary to implement effective management strategies.

Anthracnose Fruit Rot

The fungus Colletotrichum acutatum is responsible for anthracnose fruit rot. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides may also be found on blueberries in the southern United States.

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

It primarily damages fruit but may also infect twigs and spurs. The fruit surface will develop salmon or rust-colored ooze, which contains spores. Blossom clusters may turn brown or black. Young, girdled stems die back, resulting in a brown withering of the leaves. All infected plant parts will become covered in gray mold in damp conditions. Fruit rot symptoms usually do not appear until the fruit ripens; berries that look perfectly healthy at harvest can rot soon afterward. Infected berries eventually shrivel up and fall off the bush.

Disease Cycle

This disease favors cool, muggy weather and often occurs post-harvest. The fungus overwinters on infected plants and plant debris. Spores are spread by wind or water.

Phomopsis Twig Blight and Canker

The fungus Phomopsis vaccinii causes Phomopsis twig blight and canker.

Photo courtesy of Chris Smigell, University of Kentucky

Symptoms

Symptoms include tip dieback on infected wood, and infected buds will become brown and die. Cankers on stems or in the crown may form and kill the stems. Spores may be visible on blighted twigs and at the base of the cane. The disease will travel into the stem and cause sudden wilting and death of canes. Leaves will change color to red or brown. This disease may also cause fruit to rot at the time of harvest.

Disease Cycle

This disease overwinters in infected plants. This disease primarily affects one-year-old woody stems with flower buds. Spores are produced and released during rainy periods.

Botrytis

The fungus Botrytis cinerea causes Botrytis blight.

Photos courtesy of Dr. Yonghao Li, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

Symptoms

Botrytis may affect leaves, blossoms, fruit, and green tissue. Shoot tips will die and turn brownish-black and, after time, will turn a lighter tan or gray color. Blossoms that become infected will turn brown and appear water-soaked. Immature fruits may shrivel and turn purple, while mature fruits appear tan. When wet conditions are present, infected plants will have rotted flowers and berries covered in gray fuzz and spores.

Disease Cycle

The fungus favors cool, humid weather. This disease can overwinter on infected plants, and spores can be spread by wind.

Mummy Berry

The fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi causes Mummy Berry.

Photos courtesy of Bill Cline, NC State Extension

Symptoms

This disease impacts leaf shoots, berries, and flower buds. The first visible sign of this disease is “mummy cups” on the ground near the blueberry bush. After a few weeks of the emergence of the cup-shaped structures, new shoots and leaves will wilt, and the wilted shoots will have brown discoloration. Infected plant parts will become covered with fungal spores that appear powdery. Once the infection moves to the berries, the plant will produce a “mummy” berry, a pink-colored berry with hard, soft skin and white fungal growth inside. These berries will fall to the ground and become the initial source of infection the following year.

Disease Cycle

This fungus is most severe after moist spring weather. The fungus overwinters on the infected, fallen “mummy” berries. In the spring, the mummies release spores that infect new growth. Insects may carry the spores to open flowers. The fungus will inhabit the flower ovaries.

Reminder

Nourse Farms is here to help your plants survive and thrive! Call us at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com if you have any questions.

Resources

Demchak, Kathleen, Timothy E. Elkner, C. John Esslinger, Maryann Frazier, S. Guiser, J. M. Halbrendt, Jayson K. Harper, et al. The Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide for Commercial Growers, 2013-2014, 2013. 

Blueberries. “Michigan Blueberry Facts: Anthracnose Fruit Rot (Ripe Rot) - Blueberries,” n.d. 

“Mummy Berry Disease of Blueberry | NC State Extension Publications,” n.d. 

Sgs. “Blueberry IPM - Anthracnose Ripe Rot.” Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, July 15, 2020. 

Photo Resources:

“Anthracnose on Blueberry | Vegetable Pathology – Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center,” n.d. 

Gauthier, Nicole, and Chris Smigell. “Blueberry Cankers & Twig Blights.” University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food & Environment Extension Plant Pathology, January 2022.

Li, Yonghao. “Botrytis Blight of Blueberry.” The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, January 2023.

“Mummy Berry Disease of Blueberry | NC State Extension Publications,” n.d.

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Common Home Garden Asparagus, Rhubarb, and Horseradish Diseases]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-garden-asparagus-rhubarb-and-horseradish-diseases https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-garden-asparagus-rhubarb-and-horseradish-diseases Sat, 20 Jan 2024 00:00:00 GMT Whether you're planning your garden for later this year or already getting plants in the ground...it's never too early to learn about the plant disease symptoms you need to know. Early detection of plant diseases is crucial to protect your crop. 

What is a pathogen?

A pathogen is an organism causing disease to its host. Bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and fungi are pathogens that can cause plant diseases. Pathogens enter their host and seize the plant's energy for their use. Pathogens can enter a plant in various ways, including wounds or natural openings, penetrating plant tissue, mechanical damage, or insect transmission.

What is a disease cycle?

A disease cycle is a series of events involved in disease development. In most disease cycles, the basic steps are inoculum production, the spread of inoculum to a susceptible host, penetration of inoculum into a host, infection, secondary cycles, and pathogen survival between host plants.

Why is identification vital?

Identifying pathogens is the first step in controlling plant diseases and producing quality crops. Proper identification is necessary to implement effective management strategies.

ASPARAGUS

Purple Spot

The fungus Stemphylium vesicarium causes purple spot disease.

D. Johnson, Washington State University

Symptoms

Symptoms include sunken, reddish-purple lesions and may develop a brown center if the lesion is large. Lesions can be found on the lower half of the spears and do not impact the internal tissue of the spear. This disease may cause blighting of foliage, which may significantly reduce yield the following year.

Disease Cycle

Thrives in cool, wet spring weather. The fungus overwinters on crops and fern debris. In spring and summer, fruiting bodies on plant debris produce spores. Spores may be wind-carried.

Cercospora Blight

The fungus Cercospora asparagi causes the foliar disease Cercospora blight in asparagus.

John Damicone, Lynn Brandenberger, Oklahoma State University Extension

Symptoms

Symptoms include browning of the ferns and small, greyish-tan spots with reddish-brown borders on the needles and small branches. These lesions can first be found on the lower part of the fern and progress upward. In severe cases, ferns will yellow over time. This disease results in early defoliation and loss of crown vigor, causing a reduction in the yield of spears the next spring.

Disease Cycle

Thrives when daily temperatures average 77–86°F and with relative humidity 95% or above. The fungus overwinters on fern debris in the soil. Rain and wind disperse spores.

Asparagus Decline Syndrome

Asparagus decline syndrome has been linked to the presence of the fungus Fusarium in the soil.

John Damicone, Lynn Brandenberger, Oklahoma State University Extension

Symptoms

When plants are affected by asparagus decline syndrome, productivity will slowly lessen. The yield will be lower, the spear size will reduce, and the crown will eventually die. Symptoms include root rot that leads to a significant decrease in feeder roots. The crown will appear discolored, and adult plant fronds will wilt and die.

Disease Cycle

Many factors can contribute to the decline of asparagus plants. These factors include winter crown injury, weeds, insects, acidic soil, several diseases, and soil compaction.

RHUBARB

Gray Mold

The fungus Botrytis cinerea is responsible for gray mold on rhubarb plants.

Dan Egel, Wenjing Guan, Purdue University  *This photo is Botrytis cinerea on a tomato plant.

Symptoms

The first symptom of this disease is grayish-brown discoloration on the plant’s leaves. Under humid conditions, the affected areas will develop into gray, fuzzy growth. The stalks may turn red-brown and develop water-soaked areas on stems.

Disease Cycle

This disease overwinters on decayed plant parts. Spores may also be abundant in the air.

Phytophthora Root and Crown Rot

The soilborne fungus Phytophthora cactorum causes phytophthora root and crown rot.

Amgrow Specialty Agriculture

Symptom

Infected plants will experience leaf wilt, fail to leaf out in the spring, and experience premature leaf death. Depressed, brown lesions will be visible on the base of the stalk, causing the entire stalk to collapse. When examining crowns, the roots will be brown-black, damaged, and disintegrate.

Disease Cycle

This disease thrives in cool, rainy weather and favors heavier, clay-like soils.

HORSERADISH

Bacterial Leaf Spot

The bacteria Phytomonas campestre armoraciae causes bacterial leaf spot in horseradish plants.

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

Symptoms will first appear as small, dark green, translucent spots. These spots eventually turn brown/black and scatter across the leaf's surface. Leaves may curl up, become dry, and drop. It is imperative that leaves do not stay wet for long periods.

Disease Cycle

This disease favors cool, wet weather conditions and can overwinter on plant debris. The disease can spread by water splashing.

REMINDER

Nourse Farms is here to help your plants survive and thrive! Call us at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com if you have any questions.

RESOURCES

“Asparagus (Asparagus Officinalis)-Decline.” Pacific Northwest Pest Management Handbooks, April 17, 2023. 

“Horseradish.” Horseradish | Diseases and Pests, Description, Uses, Propagation. Accessed January 24, 2024. 

Morrison, William. “Disease and Insect Pests of Asparagus (E3219).” MSU Extension. Accessed January 24, 2024. 

“Plant Disease: Phytophthora Root and Stem Rot.” CropWatch, June 20, 2023. 

“Rhubarb.” Rhubarb | Diseases and Pests, Description, Uses, Propagation. Accessed January 24, 2024. 

Photo Resources:

“Crown Rot.” Barmac Pty Ltd. Accessed January 24, 2024.

“Disease of Asparagus in Oklahoma - Oklahoma State University.” Disease of Asparagus in Oklahoma | Oklahoma State University, March 1, 2017. 

Egel, Dan, and Wenjing Guan. “Botrytis Gray Mold.” Vegetable Crops Hotline, May 20, 2020. 

“Home.” Vegetable Pathology Long Island Horticultural Research Extension Center. Accessed January 24, 2024.

 

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Shipping & Receiving Manager—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postshipping-and-receiving-managerwhately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/postshipping-and-receiving-managerwhately-ma Fri, 12 Jan 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Shipping & Receiving Manager
Department: Shipping
Job Status: Full Time
FLSA Status: Exempt
Reports to: Supply Chair Director
Job Type: Regular
Amount of Travel Required: 10%
Work Schedule: Monday–Friday, some weekends
Positions Supervised: 3

Position Summary:

Nourse Farms is a leading player in the plant propagation industry, known for our commitment to excellence in providing high-quality plant stock. Nourse Farms is seeking a highly skilled and experienced manager to lead our facility in Whately, MA shipping operations. The Shipping Manager will be responsible for overseeing daily shipping and distribution operations within the organization through tracking orders, managing shipping documents, directing package flow, and ensuring timely delivery of complete orders. This role is crucial in ensuring smooth operations and effective communication within the department and across the organization.

Primary Duties:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

To accomplish this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation, each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to help enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Using software to track, check, prioritize, and route orders
  • Managing all important documents such as advanced shipping notice, pick slips, bills of lading, etc.
  • Directing the flow of packages from preparation to shipment
  • Inspect labels, barcodes, and other features of completed orders
  • Supervise and lead subordinates (shipping clerks, receiving clerks, etc.)
  • Control budget of the shipping department
  • Collaborate with warehouse, purchasing, and other managers to optimize processes.
  • Resolve issues regarding shipped orders.
  • Ensure compliance to legal regulations and company policies.
  • Report to management on activities and issues.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Education: High school diploma; BS/BA in supply chain, logistics or relative field is a definite plus
  • Experience: 5+ years of progressive experience in supply chain management, with at least 3 years in a leadership role within a manufacturing, distribution environment, or agriculture environment.
  • Leadership Abilities: Strong leadership and team management skills with a track record of building and motivating high-performing teams. Ability to motivate and inspire a diverse team. Ability to adapt to changing priorities and work effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Communication: Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills to collaborate effectively with various departments and other stakeholders.
  • Problem-Solving: Proactive approach to identifying and resolving challenges
  • Physical Stamina: Ability to lift up to 50 lbs, standing for extended periods, and working in varying temperatures.
  • Computer savvy with excellent knowledge of MS Office (especially Excel)
  • Solid knowledge of logistics procedures.
  • Good understanding of budgeting and reporting.
  • Experience in directing and evaluating subordinates.

To apply, simply email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Shipping and Receiving Manager—Whately, MA" in the subject line.

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Cultivating Better Health with Gardening]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcultivating-better-health-with-gardening https://noursefarms.com/news/postcultivating-better-health-with-gardening Fri, 12 Jan 2024 00:00:00 GMT Gardening is good for you. You’re moving your body, breathing fresh air, growing (and eating!) fresh produce. In this week’s email, we’re digging into some of the benefits of gardening. If you’re still pondering a New Year’s resolution or goal, it’s not too late to make growing your own food it!

INCREASED EXERCISE

Gardening activities may help you burn as many calories as a workout in the gym. While gardening, you perform movements that mimic whole-body exercise. Gardening can improve strength, flexibility, and balance. Research shows that people who participate in regular physical activity reduce their risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 35%.

IMPROVED DIET

Different fruits and vegetables have various health benefits and nutritional value. Gardeners are more likely to eat a well-balanced, healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables. The American Heart Association has published research detailing that that diets higher in plant foods may be linked to a lower risk of dying of a heart attack, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease, notably a 32% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

TIME IN NATURE

When people are outside, they tend to breathe deeper. Breathing deeper helps to clear the lungs, improve immune response, improve digestion, and increase oxygen levels in the blood. Getting a daily dose of sunlight lowers blood pressure and increases vitamin D levels. (Just remember: While sunlight is vital for good health, remember to protect yourself from harmful UV rays!) Spending time outdoors is linked to reduced heart rate and muscle tension.

A 2011 study published by the Journal of Health Psychology found that gardening caused a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol in test subjects. A 2022 study by the University of Florida found that gardening activities lowered anxiety, stress, and depression in participants. The study’s author theorizes that we may be innately attracted to plants because we depend on them for food, shelter, and other means of survival. In 2014, researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School found that people living near green space reported less mental distress, even after adjusting for income, education, and employment.

TOOLS FOR SUCCESS

Whether you are just starting your gardening journey now or an experienced gardener, we have the tools to help you succeed! Shop our accessories. And, as always, we're here to help you grow. You can call us at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com with any questions you might have. 

 

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Sneak Peek into Nourse Farms' upcoming Tissue Culture Lab]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postsneak-peek-into-nourse-farms-upcoming-tissue-culture-lab https://noursefarms.com/news/postsneak-peek-into-nourse-farms-upcoming-tissue-culture-lab Fri, 08 Dec 2023 00:00:00 GMT Nourse Farms, one of the world's premier growers of berry plants, has taken the next step as a frontrunner in the soft fruit propagation industry. The company has partnered with Viscon to build a state-of-the-art Plant Tissue Culture Lab to support the rapidly increasing interest and demand for berry plants.

Viscon is proud to contribute to this innovative company by developing and supplying a highly automated Plant Tissue Culture Lab. This turnkey facility will feature state-of-the-art technologies in labor-saving automation and multi-layer propagation rooms.

“Nourse Farms is focused on delivering the highest-quality plants and our partnership with Viscon promises to support us as we grow—both plants and our operation,” said John Place, Nourse Farms CEO. “Tissue culture has been the cornerstone of what we do for decades, so strategic investments in technology and advancements in this part of our operation are not only ideal but necessary. We are delighted to work with Viscon to bring state-of-the-art technologies to our new tissue culture lab. We expect that we will see a significant increase in our production and efficiency.”

Groundbreaking Tissue Culture Planter
The new facility will be equipped with the latest automation technology. The true star of the show is the groundbreaking Tissue Culture Planter, which Viscon has developed and manufactured in close collaboration with ISO Group. This planter operates in a sterile environment, automatically placing explants into fresh media jars with unparalleled precision. This is usually a highly labor-intensive process that can now be automated. It's a game-changer for plant uniformity and contamination reduction, ensuring Nourse Farms produces the highest quality berry plants. 

Daan Mansveld, sales manager of Viscon Plant Technology: “At Viscon, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation in agriculture, and this project with Nourse Farms is a testament to our dedication. We've meticulously designed this state-of-the-art facility and are currently in the process of manufacturing the latest equipment and technology to bring our vision to life. Nourse Farms, renowned for its commitment to excellence in berry plant cultivation, shares our vision for innovation and sustainability. We're honored to embark on this journey together and support their mission of providing top-quality berry plants to customers worldwide.”

The new laboratory, set to be established in Whately, Massachusetts, USA, is currently in the planning and equipment manufacturing phase, with a projected opening in 2024. We invite you to stay tuned for further updates on the progress of Nourse Farms' forthcoming Plant Tissue Culture Lab! Together, we're shaping the future of agriculture, one berry at a time.

About Viscon Plant Technology
Since 1967, Viscon Plant Technology has been a pioneer in young plant automation, offering complete solutions for the horticultural and fresh produce industries, from breeding to packing. Whether you're experienced in tissue culture or new to the field, Viscon provides all the necessary components for a state-of-the-art tissue culture laboratory, from facility design to climate-controlled propagation rooms, labor-saving automation, growing consumables, software, and training. For more information about Viscon Plant Technology, visit VisconGroup.eu.

About Nourse Farms

For over 90 years, Nourse Farms has produced and sold premium quality small fruit plants to national and international commercial fruit growers, home gardeners, and resellers. Nourse Farms’ commitment to providing customers with virus-indexed, highly productive plants drives the organization to stay on the cutting edge of the latest developments in the industry. By identifying and testing new varieties and growing techniques, Nourse Farms stands behind its promise to deliver quality. What was once a strawberry nursery serving local growers has grown to be an internationally recognized soft fruit nursery selling strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry plants. For more information about Nourse Farms, visit NourseFarms.com.

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Common Home Gardener Bramble Diseases]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-gardener-bramble-diseases https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-gardener-bramble-diseases Wed, 06 Dec 2023 00:00:00 GMT We may be a few months out from planting brambles, but it is never too early to discover what common bramble disease symptoms you need to watch out for! To protect your crop, early detection of plant diseases is crucial.

You might be thinking, what is a bramble? Brambles are bush-like plants with arching canes in the Rubus family of plants. The Rubus family includes blackberries and raspberries (including red, black, and yellow). Bramble roots are perennial, and bramble canes are biennial.

What is a pathogen?

A pathogen is an organism causing disease to its host. Bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and fungi are pathogens that can cause plant diseases. Pathogens enter their host and seize the plant’s energy for their use. Pathogens can enter a plant in various ways, including wounds or natural openings, penetrating plant tissue, mechanical damage, or insect transmission.

What is a disease cycle? 

A disease cycle is a series of events involved in disease development. In most disease cycles, the basic steps are inoculum production, the spread of inoculum to a susceptible host, penetration of inoculum into a host, infection, secondary cycles, and pathogen survival between host plants.

Why is identification vital?

Identifying pathogens is the first step in controlling plant diseases and producing quality crops. Proper identification is necessary to implement effective management strategies.

COMMON BRAMBLE DISEASES

Cane Blight

The fungus Leptosphaeria coniothyrium causes Cane Blight. Black raspberries are more susceptible to cane blight than other brambles.

Photos courtesy of Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio State University Extension

Symptoms

Cane blight is a weak pathogen that cannot break through the epidermis alone. Cane blight is always associated with a pruning cut, wound, or insect damage. Overwintered canes will show symptoms in early spring, including failure of buds to break, wilting of laterals, or death of floricanes. Symptoms usually occur as the fruit begins to ripen. Dark brown cankers appear around the weak and wilted growth. Canes are weak at the infection site and will often break if bent.

Disease Cycle

The fungus overwinters on dead canes. Old stubs may harbor the disease and produce spores for several years. Insects, water, and wind spread spores.

Spur Blight

The fungus Didymella applanata causes Spur Blight. Purple and red raspberries are more susceptible to damage from spur blight than other brambles. Research shows that blackberries may have immunity against this disease.

 

Photos courtesy of Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio State University Extension

Symptoms

In late spring or early summer, brown, blue, or purple spots or bands appear on new primocanes and leaf petioles, usually on the lower half of the plant. These lesions enlarge until the cane is girdled. As the disease develops, canes may crack and split lengthwise. Fruiting structures are often visible under the bark. Leaf symptoms appear as brown, V-shaped areas with yellow margins with a wide area at the leaf edge. Damage from winter injury may increase. The yield may reduce due to the withering of infected laterals and eventual death.

Disease Cycle

The disease overwinters in infected canes and will release spores during wet periods from early spring through late summer.

Anthracnose

The fungus Elsinoe veneta causes Anthracnose. Purple and black raspberries are more susceptible to anthracnose than red raspberries. Young growth is most vulnerable to infection.

  

Photos courtesy of Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio State University Extension

Symptoms

Most often, Anthracnose symptoms are found on canes but can also occur on leaves, petioles, flower buds, and fruit. In the spring, reddish-purple spots appear on young canes. As the disease progresses, the spots enlarge, and the centers become sunken. The typical "gray bark" symptom can be observed in late summer or early fall. Canes infected by anthracnose are more susceptible to winter injury and eventually may die. Cankered canes also might produce abnormal fruiting branches with malformed fruit, especially in seasons of drought. In severe cases, infected fruit is dry and seedy.

Disease Cycle

The fungus overwinters on infected canes from the previous season. Fungal growth found in the gray bark lesions will travel to the plant's crown by rain. New shoots will become infected as they emerge from diseased, old canes. More spores are produced in rainy periods in late spring and wind-carried to other bramble plants.

Phytophthora Root Rot

Phytophthora Root Rot can be caused by several soilborne fungi species belonging to the genus Phytophthora.

   

Photos courtesy of Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio State University Extension

Symptoms

Once infected, leaves will be prematurely yellow and may appear scorched. Canes will have stunted, weak lateral shoots. As temperatures increase, the fruiting canes wilt and die. The root system of affected canes will have a red-brown color under the epidermis and lack fibrous roots. Often, lesions are visible on infected roots.

Disease Cycle

This disease requires saturated soil conditions for infection. Phytophthora spores travel by swimming through free water or are carried to other plants by splashing water. Once the fungus is present, the pathogen will remain in the soil for several years. Spores may be produced multiple times throughout the season, resulting in the rapid spread of the disease.

Botrytis

The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea causes gray mold.

Symptoms

Botrytis is mainly a fruit disease infecting flowers and developing fruit. Open flowers can become infected, especially after frost damage. The flowers become dark and shriveled. Discoloration may range from gray to brown. When moisture is present, fuzzy gray fungal growth can appear on the flowers and the stems. Near ripening, gray mold symptoms typically develop, and the berry will develop a watery rot on drupelets, which will then become covered with fungal growth. Botrytis may also infect foliage and cause cane blight and leaf spotting.

Disease Cycle

Thrives in cool temps between 65 to 75 degrees, wet weather, and when extended moisture occurs right before harvest. This fungus can survive on living and dead plant tissue and overwinters on plant debris and stems. Most infections occur during flowering, and the fungus frequently remains dormant until the berry ripens.

Orange Rust

Orange rust is a fungal disease that impacts black raspberries, blackberries, and occasionally purple raspberries; it is not known to infect red raspberries. Orange rust on blackberries and orange rust on black raspberries are not the same. They are considered two forms caused by two separate but similar fungi. Arthuriomyces peckianus mainly infects black raspberries and has a long cycle. Gymnoconia nitens mainly infects blackberries and has a short cycle.

A. Orange rust symptoms on thornless blackberry. Image courtesy of Erik Draper, OSU Extension, Geauga County.

B. Waxy pustules full of brightly colored orange spores (aeciospores) on leaves of thornless blackberry.

C. Orange rust spores on the underside of a wild black raspberry leaf. Note the powder-like appearance.

Symptoms

Symptoms begin to appear when new shoots start growing. New leaves are deformed, stunted, and have a yellowish or pale green color. Early growth on heavily infected plants is typically weak and spindly. Waxy blisters on the undersides of the leaves will form and turn bright orange and powdery. Infected plants may appear bushy because one bud produces many short, upright shoots.

Disease Cycle

These fungi favor cool, wet conditions, and disease development drastically lowers in temperatures above 80°F. The fungus is systemic and overwinters on canes and roots infected the previous season. The disease is a two-stage infection. Infected plants form the orange pustules of spores. These spores are released in late spring/early summer, infecting older leaves on new plants but staying localized for a few weeks. In late summer/early fall, a second type of spore is produced on the newly infected leaves that will infect buds and growth at the base of new canes. The fruiting bodies that produce these spores are not visible. Newly infected plants generally will not show symptoms that year.

Late Leaf (Yellow) Rust

The fungus Pucciniastrum americanum is believed to be responsible for late leaf rust. Late leaf rust infects red and purple raspberries, not black or blackberries. Some spruce species can act as an alternative host but are not believed necessary for infection. This disease is often confused with Orange Rust, a serious disease infecting blackberries and black raspberries.

 

Photos courtesy of Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio State University Extension

 

Symptoms

Late leaf rust can affect leaves, canes, and fruit. As symptoms on fruit do not develop until later in the season, the disease often goes unnoticed on floricanes. Symptoms typically first appear in late July or early August as yellow masses of spores on the underside of leaves; small chlorotic or yellow areas may also be apparent. Unless it’s severe, foliar infections may be difficult to see. Infected leaves may drop prematurely. Infections on berries are often limited to single drupelets, making the fruit unmarketable.

Disease Cycle

This disease requires high humidity for infection. Spores can travel by wind but may also spread to uninfected plantings by machinery or people.

Reminder

Nourse Farms is here to help your plants survive and thrive! Call us at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com if you have any questions.

 

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Maintenance Technician—Mills River, NC]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postmaintenance-technicianmills-river-nc https://noursefarms.com/news/postmaintenance-technicianmills-river-nc Tue, 21 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Maintenance Technician
Department: Maintenance                    
Job Status: 
Full Time
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt                      
Reports to: 
Maintenance Manager
Job Type: Regular                                  
Amount of Travel Required: 
None
Work Schedule: Monday–Friday            
Positions Supervised:
 0

 

Position Summary 

Nourse Farms is a leading player in the plant propagation industry, known for their commitment to excellence in providing high-quality plant stock. Nourse Farms is seeking a diligent and hands-on Maintenance Technician to join our dynamic team. As a Maintenance Technician, you'll work closely with the Maintenance Manager to ensure that our facilities and equipment are in optimal condition, furthering our mission of providing high-quality small fruit plants. 

Primary Duties:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement:

To accomplish this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation, each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to help enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

Key Responsibilities:

  • Routine Maintenance: Execute daily checks and carry out routine maintenance tasks on machinery, equipment, and facilities.
  • Respond to Breakdowns: Quickly respond to and diagnose faults and breakdowns, taking corrective actions to minimize downtime.
  • Follow Maintenance Schedules: Adhere to preventive maintenance schedules set by the Maintenance Manager to proactively maintain all equipment.
  • Document Work: Maintain detailed records of all maintenance work performed, including parts used and time spent.
  • Safety Compliance: Ensure all work is done in compliance with company safety policies and relevant regulations. Use personal protective equipment (PPE) as required.
  • Tool Maintenance: Maintain, clean, and store tools and equipment in an orderly and safe manner.
  • Support Larger Projects: Assist in bigger maintenance projects as directed by the Maintenance Manager.
  • Provide Feedback: Regularly provide feedback on potential improvements or concerns regarding equipment and facilities.
  • Continuous Learning: Keep up to date with the latest maintenance techniques and best practices, attending workshops or training courses as necessary.
  • Other Duties: Perform other maintenance-related tasks as assigned by the Maintenance Manager.

Qualifications:

  • High School diploma or equivalent; technical certification is a plus.
  • Two (2) or more years of experience in a maintenance role, preferably in agricultural or plant production environments.
  • Basic understanding of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
  • Ability to work with a variety of hand and power tools safely.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail.
  • Must be willing to work in varying weather conditions.
  • Ability to work outdoors in various weather conditions.
  • Physical ability to perform tasks such as climbing ladders, lifting 50 lb., bending, and operating equipment.
  • Eagerness to contribute to a dynamic and collaborative team.

To apply, simply email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Maintenance Technician—NC" in the subject line. 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Common Home Gardener Strawberry Diseases]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-gardener-strawberry-diseases https://noursefarms.com/news/postcommon-home-gardener-strawberry-diseases Fri, 17 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT WHAT IS A PATHOGEN?

A pathogen is an organism causing disease to its host. Bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and fungi are pathogens that can cause plant diseases. Pathogens enter their host and seize the plant’s energy for their use. Pathogens can enter a plant in various ways, including wounds or natural openings, penetrating plant tissue, mechanical damage, or insect transmission. 

WHAT IS A DISEASE CYCLE?

A disease cycle is a series of events involved in disease development. In most disease cycles, the basic steps are inoculum production, the spread of inoculum to a susceptible host, penetration of inoculum into a host, infection, secondary cycles, and pathogen survival between host plants. 

WHY IS IDENTIFICATION VITAL?

Identifying pathogens is the first step in controlling plant diseases and producing quality crops. Proper identification is necessary to implement effective management strategies. 

COMMON STRAWBERRY DISEASES

Red Stele 

Red Stele is a root and crown rot caused by the soil-inhabiting fungus Phytophthora fragariae.

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

Symptoms are more apparent in spring on established plantings, and infections typically occur in patches where the soil remains the wettest. Older leaves will turn yellow, orange, or red, while younger leaves will turn bluish-green. Infected plants have stunted growth, and as the disease roots progress, plant size, yield, and berry size will decrease. The fungus will cause lateral roots to die, and the main roots will have a “rattail” appearance. Infected plants eventually wilt and die.

Disease Cycle

Favors areas with cool, moist soil conditions, notably heavier clay-like soils. Diseased roots spread spores that can infect healthy roots. Spores travel through the soil solution and infiltrate the tips of the roots in the root system. The roots will begin to rot a few days after infection. As the disease progresses, the fungus will produce more spores that will become incorporated into the soil.

 

Powdery Mildew

The fungus Sphaerotheca macularis causes powdery mildew.

 

Photo courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

Powdery mildew is primarily perceived as a foliage disease but may also affect flowers and fruit at all stages of development. The first symptom of leaf infection is small, white, powdery colonies on the underside of leaves. As these colonies enlarge, they will cover the entire underside of the leaves and cause the edges of the leaves to curl. Purple-reddish blotches will become visible on the upper and lower leaf surfaces as the disease progresses. Infected flowers produce deformed fruit or no fruit at all. The disease causes immature fruits to harden and dry out, while mature fruits will become seedy and have powdery and white spores.

Disease Cycle

This disease favors high humidity and warm temperatures. The fungus responsible for powdery mildew requires a living host for its survival. It may overwinter on old, living leaves.

 

Anthracnose

Several species of Colletotrichum can cause lesions on petioles and runners, fruit rot, crown rot, and leaf spot.

 

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

Anthracnose can infect the petiole, runners, fruits, and flower buds. Symptoms include light-brown spots on fruit that turn dark brown or black and then enlarge. These lesions are lens-shaped and sunken. Leaf spots will form at the margins of the leaves. If flowers and flower buds become infected, they will look dried out. Lesions on the petioles and runners will develop as red streaks that later lengthen and become sunken and dark. Plants may experience stunted growth, yellowing of the leaves, wilting, and collapse of plants. When crown tissue is infected, the tissue will become brownish-red in color and decay.

Disease Cycle

Anthracnose thrives in rainy, warm harvest seasons. This disease primarily spreads by splashing water. This fungus overwinters in infected plants and plant debris. Plant tissue is required for the fungus to survive, and the fungus will not remain in the soil for long periods.

 

Common Leaf Spot (Birds-Eye Leaf Spot)

The fungus Mycosphaerella fragariae causes common leaf spot.

 

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

Infected plants will have small, round, red, and purple spots that develop on the leaves and then progress into spots with lighter centers (tan, gray, or white) with a reddish-purple border. The center may fall out, leaving holes with reddish-purple borders. Spots are most apparent on the leaves but are sometimes present on runners, berry caps, leaf petioles, and berries.

Disease Cycle

This disease can occur any time during the year except during dry, hot weather. This disease can survive the winter on dead strawberry plant parts and spread to new foliage by rain or watering.

 

Phomopsis Leaf Blight

The fungus Phomopsis obscurans causes Phomopsis leaf blight.

 

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

The first symptoms are small brown spots encircled by a purple halo. As the disease progresses, spots develop into V-shaped lesions with a dark brown edge and light brown center. The wide portion of the V is near the edge of the leaf. Brown spots may develop on runner stolons, fruit trusses, and petioles and impact growth. When fruit caps become infected, fruit and caps will turn brown, causing phomopsis soft rot.

Disease Cycle

This fungus favors long wet periods, and the temperature has little effect on disease development. The fungus overwinters on older, infected leaves. Early-season rain or irrigation will spread the fungus’s spores. Leaves are infected early in the growing season, but symptoms may not form until later in the season.

 

Leaf Scorch

The fungus Diplocarpon earlianum causes leaf scorch.

 

Symptoms

Irregular dark purple-red spots will appear on the upper leaf surface. Spots will gradually increase in size and may merge to dominate large portions of the leaves. Dead leaf tissue may dry and turn brown. Spots develop on the petioles and caps. Severe cases of leaf scorch may lead to stunted growth due to foliage reduction, decreased plant vigor, and lower yields.

Disease Cycle

This fungus favors long periods of rain and leaf wetness. The fungus can develop under a wide range of temperatures, but extremely hot or cold temperatures may slow its development. The fungus can survive on living and dead plant tissues but is typically worse in older plantings.

 

Angular leaf spot

The bacteria species Xanthomonas fragariae causes angular leaf spot.

 

Photos courtesy of USDA

Symptoms

Symptoms appear as water-soaked spots on the lower leaf surface of older leaves, between small veins of the leaf. The lesions will appear translucent, creating a visible window-pane effect when leaves are held to the light. As the disease progresses, the lesions will expand into an angular shape and become necrotic.

The fruit cap may turn brown or black, while the berry appears normal otherwise. Under moist conditions, the bacterium will secrete a substance that, when dry, appears as a white, scaly film. The pathogen infects the foliage and fruit, and invades the plant’s vascular system, causing a general decline.

Disease Cycle

This disease develops in prolonged cold and wet conditions and favors temperatures just above freezing. This bacterium overwinters in infected plants and dead leaves. The exudate from infected leaves can spread to uninfected plants by water. Young tissue is easily infected.

 

Botrytis 

The fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea causes gray mold.

 

Photos courtesy of Margaret McGrath, Cornell University

Symptoms

In dry conditions, a gray, fuzzy, web-like coating develops on the fruit. When the berry is in contact with the soil, other rotten fruit, or damp surfaces, rot may appear and destroy the berry within 48 hours. Gray mold may be present during all development stages of strawberry fruit production. Gray mold can live in the green tissue but be dormant. Light brown lesions will develop on the stem, sides of the fruit, or flower petals. On undeveloped fruit, the fruit may be deformed and die before maturation.

Disease Cycle 

Fruit rot starts with a blossom infection that ultimately occupies the developing fruits, causing them to rot. As the disease progresses, spores are produced and are blown or splashed onto healthy foliage. Once the fungus is established, it can continuously produce spores throughout the growing season.

The disease is most severe during bloom and harvest in seasons with long periods of rain complemented by cool temperatures and high humidity. The Botrytis cinerea fungus overwinters on old leaves and plant debris. Dead plants and fallen leaves should be removed and burned or buried.

 

REMINDER

Nourse Farms is here to help your plants survive and thrive! Call us at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com if you have any questions.

 

REFERENCES

“Common Leaf Spot of Strawberry - .” Wisconsin Horticulture, October 14, 2016.

Demchak, Kathleen, and Amanda Kirsten. The Mid-Atlantic Berry Guide for Commercial Growers, 2013-2014. University Park, PA: Penn State Cooperative Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences, 2013.

“Leaf Blight.” Leaf blight - strawberries - ontario CROPIPM, March 12, 2009.

Louws, Frank. “Botrytis Fruit Rot / Gray Mold on Strawberry.” NC State Extension Publications. Accessed November 16, 2023.

McGrath, Margaret T. “Home.” Vegetable Pathology Long Island Horticultural Research Extension Center. Accessed November 16, 2023.

“Plant Disease Basics and Diagnosis.” Penn State Extension, 2012.

“Strawberry Plant Diseases: Problems Caused by Bacteria, Fungi, Molds, and Viruses.” Strawberry Plants, February 14, 2022.

“Strawberry Powdery Mildew .” Berry Diagnostic Tool. Accessed November 16, 2023. 

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[The Health Benefits of Berries]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postthe-health-benefits-of-berries https://noursefarms.com/news/postthe-health-benefits-of-berries Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Berries are nature’s little powerhouses, packed with vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and a wealth of health benefits. Among these nutritional gems, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries stand out as some of the most impressive.

Strawberries

Heart-healthy and immune-boosting, strawberries are bursting with antioxidants, including vitamin C, and anthocyanins. Here's why you should make them a part of your daily diet:

  • Heart Health: Strawberries help reduce the risk of heart disease by promoting healthy blood pressure levels and improving cholesterol profiles. They contain potassium, fiber, and flavonoids that support cardiovascular health.
  • Immune System Support: Packed with vitamin C, strawberries can strengthen your immune system, keeping those seasonal colds at bay. A single cup of strawberries provides more vitamin C than an orange!
  • Anti-Inflammatory: The antioxidants in strawberries have potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce chronic inflammation.

Raspberries

Fiber and antioxidant-rich raspberries, with their tart and sweet combination, are loaded with nutrients and offer an array of health benefits:

  • Fiber-Packed: Raspberries are one of the best sources of dietary fiber among fruits. Fiber aids in digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Antioxidant Arsenal: Raspberries are rich in antioxidants like quercetin and ellagic acid, which combat oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Brain Boost: Research suggests that the compounds in raspberries may have neuroprotective properties, potentially contributing to better cognitive function as you age.

Blueberries

Blueberries, often called brain berries are revered for their cognitive benefits and overall health advantages:

  • Brain Health: Blueberries are packed with anthocyanins and other antioxidants that may improve memory and cognition, and protect against age-related cognitive decline. Regular consumption has been linked to better brain function.
  • Antioxidant Powerhouse: Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants neutralize free radicals, reducing cellular damage and the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Heart Health: Blueberries have been associated with lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels, contributing to a healthier heart.

Incorporating a variety of berries into your diet is an easy and delicious way to reap these health benefits. Enjoy them fresh, frozen, in smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or as a topping for your favorite desserts. With their natural sweetness and nutritional bounty, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries can help you savor both the flavor and the health benefits of nature's most vibrant gifts. Your body and taste buds will thank you!

 

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Five Points to Ponder]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-ponder-fall-2023 https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-ponder-fall-2023 Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT 1. Planning for Potential Oversupply

As the summer sun graces your berry fields, you may find yourself with an abundance of fruit! Whether you're a seasoned berry farmer or just starting out, an oversupply of berries can be a challenge! Some tips and tricks:

Prepared Ads for Local Newspapers

Harness the power of your community: have ads prepared for your local newspaper if you find yourself with too many berries. Create irresistible offers like "Buy One, Get One Free!”

Picking for Juice

Berries are a coveted ingredient for jams, jellies, beer, ice cream, wine, and more! We keep a "wait list" of customers to contact when juice berries become available. This is helpful after weather events where you may have an abundance of imperfect fruit.

Keeping a List of Loyal Clients

Keep a list of your loyal customers’ preferences and contact information, and offer them exclusive deals or early access to your berry harvest. These relationships and support can be a lifeline during times of abundance.

Social Media Marketing

Showcase your berry fields on social media. Share recipes, behind-the-scenes glimpses of farm life, and more. Encourage customers to share their berry experiences using a unique hashtag!

Coupons or Discounts

Offer special coupons or discounts to incentivize customers to purchase more berries, like "20% off your next purchase with every berry basket." This promotes sales and encourages repeat visits to your farm. 

With a little creativity and some strategic planning, you can turn your surplus into a win-win situation for both your farm and customers.

2. The Importance of Chill

Chill refers to a plant’s exposure to chilling temperatures, normally measured from 32°F–45°F. There are two stages to chilling, first to enter dormancy and then to complete dormancy. Strawberry plants are considered dormant after about 400 hours of chill; raspberry and blackberry plants often only require 200 hours.

Initial period

  • Plants accumulate chill hours to enter dormancy.
  • Warm days can keep the plant active. Once the initial requirement is met, dormancy is irreversible.

Dormant period

  • Plant is fully dormant.
  • Can withstand colder temperatures.
  • Related to vernalization or the plant’s ability to flower.

Why is Chill Important?

  • Chill is required for many fruiting plants to go into and out of dormancy and to bloom.
  • Many fall pesticide treatments must be applied when plants are partially or fully dormant.
  • Strawberry dormancy is challenging: apply winter protection too early and plants may not be dormant, too late and they may be damaged by cold.

Methods for Calculating Chill Hours

There are two main methods of measuring chill hours. The Modified Chill Hour Model is done by counting hours where the temperature is between 32°F and 45°F. The Utah Chill Units Model measures only down to 35°F, and reduces hours for warmer temperatures. The Utah model can be a more accurate measurement in temperate areas with colder winters.

Resources

Some extension agencies track chill hours for their area, but this data often comes from a centralized weather station and may not reflect specific fields. Collecting data from in-field stations or from a local weather station and using a spreadsheet may be a better option.

3. Long Canes & Tray Plants

Interest in cultivating berries in soilless media has surged recently. Europe, renowned for its berry cultivation, primarily focuses on raspberry and blackberry long cane plants and strawberry tray plants. Nurseries nurture these plants under ideal conditions, preparing them growers to begin fruiting shortly after transplanting. Both the nursery and the fruit grower must carefully monitor and manage the plants for this production system to be profitable.

Considerations 

Ensure proper management of water and nutrients as well as pests and diseases.

Buffer Capacity

Unlike traditional soil-based cultivation, soilless substrates have limited buffer capacity, leaving little room for error. Simple mistakes, such as overlooking watering or failing to monitor fertilizer applications, can lead to loss or failure.

Irrigation & Fertilization

To ensure optimal results, employ computerized systems for irrigation that adjust fertilizer applications based on irrigation water electrical conductivity (EC) and metering dependent on soil moisture.

Media

The choice of media significantly affects water and nutrient movement, impacting the grower’s approach to irrigation. Coconut coir is the preferred medium for growing berry plants due to its lower water-holding capacity. It necessitates more frequent irrigation but uses less water per cycle, promoting better drainage and reducing soluble salt buildup.

Plant Availability 

In North America, obtaining high-quality long cane and tray plants can be challenging, as most plants are grown on contract for large fruit growers.

Where to Start?

Managing irrigation and nutrient needs can be challenging in soilless production. Experimenting with bare root plants of primocane raspberry and day-neutral strawberry varieties allows growers to manage risks while gaining experience with substrate-based cultivation.

 

4. Smarter Site Selection

In recent years, growers have faced surges in extreme weather events. As they prepare for new plantings, choosing the right location becomes pivotal in mitigating losses due to adverse weather.

Key Factors in Site Selection

When selecting a site, consider field orientation, grade, sun exposure, precipitation, wind direction, soil texture, water table, and field history. Delve into sitespecific historical weather data, including temperatures, precipitation, frost dates, and extreme event frequency.

Soil Texture and Drainage

Soil and drainage impact water and nutrient flow. In heavy soil or poor drainage areas, consider drain tile installation. Address low-lying water pooling by adjusting field grades. 

Field Layout and Sun Exposure

Field layout influences crop health. Row orientation impacts light and air circulation. South- and west-facing fields warm faster than east or north.

Monitoring Systems 

Use weather stations and soil sensors for real-time location-specific data.

By weighing these factors, growers can reduce risk and losses, enhancing crop resilience to unpredictable weather. Thoughtful site selection paves the way for successful harvests.

 

5. Raised Beds on Bare Ground

Raised beds provide numerous benefits for small fruit cultivation, particularly for strawberries, and offer advantages for other small fruits as well. Here we explore essential steps for creating and maintaining productive raised beds.

Creating Raised Beds

Preparation

Begin by discing and chisel plowing to prepare the field, ensuring optimal soil conditions. Firm soil is critical for uniform plant placement.

Shaping

Form the beds with a crown in the middle, gently sloping to the sides for effective water drainage. The shovels making wheel marks push soil onto the newly formed bed. Discs ahead of the shaper move soil to the bed’s center, ensuring firmness. The shaper should be angled downward away from the tractor, pressing the soil to create the bed. Beds are shaped twice to ensure proper filling and firmness.

Soil Moisture

Consider soil moisture during bed shaping. Excessively wet soil becomes sticky and challenging to work with, while overly dry soil won’t maintain its shape. To address this, irrigate the field or wait for rain before bed shaping to reduce excess air space and enhance soil cohesion.

Maintaining Raised Beds

One year later, the strawberry field is due for renovation. A well-prepared raised bed should maintain its original height for many years with proper care.

After the standard renovation mowing, rototill the beds to incorporate straw and plant material. We utilize a Lilliston Rolling Cultivator with adjustable “gang” attachments to facilitate precise cultivation near plant rows on the bed top and at an angle on the bed edge. These cultivator shovels push the soil back in place to maintain bed shape.

By following these steps, you can ensure the longevity and productivity of your raised beds. Raised beds provide an efficient way to cultivate a variety of crops while maintaining soil health and consistency.

 

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[The Ins and Outs of Primocane/Fall-Bearing Raspberry Production]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postprimocane-fall-bearing-raspberry-production https://noursefarms.com/news/postprimocane-fall-bearing-raspberry-production Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Raspberries are a high-value crop much in demand. Fall bearing raspberries are an excellent complement to fall crops like apples and pumpkins. Here we focus on the basics for producing these raspberries, which are gaining popularity.

Site Preparation

  • Avoid a site where previous crops have included brambles, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, or peppers. Destroy all wild raspberries and other brambles within 500 to 1,000 feet of your planting site.
  • We advise taking soil samples to get a read on your pH, percentage of organic matter, and overall fertility to make changes well in advance of planting. Our recommendations are a pH in the 6.5–6.8 range with minimum 2–3% organic matter.
  • Planting on raised beds is highly recommended to improve soil drainage in the rooting zone, particularly on heavier soils.
  • Selecting a site with a gentle slope (3–4%) and good air drainage will also promote faster drying of foliage, flowers, and fruit. This can reduce the duration and frequency of disease infection periods. Recommended plant spacing is 18–24 inches in the row and 10–12 feet between the rows.
  • Drip Irrigation is an essential component to successful raspberry production. Plants generally require 1–2 inches of water per week during the growing season and 2–3 inches per week during harvest. We suggest having your local irrigation sales company review your field layout for the best recommendation.

Choosing a Variety

One of the most important decisions a grower can make is the choice of varieties for their operation. U-Pick growers look at flavor and season extension as priorities. Productivity, ease-of-picking and longer shelf-life potential are important for fresh market sales. Ripening time is also an important consideration both for areas that get high late summer temperatures or are prone to early hard frost. Please see our catalog or noursefarms.com for variety descriptions. Below is a chart of our primocane raspberry varieties and ripening time.

Planting & Fertilization

  • We recommend planting early in the spring when soil temperatures are in the 45–50-degree range.
  • Keeping roots at this depth and not too deep allows easier sucker development from roots.
  • Consider using a product such as Agri-gelTM to help support plants through dry periods.
  • Do not fertilize at planting. Earlier in this article, we recommend a soil sample the previous year to determine nutritional needs. If needed, apply 20–35 pounds actual nitrogen per acre based on soil type. Primocane fruiting varieties can benefit from split fertilizer applications in early spring and again in late May or June.
  • Using mulches during the first year for the establishment of raspberry plants can help manage weeds, reduce or eliminate herbicides, maintain soil moisture for the new plants, and maximize the growth of the new planting.

Tunnel Production

High tunnel raspberry production continues to be a hot topic in the industry. We have had excellent success in using high tunnels in our bramble production. High tunnels can lengthen the fall picking season on primocanes. In reverse, if double cropping, the floricane crop can be even earlier under high tunnels.

 

Trellising & Pruning

We recommend all brambles, including red raspberries, be supported by trellis. A trellis keeps canes upright and fruit off the ground, making picking easier. Trellising also maintains good aeration throughout the planting season which helps with disease control. We have been successful using a T-bar trellis with 2 T-bars – one at 3 feet and one at 4 feet above the ground. See our website for diagrams.

Pruning time and manner depend on whether you are fruiting on the primocanes only or looking at double cropping. Most fall-bearers will produce the best crop if canes are cut down each year and only allowed to fruit in the fall. For fall production only, prune or mow all the canes to the ground, leaving little or no stubble in late winter/early spring. Timing is also very important: if canes are cut too early in the fall or too late in spring,  new primocanes will be weak. Ideal timing is 

December—February.

Double cropping means fruiting on the first year primocanes in addition to floricanes the second year. In order to develop the 2 crops, the planting must be pruned as summer bearing varieties. When allowed to stand through the winter, a second crop is produced. This second crop is produced early the following summer, lower on those over-wintered canes. After harvesting the summer crop, cut the canes to the ground, leaving the new primocanes to produce the fall crop.

 

Pest Management

Good weed control during the first year is essential. Raspberry plants are sensitive to most herbicides during the first few months after planting. Research has shown that applying a clean straw mulch (4 inches deep) to newly planted raspberry plants provides good weed control. We recommend the straw be chopped to form a tight layer over the top of the soil and be less affected by wind removing it. If plastic mulches are used, they need to be removed after the first growing season to reduce the threat from Phytophthora. We do not recommend bark mulch. Like any crop, a variety of pests need to be managed to maximize yields, fruit quality, and extend the life of your planting. Based on experience, growers should be concerned with:

  • Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD)

  • Phytophthora Root Rot

  • Botrytis Fruit Rot (Grey Mold)

  • Aphids

  • Yellow (Late or Fall) Rust

  • Mites

Please review past newsletters on our website at NourseFarms.com, or contact your local cooperative extension office for specifics on possible controls.

 

 

 

Posted in: Bramble Production, Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Strawberry Varieties and Their Performance]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-varieties-and-their-performance https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-varieties-and-their-performance Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Varieties will perform differently from grower to grower. Different growing regions, soil types, varying crop and soil management, and the results desired by each grower and their customers can influence variety performance from farm to farm.

 

Early-Season

AC Wendy

  • Earliest ripening and earliest flowering of June-bearing varieties. Requires the ability to frost/freeze protect, if necessary.
  • Moderately resistant to red stele; susceptible to Verticillium wilt and leaf spot/scorch.
  • Performs best on lighter soils and in a matted row system.

Annapolis

  • Tough variety that performs in heavier soils and under very cold conditions in the upper Midwest, New England, Ontario and Quebec.
  • Introduced in the 1980s; still a consistent performer.

Galletta

  • In our conditions in Western Mass., we prefer Galletta for an early variety due to its great flavor and ability to hold its size. This season, over seven pickings, yields for Galletta averaged 13,000 pounds per acre for us.
  • Key early plasticulture variety. Easy picking, thanks to the open nature of the plant.
  • Good tolerance to leaf disease and red stele.

Earliglow

  • Considered one of the best-tasting heirloom quality strawberry varieties.
  • Vigorous, easy to grow.
  • The size drops dramatically after initial picking, but has a strong following among PYO customers that maintains its popularity with matted row growers.

Early Mid-Season

Yambu

  • Our top early midseason variety in the Midwest, Northeast, and Canada.
  • Has gained rapid popularity because of its high plant vigor and improved flavor over Honeoye.
  • High yield potential, as our 2023 season average was 22,000+ pounds per acre over 12 pickings.
  • Flavor varies from site to site.

Honeoye

  • Continues to be relevant as it will grow under a wide range of conditions, very winter hardy, and very productive.
  • Despite its varied flavor farm to farm, it processes well, making it attractive for PYO customers.

Brunswick

  • Has a better flavor than Honeoye and fits into many growers’ programs because of its disease package and performance.

Cavendish

  • Best adapted to northern conditions, Cavendish is very productive with good flavor.
  • Cavendish would be a top-selling variety if not for the uneven ripening syndrome under high temperatures.

Mid-Season

Jewel

  • Remains the mid-season variety leader and the top-selling matted row variety due to its consistent performance.
  • Needs extra care at renovation: no Sinbar, cut row width to 12 inches maximum, timely irrigation during renovation re-establishment.

Flavorfest

  • Demand continues to increase because of its disease resistance and its ability to hold berry size.
  • Key mid-season plasticulture variety with an important tolerance to anthracnose.

Allstar

  • A work-horse variety performing under a wide range of conditions, especially heavier soils.
  • Has disease resistance.
  • Customers have grown to accept light color of the fruit.

Sonata

  • A very flavorful variety that requires extra nutrition requirements with magnesium and nitrogen management.
  • Grown under conditions the variety favors, Sonata is highly productive.

Darselect

  • Key mid-season plasticulture variety; one of the most productive here at Nourse Farms.
  • Requires careful management but is highly productive and holds berry size well, reducing harvest loss per flat.
  • Tolerates anthracnose fruit rot better than many varieties.

Late Mid-Season

Cabot

  • The leading variety in the late mid-season category.
  • Large fruit and good flavor.
  • Requires a high level of boron at pollination to reduce the amount of misshaped fruit early in its ripening season.
  • Challenging to grow and does not runner well. Excellent choice on plastic, where runners must be removed throughout the growing season.
  • As it has a soft berry skin, it is not resistant to driving rain events, and berries can split.

Sparkle

  • Like Earliglow, Sparkle is popular with PYO customers as the best berry for jam and freezing.
  • Winter hardy to zone 3, making it a later season option for far north matted row growers.

Dickens

  • This variety has developed interest thanks to its firmness and easy picking habit.
  • Growers have experienced fewer insect issues, possibly due to very pubescent stems.
  • The flavor is good and the productivity is historically excellent. We averaged 13,000 pounds per acre in our own fruit production, but some growers experienced disappointment in their yields this season.

 

Late-Season

AC Valley Sunset

  • As the only late variety, AC Valley Sunset is popular for its excellent flavor, size, and plant vigor.
  • Fills the late-season production gap. Maintaining good harvest intervals will help mitigate its soft fruit characteristic.

Malwina*

  • We categorize Malwina as a very late variety, typically starting harvest 7–10 days after AC Valley Sunset.
  • It’s one of our most demanded varieties because of its late season and high-quality fruit.

*We are in full production once again for Spring 2024 but encourage growers to order early, as we anticipate we will sell out.

 

Day-Neutral/Everbearing

Albion

  • One of the top day-neutral varieties with the potential for high yields of large berries.
  • For maximum fruit size, a good watering program, specifically nitrogen, and increased spacing are necessary.
  • Resistant to Verticillium wilt, Phytophthora Crown rot and some resistance to anthracnose crown rot.

Seascape

  • The standard for flavor in commercial day-neutrals, Seascape is a top performer.
  • Berries may start small but quickly increase to a large size while maintaining firmness.

Evie-2

  • Easier to grow, higher yielding, and less sensitive to hot temperatures than other day-neutrals.
  • In our fruiting trial, Evie-2 produced the largest spring crop of any day-neutral variety we have tested to date.

San Andreas

  • One of the largest berries of any day-neutral variety.
  • Consistent yields make it the second variety for many growers.
  • Less flavorful than Albion but easier to produce a crop.

Mara Des Bois

  • Once considered only a home garden variety because of its small berry size and yields, the restaurant industry is a captive specialty market for commercial growers due to fruit aroma and flavor.

We have an excellent supply of plants for the 2024 season, but always suggest ordering now to get the best selection.

Posted in: Newsletter, Strawberry Production

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<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-fall-2023 https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-fall-2023 Thu, 09 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT We are thrilled about the exciting path ahead for Nourse Farms. With an increased capital infusion, we are strategically expanding our acreage, which will translate into a substantial boost in high-quality berry propagation.

As part of our commitment to innovation, we are making signifi cant investments in state-of-the-art technology. This technology will not only enhance consistency and yields but also empower us to adapt rapidly to the evolving demands of the market.

In addition to these technological advancements, we have ambitious plans to construct modern facilities that will play a pivotal role in supporting our growth and further elevating our propagation capabilities. Our dedication to innovation and quality is unwavering, reinforcing our position as a true leader in the industry.

Our journey is characterized by growth, innovation, and a commitment to serving you, our valued customers. We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to share this journey with you and to bring you the benefi ts of these transformative enhancements.

Best Regards,

John Place

Chief Executive Officer

jplace@noursefarms.com

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

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<![CDATA[Micropropagation Lab Manager—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postmicropropagation-lab-managerwhately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/postmicropropagation-lab-managerwhately-ma Wed, 08 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Job Title:  Micropropagation Lab Manager
Department: Lab                                                             
Job Status:
Full Time
FLSA Status: Exempt                                                      
Reports to:
Laboratory Director
Job Type: Regular                                                            
Amount of Travel Required:
None
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday                                
Positions Supervised:
20+

Position Summary

Nourse Farms is a leading player in the plant propagation industry, known for our commitment to excellence in providing high-quality plant stock. We are embarking on an exciting expansion project that includes the construction of a state-of-the-art tissue culture lab with automation. This expansion will be instrumental in our future growth, and we are seeking an experienced Laboratory Manager to play a pivotal role in developing the team, creating standard operating procedures (SOPs), and ensuring the timely and successful operation of this cutting-edge facility.

Primary Duties:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

To accomplish this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation, each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to help enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

General Management

  • Oversee all lab work, responsible for all aspects of plant media.
  • Provide training, organization, motivation, and encouragement for lab staff.
  • Budget planning and execution for lab operations, continually seeking more cost-effective procedures while not compromising product quality.
  • Inventory and ordering of necessary chemicals and supplies.
  • Maintenance of lab and lab equipment
  • Coordination with greenhouse personnel during planting, acclimation, and growing-on periods to ensure plant quality and sufficient inventory.
  • Contribute to the development and refinement of laboratory standard operating procedures (SOPs) and processes as we expand and scale the organization, ensuring efficiency and compliance.
  • Monitor the production schedule from start to finish, ensuring that stock meets the required standards, reaches the targeted quantity, and adheres to the production schedule; promptly address any issues to ensure the greenhouse operations are successful in all aspects.
  • Supervision of other tasks as required to maintain lab performance.
  • When unable to directly supervise, delegates authority and supervision to team lead.
  • Enforce rigorous sanitation practices, champion our standards, and ensure team-wide compliance.
  • Collaborate with Human Resources in overseeing the hiring, disciplinary actions, and separation processes for both full-time and part-time employees.
  • Supervision of technicians during transferring, initiation, media prep, and lab maintenance for maximum efficiency and quality
  • All aspects of media preparation including pouring and autoclaving
  • Scheduling and supervision of lab propagation (transferring) to meet production targets.
  • Initiation of new growth room cultures, maintain inventory, and keep cultures up-to-date and healthy through regularly scheduled meristem initiation.
  • Utilize advanced software tools to extract data analytics and generate comprehensive reports to support organizational decision-making and optimization.
  • Ensure strict compliance with material testing protocols and collaborate closely with the R&D Lab to ensure seamless propagation and shipping processes without any delays.

Qualifications:

  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, plant pathology or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience: 5 years of experience in a plant tissue culture lab with micropropagation, supervisory or management position with proven ability to manage, develop and mentor staff.
  • Computer Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Stellar organizational and communication skills.
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamic agricultural setting with shifting priorities.
  • Problem-solving prowess, especially when under pressure.
  • Resource Management (People & Equipment) - Ability to obtain and appropriate the proper usage of equipment, facilities, materials, as well as personnel.

 

To apply, simply email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Micropropagation Lab Manager—Whately, MA" in the subject line. 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Administrative Coordinator—Mills River, NC]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postadministrative-assistant-mills-river-nc https://noursefarms.com/news/postadministrative-assistant-mills-river-nc Mon, 06 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Job Title:  Administrative Coordinator
Department: Overhead                                                  
Job Status:
Full-Time
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt                                            
Reports to:
Head Grower
Job Type: Regular                                                            
Dotted line Reporting to: Finance and HR (HQ)
Amount of Travel Required: < 10% to HQ                 
Positions Supervised:
0
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday                                

Position Summary:

Nourse Farms is a leading player in the plant propagation industry, known for our commitment to excellence in providing high-quality plant stock. Nourse Farms is seeking a motivated and dedicated Administrative Assistant to provide essential support to the management team and staff at our Mills River, NC location. This role is crucial in ensuring smooth operations and effective communication within the department and across the organization.

Primary Duties:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

To accomplish this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation, each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to help enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Responsibilities:

  • Financial and HR Liaison: Act as a liaison between the facility and the main headquarters in Massachusetts for financial and HR communication, ensuring that information flows smoothly between the two locations.
  • Priva Labor Analytics: Monitor and maintain Priva labor analytics systems, ensuring accuracy and functionality. Submit labor analytics to the finance department for payroll processing and support.
  • Onboarding: Assist in the onboarding process for new hires, including paperwork, orientation, and coordination of training materials.
  • Office Supplies and Equipment Inventory: Maintain and manage the inventory of office supplies, ensuring proper reordering as needed, and oversee the maintenance and functionality of office equipment to ensure a well-stocked and efficiently organized office environment.
  • Ongoing Training: Coordinate and execute ongoing training sessions for staff, ensuring that training materials are readily available and up to date.
  • Receptionist Duties: Act as a receptionist for guests, answer phone calls, and respond to general email inquiries, maintaining a professional and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Report Creation: Assist in the creation of reports for the leadership team, providing valuable insights and information to support decision-making.

Qualifications:

  • Education: High school diploma or equivalent is required. Additional education or certification in administrative or HR-related fields is a plus.
  • Experience: Previous administrative assistant experience is preferred. Familiarity with finance and HR processes is advantageous.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to effectively relay information between the facility and headquarters. Bilingual Spanish preferred.
  • Organizational Skills: Strong organizational skills and attention to detail to manage office supplies, training materials, and administrative tasks efficiently.
  • Tech Proficiency: Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and experience with data entry and analytics tools is desirable.
  • Team Player: Ability to work collaboratively within the facility and communicate effectively with remote teams at headquarters.
  • Proactive: A proactive and self-motivated attitude to anticipate and address administrative needs.
  • Confidentiality: Discretion and the ability to handle sensitive information with confidentiality.

 

To apply, simply email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Administrative Coordinator—North Carolina" in the subject line. 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Assistant Grower—Mills River, NC]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postassistant-grower-mills-river-nc https://noursefarms.com/news/postassistant-grower-mills-river-nc Mon, 06 Nov 2023 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Assistant Grower—Mills River, NC
Department: Production                             
Job Status:
Full Time
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt                            
Reports to:
Head Grower
Job Type: Regular                                            
Amount of Travel Required:
None
Work Schedule: Monday – Saturday, rotating Sunday                                              
Positions Supervised:
1

Position Summary:

Nourse Farms is a leading player in the plant propagation industry, known for their commitment to excellence in providing high-quality plant stock. Nourse Farms is seeking a motivated and dedicated Assistant Grower to support the Head Grower in the management and care of small fruit plants at our facility in Mills River, NC. The Assistant Grower will play a vital role in maintaining plant health, implementing growing practices, and ensuring the success of our horticultural operations.

Primary Duties:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement: 

To accomplish this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation, each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to help enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Plant Husbandry: Assist in the planting of crops in our facility’s gutter, and . engage in ongoing plant maintenance activities, such as removing flowers, pruning leaves, and adhering to a preventative spray schedule to ensure plant health.
  • Greenhouse Operations: Collaborate with the Head Grower to manage all aspects of greenhouse operations, including monitoring environmental conditions, runner production tasks, irrigation and nutrition management, and integrated pest management strategies. Ensure efficient and timely completion of all greenhouse activities while maintaining optimal growth conditions for plants.
  • Inventory Management: Assist in maintaining accurate inventory records of plant varieties,   maintain accurate records of tasks related to grow bags, planting, plant maintenance, tip inventory and other greenhouse-related activities.
  • Quality Control & Sanitation: Support quality control efforts to ensure that all plants meet or exceed established quality standards.  Assist in greenhouse clean-out and sanitation before transition to new production.
  • Team Collaboration: Collaborate closely with the Head Grower and other team members to execute growing plans, communicate plant care needs, and contribute to the success of the growing operations.
  • Standard Operating Procedures and High Standards: Collaborate with Head Grower to develop and implement Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the facility, ensuring the highest standards of cultivation and production are consistently met.
  • Priva Software Utilization and Data Analysis: Proficiently utilize Priva climate and labor management software to monitor and control greenhouse climate conditions, labor activities, and collect data related to plant growth, yield, and environmental conditions. Use this information to fine-tune cultivation techniques, optimize greenhouse operations for efficiency and productivity, and contribute to the optimization of plant growth.
  • Equipment and Facility Maintenance: Participate in the maintenance and repair of equipment and facilities as needed to ensure a safe and efficient working environment.
  • Training and Development: Engage in continuous learning and training to enhance horticultural knowledge and skills.
  • Additional Duties: Collaborate with Head Grower on other tasks and responsibilities related to greenhouse operations, as required.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Horticulture, Agriculture, or a related field (preferred).
  • 2 years' experience in greenhouse operations or agricultural work.
  • Basic knowledge of greenhouse operations, including Priva experience a plus
  • Strong attention to detail and a willingness to learn and adapt.
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills.
  • Ability to work outdoors in various weather conditions.
  • Physical ability to perform tasks such as climbing ladders, lifting 50 lb., bending, and operating equipment.
  • Eagerness to contribute to a dynamic and collaborative team.

 

To apply, simply email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Assistant Grower—North Carolina" in the subject line. 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Lab Director—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postlab-director-whately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/postlab-director-whately-ma Thu, 26 Oct 2023 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Laboratory Director - Plant Tissue Culture and Operations
Department: Lab                                                              
Job Status: Full Time
FLSA Status: Exempt                                                       
Reports to: General Manager
Job Type: Regular                                                             
Amount of Travel Required: None
Work Schedule: Mon-Fri                                               
Positions Supervised: 2-5

Position Summary

Nourse Farms is a leading player in the plant propagation industry, known for our commitment to excellence in providing high-quality plant stock. We are embarking on an exciting expansion project that includes the construction of a state-of-the-art tissue culture lab with automation. This expansion will be instrumental in our future growth, and we are seeking an experienced Laboratory Director to play a pivotal role in developing the team, creating standard operating procedures (SOPs), and ensuring the timely and successful operation of this cutting-edge facility, while overseeing our current lab. This role is also critical to our production planning efforts as we prepare for this significant development.

Primary Duties:

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

To accomplish this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform, with or without reasonable accommodation, each essential function satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to help enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

General Management and Lab Development:

  • Oversee the development of the new tissue culture lab, including team building, support of recruitment, creation of SOPs, and setting up operational protocols.
  • Provide training, organization, motivation, and encouragement for lab staff, collaborating with the Lab Manager to build a cohesive and skilled team.
  • Manage inventory and procurement planning for necessary chemicals and supplies for the upcoming lab expansion.
  • Be available to provide support for the development requirements associated with the new laboratory build project. Collaborate with greenhouse personnel and other team members to align the lab's operation with planting, acclimation, and growing schedules.
  • Establish protocols to follow production through to the greenhouse, ensuring stock quality, quantity, and schedule adherence.
  • Foster coordination with other department managers through regular meetings and strategy sessions, contributing to production planning efforts.
  • Supervise various tasks related to lab development and construction as needed to ensure the successful establishment of the new facility.
  • Ensure continued support and connection of current lab facility and team as new lab comes online.

PCR Lab and Micropropagation Lab:

  • Oversee the PCR Lab and Micropropagation Lab, setting up equipment and protocols.
  • Collaborate with technicians to develop and maintain efficient and high-quality processes in both labs.
  • Ensure proper media preparation, pouring, autoclaving, and lab maintenance procedures are documented, followed and established.
  • Work on scheduling and supervision of lab propagation (transferring) to meet future sales goals.
  • Initiate new growth room cultures, maintain inventory, and establish procedures for regular meristem initiation.

New Varieties/Trials:

  • Prepare for the integration of trial varieties of strawberries and raspberries into the lab as it moves from quarantine to post-quarantine readiness.
  • Collaborate with the PCR Lab to document and establish screening and virus indexing processes.
  • Provide feedback and assessments of new varieties to Director of Production and other managers.
  • Plan and execute the pruning and maintenance of new plants in the stock house, aligning with production planning requirements.

Qualifications:

  • Education:  Bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, plant pathology or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience: 10 years of experience in a plant tissue culture lab, supervisory or management position with proven ability to manage, develop and mentor staff.
  • Computer Skills: Proficient in Microsoft Office
  • Stellar organizational and communication skills.
  • Ability to thrive in a dynamic agricultural setting with shifting priorities.
  • Problem-solving prowess, especially when under pressure.
  • Resource Management (People & Equipment) - Ability to obtain and appropriate the proper usage of equipment, facilities, materials, as well as personnel.


To apply for this position, email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Lab Director—Whately, MA" in the subject line. 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Nourse Farms Announces Expansion and Partnership]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-farms-announces-expansion-and-partnership https://noursefarms.com/news/postnourse-farms-announces-expansion-and-partnership Tue, 03 Oct 2023 00:00:00 GMT Propagation operation has partnered with Solum Partners to expand its tissue culture and nursery capabilities; expanding operating footprint to North Carolina

 

(October 3, 2023: WHATELY, Mass.) Nourse Farms, a North American berry plant propagator, announced an expansion that will position the business to accelerate its growth trajectory with a continued focus on innovation and quality. Nourse Farms has partnered with Solum Partners, an investment management firm focused on the food and agriculture industry, to expand and modernize its propagation footprint.

One of the early innovators in tray plant strawberry and long cane bramble propagation in North America, Nourse Farms plans to increase its focus on these products to support rapidly increasing interest and demand.

This expansion will include a modern tissue culture lab and a 7-acre greenhouse for foundation material in Whately, Massachusetts. Additionally, Nourse Farms has acquired a 15-acre greenhouse in North Carolina to expand operations. These facilities will amplify Nourse Farms’ commitment to innovation and will open in 2024.

Through this expansion, Nourse Farms remains firmly committed to its mission of delivering high-quality plants and exceptional customer service to meet the evolving needs of berry growers around the world. In doing so, it will leverage its many decades of expertise in the industry to remain the propagator of choice for growers looking for high-performing plants.

“Our top priority is to ensure that every plant grown by Nourse Farms continues to meet the highest standards of quality and performance,” said John Place, Nourse Farms CEO. “We understand how important it is for growers to be able to trust that high-quality, high-performing plants will be available where and when they need them. Our customers will receive the same remarkable plants and customer service they have come to expect from us over the many decades in business.”

“We believe that the future of berry production will demand more substrate-grown plants,” continued Place. “After spending the last several years developing our substrate production processes, we are excited to expand this area of the business and are confident that we will maintain the same level of trust with our valued customers.”

“I’m pleased to see the berry plant propagation business continuing to advance and evolve with the needs of berry growers,” said Tim Nourse, Nourse Farms Board Chair. “Berry growers around the world are facing unprecedented challenges and we are excited to support their adoption of more sustainable growing practices. I have been farming my entire life and the one constant is change. This is an exciting time for our team and for the industry!”

About Nourse Farms 
For over 90 years, Nourse Farms has produced and sold premium quality small fruit plants to national and international commercial fruit growers, home gardeners, and resellers. Nourse Farms’ commitment to providing customers with virus-indexed, highly productive plants drives the organization to stay on the cutting edge of the latest developments in the industry. By identifying and testing new varieties and growing techniques, Nourse Farms stands behind its promise to deliver quality. What was once a strawberry nursery serving local growers has grown to be an internationally recognized soft fruit nursery selling strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and blackberry plants. For more information about Nourse Farms, visit NourseFarms.com.

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Assistant Grower—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postassistant-growerwhately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/postassistant-growerwhately-ma Fri, 29 Sep 2023 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Assistant Grower
Location: Whately, Massachusetts

We are seeking a dedicated Assistant Grower to join our team in Whately, Massachusetts. Under the expert guidance of our Farm Manager, you'll play an integral role in supporting our soil-based propagation initiatives and contributing to our mission of producing high-quality berry plants, raspberries, and asparagus.

Key Responsibilities

  • Propagation Support: Assist in all stages of soil-based propagation, adhering to the set protocols to ensure the cultivation of healthy plants.
  • Plant Care: Monitor plants for signs of pests, diseases, and other potential concerns, implementing appropriate solutions as directed by the Farm Manager.
  • Resource Assistance: Support in the allocation and distribution of necessary resources, including tools, equipment, and materials, for efficient propagation.
  • Data Collection: Collaboratively gather pertinent data under the Farm Manager's direction, assisting in tracking propagation efficiency, growth rates, and other relevant metrics.
  • Site Maintenance: Ensure that propagation fields and areas are well-maintained, organized, and free of hazards.
  • Safety Protocols: Adhere rigorously to all safety protocols and guidelines, ensuring a secure work environment for oneself and colleagues.
  • Learning & Development: Engage actively in continuous learning to update and expand your knowledge of plant propagation techniques, especially pertaining to berry plants, raspberries, and asparagus.

Qualifications:

  • A degree or diploma in Horticulture, Agriculture, Plant Science, or a related field is advantageous.
  • One to two years of hands-on experience in propagation, farming, or a related agricultural domain.
  • A foundational understanding of plant care and propagation techniques.
  • Proficient team player with the capability to work harmoniously in a team-oriented setting.
  • Keen observational skills coupled with meticulous attention to detail.
  • Receptiveness to take direction and learn from the Farm Manager and other senior professionals.
  • Ability to operate in varying weather conditions and undertake physical tasks.

Benefits:

  • Competitive salary tailored to experience.
  • Comprehensive health and dental insurance perks.
  • Opportunities for professional advancement and skill enhancement.
  • A nurturing work atmosphere surrounded by experienced professionals.

To apply, simply email your resume to careers@noursefarms.com and include "Assistant Grower—Whately MA" in the subject line. 

Posted in: Jobs

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