<![CDATA[Site Title]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/ Sat, 13 Jul 2024 08:56:33 GMT Sat, 13 Jul 2024 08:56:33 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[Maintenance Supervisor—Mills River, NC]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postmaintenance-supervisormills-river-nc https://noursefarms.com/news/postmaintenance-supervisormills-river-nc Tue, 09 Jul 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Maintenance Supervisor

Department: Facilities                          

Job Status: Full Time

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt                      
Reports to: Head Grower, NC
Job Type: Regular                                  
Amount of Travel Required: N/A
Positions Supervised: 1–2                      
Work Schedule: Monday–Friday, weekends as needed

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 seeking a highly skilled and experienced supervisor to lead our facilities in North Carolina. The Maintenance Supervisor will be responsible for directing and organizing tasks related to maintenance of buildings and equipment. They will lead a maintenance team to meet targets, performing regular inspections, and maintaining equipment. 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:

  • Planning, prioritizing, assigning, supervising, reviewing, and participating in all tasks related to facility maintenance
  • Developing methods and schedules for facility maintenance
  • Responsibly handling emergency situations or after-hours calls for repair and maintenance
  • Taking part in developing maintenance policies and standards for the organization
  • Coordinating training sessions in facility maintenance, safety procedures, and methods
  • Planning daily tasks and delegating them to Maintenance Technicians and other professionals
  • Maintaining preventive maintenance standards for an organization’s facilities and equipment
  • Routinely inspecting various elements of buildings and grounds, like fire alarms, security cameras, and sprinkler systems
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering, business administration, facility management, or a related field preferred, or equivalent experience required.
  • Experience: 6 years of progressive experience working as a maintenance supervisor, repair supervisor, or in a related maintenance role.
  • Experience managing multiple vendors
  • Competence to plan maintenance schedules
  • Basic Knowledge of building systems: plumbing, electrical, mechanical, HVAC, and emergency systems.
  • Competency with computers and Microsoft Office
  • 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.
  • Working knowledge of electrical and mechanical systems
  • Ability to consistently maintain positive client relationships
  • Can effectively and efficiently handle both administrative and mechanical responsibilities
  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Excellent interpersonal and delegation skills to collaborate effectively with various departments and other stakeholders.
  • Problem-Solving: Proactive approach to identifying, analyzing, and resolving challenges. Ability to identify issues and decide on required actions.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs., stand for extended periods, and work in varying temperatures.

Click here to apply now.

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Creating a Pollinator's Paradise]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postcreating-a-pollinators-paradise https://noursefarms.com/news/postcreating-a-pollinators-paradise Thu, 20 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT Help protect biodiversity by creating a pollinator garden! 

The populations of butterflies, native bees, and other insect pollinators have declined for several decades.

Why should that matter to you? 

Insects play a vital role in our ecosystem; we cannot survive without them.

By designing a pollinator garden in your yard, you can increase native biodiversity, encourage biological control of “pest” insects, increase pollination of your crops, and beautify your home!

Who pollinates?

  • Bees
  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Butterflies
  • Beetles
  • and more!

No insects? No food! Really!

1 of 3 bites of food you eat depends on pollinators to reproduce! 

Insects pollinate about 75% of all flowering plants.

What are native plants?

According to the National Wildlife Federation, “Native plants have formed symbiotic relationships with native wildlife over thousands of years, and therefore offer the most sustainable habitat. A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, or habitat without human introduction.”

Starting Your Pollinator Garden

It is crucial to choose native plants that support pollinators. 

  • Select nectar- and pollen-rich flowers native to your region that match site conditions.
  • Select plants that allow continuous bloom throughout the growing season to attract pollinators from spring through fall. 
  • Prioritize diversity; select flowers of various colors, shapes, and sizes.

Planting just one pollinator-friendly plant makes a difference!

A Nontoxic Habitat

Try going pesticide-free! 

Pesticides and insecticides severely harm or kill pollinators and damage their reproduction ability. 

If you must use a pesticide, reach for the least toxic material possible and carefully read and follow all label directions.

Another benefit of planting native plants is conserving water!

Native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions and require substantially less water than exotic plants.

How Can a Pollinator's Garden help your Nourse Farms crops? 

Planting a pollinator strip as a border to your fruit and vegetable crops will improve the pollination of your crops!

In addition to attracting butterflies and bees, a pollinator strip will also attract and support other pollinators, such as hoverflies and wasps, which will help control crop pests.

Questions?

Call Nourse Farms 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[Strawberry Plant Structure]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-plant-structure https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-plant-structure Thu, 13 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT What is a strawberry plant?

Strawberry plants are low-growing herbaceous perennials.

Strawberry plants are from the rose family (Rosaceae), including apples, peaches, plums, and cherries. 

Strawberry plants propagate from above-ground daughter plants.

Did you know that the fleshy, edible strawberry “fruit” isn’t technically a berry?!

It is considered an accessory fruit; the fleshy part is derived from modified receptacle tissue from the base of the flower. 

The “seeds” (achenes) are actual “fruit."

There are six essential parts of a strawberry plant:

Root system: a part of a plant that is underground. Its primary functions are to anchor the plant in the ground, absorb water and dissolved minerals, bring water and minerals to the stem, and store reserve foods. 

Crown: the shortened stem of the strawberry plant, where all leaves, inflorescences, stolons, and roots emerge from.

Trifoliate leaf: the leaf shape is characterized by a leaf divided into three leaflets.

Inflorescence (flower truss, fruit): a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem.

Stolon (runner): the horizontal growing (creeping) leafless stems on which the daughter plants emerge.

Daughter: a new strawberry plant is produced on a stolon of a mother plant.

 

Have questions about your strawberry plants? Our customer service team is ready to help you grow! Give us a call at 413-665-2658 or email us at info@noursefarms.com

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[What to Expect After Planting]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postwhat-to-expect-after-planting https://noursefarms.com/news/postwhat-to-expect-after-planting Fri, 07 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT Don’t panic!

It may take 4–6 weeks after planting to see new growth.

What is the establishment period?

Plants need time to get comfortable in their new soil!

The establishment period is when a new plant is developing its root system. A plant is established when it has grown enough roots to gather the water and nutrients it needs from the surrounding soil.

It may take 4–⁠6 weeks after planting to see new growth.

How often should you be watering?

The best practice is to check your soil regularly.

Water when the top inch or two of the soil is dry. How much and how often you water will depend on many factors, such as soil type and weather conditions. Typically, one to three times per week is sufficient.

Tip: Apply water at the roots to help lessen fungus pressure and spread.

Strawberries

June-bearing varieties require a year of establishment before fruiting. June-bearers can be harvested for 3–⁠5 years when properly maintained.

Tip: Pinch off all flower buds in the first year of growth.

Day-neutrals/everbearing varieties will bear fruit in the same growing season that it is planted.

Tip: Pinch off the first flush of flowers and remove all runners during the life of the planting.

Asparagus

Do not harvest during the establishment year.

You may harvest all 5"–⁠8" spears the year after establishment for 7–⁠10 days. You can harvest all spears in the second season for 3–⁠4 weeks. You can harvest for the entire season by the third year, usually 6–⁠8 weeks long.

An asparagus patch can be harvested for 7–⁠9 years when properly maintained.

Raspberries

The raspberry stick or cane planted may never leaf out, and you may only see new growth in the form of new canes emerging from the soil. New growth can take 4–6 weeks to occur. If you do not see new cane growth after four weeks, carefully pull away some soil to check below the soil surface. You should expect to see some white, hair-like growth indicating life.

Most of our offerings require at least one year of growth and establishment before fruiting.

Blueberries

Blueberries require at least one year of establishment before fruiting. Pinch off all blossoms during the first year. Blueberries can produce bountiful harvests for 20–⁠30 years when properly maintained.

Ribes

Fruiting will occur one to two years after planting. Full production is attained in the fourth or fifth year. Plants that are well cared for may fruit for 10–15 years.

Rhubarb

Do not fertilize during the first season. Immediately snap off any seed stalks that develop. Do not harvest rhubarb the first year. Harvest lightly in the second year, and in the third year, you may harvest stalks for 6–⁠8 weeks.

Elderberries

Elderberries are not drought tolerant. It is important to keep the soil moist throughout the establishment period. You can expect to harvest elderberries 2–3 years after planting.

Horseradish

Horseradish is extremely vigorous and will readily spread. Do not harvest in the first year to allow plants to become established.

Still not seeing new growth after 6 weeks?

Get connected with one of our expert staff members. Our customer service team is ready and available Monday-Friday, 9–5 p.m. EST. Call us at 413-665-2658 to troubleshoot and set up replacements. We’re here to help you grow, every step of the way!

Not a phone person? You can also email us at info@noursefarms.com!

 

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Agricultural Equipment Operator—MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postagricultural-equipment-operatorma https://noursefarms.com/news/postagricultural-equipment-operatorma Fri, 07 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Agricultural Equipment Operator
Job Status: Full Time
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt                      
Reports to: Substrate Manager
Job Type: Regular                                  
Amount of Travel Required: None
Work Schedule: Monday- Saturday        
Positions Supervised: None

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 heavy equipment operator to support our facilities in Whately, Montague, Hatfield, Deerfield and Northfield MA nursery operations. The Heavy Equipment Operator will be responsible for managing and operating our machinery across various Massachusetts sites and is vital for upholding our operational efficiency, safety, and environmental standards. 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:

  • Operate Equipment: Safely and expertly operate a range of agricultural equipment, including tractors, harvesters, and pesticide spraying machines, mowers, and other ancillary equipment.
  • Pesticide Application: Apply pesticides in accordance with Massachusetts regulations, ensuring the health and safety of crops, workers, and the environment. Must have a pesticide spraying license.
  • Routine Checks: Conduct daily equipment inspections to ensure machinery is in optimal working condition.
  • Maintenance Coordination: Report equipment malfunctions or damages to the Maintenance Manager promptly for repair coordination.
  • Safety and Compliance: Strictly adhere to safety protocols and Massachusetts pesticide application regulations.
  • Training: Offer training and insights to team members on proper equipment and pesticide usage as necessary.
  • Transportation: Transport equipment between various Massachusetts sites as required.
  • Record Keeping: Maintain thorough logs of equipment usage, pesticide applications, hours of operation, and maintenance checks.
  • Site Cleanliness: Ensure machinery and equipment storage areas are clean and orderly.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay abreast of the latest operating procedures, best practices, and regulations related to equipment operation and pesticide application.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Education: High school diploma or GED, or equivalent experience required.
  • Experience: 3+ years of progressive experience in operating heavy or agricultural equipment. A background in mechanics and equipment maintenance or farm work is also useful.
  • Leadership Abilities: Ability to adapt to changing priorities and work effectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Valid Massachusetts Pesticide Spray License.
  • Valid driver's license with a clean driving record.
  • Strong knowledge of safety protocols and Massachusetts pesticide application regulations.
  • Ability to troubleshoot basic equipment problems.
  • Flexibility to work under varying weather conditions and adapt to changing schedules.
  • Willingness to travel between sites in Massachusetts.
  • 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, stand for extended periods, and work in varying temperatures.

Click here to apply now.

 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Director of Growing Operations—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postdirector-of-growing-operations https://noursefarms.com/news/postdirector-of-growing-operations Fri, 07 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Director of Growing Operations
Department: Operations                       
Job Status: Full Time
FLSA Status:  Exempt                             
Reports to:  Chief Operating Officer
Job Type: Regular                                  
Amount of Travel Required: 20%
Work Schedule: Monday–Friday            
Positions Supervised: 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 seeking a highly skilled and experienced manager to lead our Nourse Farms facilities in the Massachusetts and North Carolina growing operations.  The Director of Growing Operations will also oversee our greenhouse strawberry propagation operations. This role will be responsible for leading a team, implementing effective growing techniques, ensuring optimal plant health, and maximizing production yields. The ideal candidate has a strong background in horticulture, a passion for strawberries and raspberries, and a desire to contribute to sustainable food production. 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:

  • Oversee and manage all aspects of the growing operations for the company.
  • Develop and implement strategies to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to develop and execute strategic plans.
  • Manage and optimize processes to ensure smooth operations.
  • Identify areas for improvement and implement process enhancements.
  • Negotiate contracts and agreements with vendors and suppliers.
  • Monitor key performance indicators and implement corrective actions as needed.
  • Ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.
  • Drive business development initiatives to expand the company's market presence.
  • Manage Greenhouse Operations: Oversee day-to-day activities in the greenhouse, including planting, irrigation, nutrient management, pest control, and disease prevention.
  • Crop Planning: Develop and execute comprehensive crop plans, considering factors such as planting schedules, variety selection, and space utilization. 
  • Irrigation and Nutrition Management: Monitor and optimize irrigation systems, ensuring proper water and nutrient delivery to plants at each growth stage.
  • Pest and Disease Control: Implement integrated pest management strategies to prevent and control pests and diseases, minimizing the need for chemical interventions.
  • Quality Control: Maintain high-quality standards throughout the propagation process, ensuring consistent plant health and exceptional fruit production.
  • Research and Innovation: Stay up to date with industry trends, new technologies, and scientific advancements in strawberry cultivation, and apply them to enhance production practices.
  • Budget Management: Collaborate with the management team to develop and manage the greenhouse budget, optimizing expenditures while ensuring efficient production.
  • Health and Safety Compliance: Ensure compliance with all relevant health and safety regulations, promoting a safe working environment for all staff.
  • Strong background in operations management, including process improvement, project management, and strategic planning
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Education: A Bachelor’s degree in horticulture, agriculture, business administration, operations management, or a related field
  • Experience: Minimum of 10 years of experience in greenhouse management, with a focus on strawberry propagation, operations management, or related field.
  • Proven track record of success in driving operational excellence
  • Knowledge: In-depth understanding of greenhouse operations preferably worked and have good knowledge with Priva climate, irrigation and labor tracking system, plant nutrition, irrigation systems, pest and disease management, and crop planning. Familiarity with sustainable growing practices is a plus.
  • Analytical Skills: Ability to collect and interpret data, make data-driven decisions, and optimize cultivation techniques accordingly.
  • 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.
  • Problem-Solving: Proactive approach to identifying and resolving challenges, including those related to plant health, productivity, and greenhouse operations.
  • Communication: Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with various departments, team members, and other stakeholders.
  • Physical Stamina: Ability to work in a physically demanding environment, including lifting heavy objects up to 50 lbs., standing for extended periods, and working in varying temperatures.

Click here to apply now!

 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Laboratory Director: Plant Tissue Culture and Operations — Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postlaboratory-director-plant-tissue-culture-and-operations-whately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/postlaboratory-director-plant-tissue-culture-and-operations-whately-ma Fri, 07 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Laboratory Director: Plant Tissue Culture and Operations — Whately, MA
Department: Lab                                               
Job Status: Full Time

FLSA Status: Exempt                                          
Reports to: General Manager

Job Type: Regular                                              
Amount of Travel Required: None

Work Schedule: Monday–Friday                         
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.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Click here to apply now!

 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[How to Store Your Strawberries]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/posthow-to-store-your-strawberries https://noursefarms.com/news/posthow-to-store-your-strawberries Mon, 03 Jun 2024 00:00:00 GMT Let’s talk about storing your strawberries after harvest! Two standard methods of preserving strawberries after picking are storing fresh strawberries in the refrigerator and freezing whole berries.

Storing Whole, Fresh Strawberries in the Refrigerator

1. Don't pre-wash your strawberries. Wait to wash strawberries until just before eating. Washing adds moisture and causes the berries to spoil more rapidly.

2. Leave the stem on your strawberries. An intact stem will protect the berry’s interior and prolong its shelf life.

3. Add a dry, clean paper towel to the bottom of your container. The paper towel will absorb moisture and help keep the berries dry.

4. Store strawberries in a single layer. Strawberries are delicate and will stay fresher longer when not crushed by layers of berries.

Freezing Whole, Fresh Strawberries for Later Use

1. Wash, cap, and drain whole berries. Allow berries to fully dry.

2. Spread berries in a single layer on a baking sheet. A single layer helps to avoid the berries sticking together.

3. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the berries are solid. It typically takes an hour or two for the berries to become solid.

4. Transfer strawberries into a freezer bag or an airlock container. When transferring berries, press out as much air as possible.

* Frozen strawberries can be used for up to a year.

* Tip for Best Taste: Consume berries slightly thawed with a few ice crystals remaining. The expansion of frozen water in the berry ruptures the cell walls, causing the berry to soften when thawed.

ENJOY! 

 

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Storage and Holding Dormant Plants]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/poststorage-and-holding-dormant-plants https://noursefarms.com/news/poststorage-and-holding-dormant-plants Fri, 05 Apr 2024 00:00:00 GMT Here at Nourse Farms, we pack, hold, and ship our plants in their dormant stage for spring planting. Our plants perform best when planted in warm soil (50 degrees Fahrenheitafter the risk of hard frost has passed. When you receive your plants, they should be planted within 2–3 days of receipt.

We understand that LIFE HAPPENS. Whether it's rainy weather conditions or a busy schedule, you may not be able to plant immediately after receipt.

For a short duration, up to 7–10 days, you can store your plants in a standard refrigerator or walk-in cooler between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

For longer durations—if you need to hold off planting for 10 or more days—store plants at a consistent 28 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain dormancy.

No cold storage? No problem. 

Potting plants is an option if you cannot hold them at temperature. Potted plants should be allowed to root well before transplanting to reduce shock. Caring for potted plants can be challenging, and it may take weeks to months before plants are ready to be planted into the ground. 

The best practice is to plant directly into the ground, even if that means storing your plants in the fridge for a few extra days.

Upon receipt, check the condition of the plants. Bareroot strawberry and raspberry plants are shipped in a plastic bag with moistened shredded paper added to prevent the roots from drying out. Check that paper has not dried and moisten slightly if necessary. Shredded paper should be damp, not sopping wet.

Asparagus plants are susceptible to storage molds and should be kept dry. If mold is noticed at receipt, remove the crowns from the box and lay them out in a single layer, out of direct sunlight. After 2–3 hours, they can be put back into the box and moved into cold storage.

Questions? We're here to help.

Monday–Friday, 9–5 pm EST

413-665-2658 or info@noursefarms.com

Posted in: News

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<![CDATA[Strawberry Weed Management]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-weed-management https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-weed-management Tue, 26 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT

Managing weeds in small fruit can be a challenge! With these perennial crops, certain weeds tend to become established in fields over time. Many problems can be avoided by good site selection. Raised beds might help but it's best to avoid poor sites or drain them. You should also avoid sites with established perennial weeds—pastureland is not a good place to plant strawberries! If you have established perennials, get rid of them before planting. Effective management also requires weed identification, knowledge of herbicide options, and appropriate timing of applications. 

We have identified 10 common weeds that growers have challenges controlling, in particular:

Common Chickweed (Stellaria media) Annual Broadleaf

  • Low-growing, mat-forming weed with small, white, star-shaped flowers. The leaves are opposite, with a distinct fine line of hairs running down one side. Germinates in late summer or fall, overwinters as small plants under the mulch, then puts on more growth during the cool months of spring. Renovation does not affect these weeds as they generally produce seeds by July.
  • An application of a pre-emergent like Devrinol in late August can provide some control. Follow up with a dormant application of Chateau, before laying straw mulch down. We do not recommend spring applications of Chateau due to the potential for plant damage. Dow Formula 40, Weedar, and Sinbar are not effective on Chickweed.

Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) Perennial Broadleaf

  • A climbing weed with twining vines and trumpet-shaped white or pink flowers, Morning Glory (Ipomoea species) is similar. Known for its extensive root system and ability to regrow from both seeds and deep creeping roots. Challenging to control due to its perennial nature and its ability to twine other plants and structures.
  • Seedlings are easy to control with cultivation, but only for about three or four weeks after germination. After that, perennial buds are formed, and successful control is more difficult.
  • Dow Formula 40 or Weedar 64, both 2,4-D when applied at renovation and again in late fall, can provide control. At renovation, if there are many large weeds standing above the strawberry, apply before mowing. To achieve good control, apply in late October or early November while perennial weeds are green and growing. Do not tank mix with other herbicides.

Nutsedge (Cyperus species) Sedge

  • Not grass or broadleaf in the traditional sense. Sedges are often referred to as “sedge weeds.” Nutsedge is known for its grass-like appearance and characteristics, with YellowNutsedge (Cyperus esculentas) as the most common.
  • Nutsedge is perennial, and reproduces through both underground tubers and seed. It can be very challenging to control due to its ability to regrow from these tubers, even after top growth is removed. As noted earlier, site selection is key for prevention.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Perennial Broadleaf

  • Easily recognizable by its bright yellow flowers and distinctive puffball seed heads. Leaves form a basal rosette and are deeply lobed. Plant has a long, deep taproot which makes it challenging to completely remove.
  • In some states, Stinger is labeled for use in the planting year for post-emergent control. Begin application after July 1, once plants are established. Some cupping of the leaves may occur after use.
  • Similar to field bindweed, Dow Formula 40 or Weedar 64, both 2,4-D when applied at renovation and again in late fall can provide control. At renovation, if there are many large weeds standing above the strawberry, apply before mowing. To achieve good control, apply in late October or early November while perennial weeds are green and growing. Do not tank mix with other herbicides.

Clover (Trifolium species) Perennial Broadleaf

  • White Clover and Red Clover have trifoliate leaves and produce small, globe-shaped flower heads. Clover spreads rapidly, thanks to its ability to produce seeds and stolons(above-ground runners).
  • Stinger is an effective herbicide for control of clover. Similar to the application timing of Formula 40, it may be applied in late October or early November when plants are in the early dormant stage. But perennial weeds are green and growing. In some states, Stinger is labeled for use in the planting year, with application after July 1 when plants are established. Some cupping of leaves may occur after use.

Oxalis (Oxalis species)

  • Also known as wood sorrel or sour grass, refers to several species within the Oxalis genus and can be found in various forms and colors. Oxalis species can be annual, perennials or bulb forming plants. Perennial oxalis often regrows from bulbs or rhizomes year after year.
  • Controlling oxalis may involve different strategies depending on its life cycle and growth habit. For annual species, herbicides that target broadleaf weeds can be effective. In most states, Spartan is labeled for use for wood sorrel control prior to planting. Spartan applied after crop emergence may cause severe injury. Preventing oxalis from spreading by mowing before it sets seeds can also help infestations. Dacthal also may suppress wood sorrel from seed.
  • For perennial species, Spartan can be applied in the fall once plants have achieved dormancy and also at renovation. Chateau is another option as a late fall dormant application.

Common Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) Annual Broadleaf

  • Known for its thick, fleshy, paddle-shaped leaves and small yellow flowers. It can grow flat to the ground or slightly upright, forming dense mats. It is well adapted to sunny, warm conditions and can tolerate drought.
  • Spartan is an effective herbicide that is best for controlling Purslane. Many of our customers are reporting good control using Spartan. It can be applied once plants have achieved dormancy and is also popular to use at renovation.

Red Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) Perennial Broadleaf

  • Red Sorrel, also known as sheep sorrel, is known for its distinct arrow-shaped leaves and reddish stems. The plant forms dense mats and can vary in height from a few inches to a foot, primarily reproducing by seed. Preventing the formation and dispersal of seeds by removing plants before they flower and produce seed is essential for long-term control.
  • In some states, Stinger is labeled for use in the planting year for post-emergent control. Application can begin after July 1, once plants are established. Some cupping of the leaves may occur after use.
  • Similar to field bindweed, Dow Formula 40, or Weedar 64, both 2,4-D when applied at renovation and again in late fall can provide control. At renovation, if there are many large weeds standing above the strawberry, apply before mowing. To achieve good control, apply in late October or early November while perennial weeds are green and growing. Do not tank mix with other herbicides.

White Campion (Silene latifolia) Perennial Broadleaf

  • White Campion is a broadleaf weed with lance-shaped leaves and white or pink flowers. It’s also known as “Cockle.” White Campion is a short-lived perennial or a biennial, depending on environmental conditions. White Campion reproduces both by seed and vegetatively. It produces small, bladder-like capsules containing numerous seeds. These capsules are a distinctive feature of the plant and can help with its identification.
  • In most states, Spartan is labeled for use on White Campion, as a pre-emergent herbicide before planting. Spartan applied after crop emergence may cause severe injury. For perennial species, Spartan can be applied in the fall once plants have achieved dormancy and is also popular at renovation.

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Perennial Broadleaf

  • Canada thistle is a perennial thistle that spreads through an extensive root system. Thistles are known for their spiky, prickly leaves and distinctive, often brightly colored, flower heads. They produce primarily by seed, producing distinctive, fluffy seed heads that are carried by the wind. These seeds can remain viable in the soil for several years.In some states, Stinger is labeled for use in the planting year for post-emergent control. Application can begin after July 1, once plants are established. Some cupping of the leaves may occur after use.
  • Similar to field bindweed, Dow Formula 40, or Weedar 64, both 2,4-D when applied at renovation and again in late fall can provide control. At renovation, if there are many large weeds standing above the strawberry, apply before mowing. To achieve good control, apply in late October or early November while perennial weeds are green and growing. Do not tank mix with other herbicides.

PLEASE NOTE – Not all of these herbicides are labeled in every state. Consult your state recommendations for labeling and the weeds controlled.

Photos courtesy of the Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, and Purdue University Weed Science.

 

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Blueberry Production Ins and Outs]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postblueberry-production-ins-and-outs https://noursefarms.com/news/postblueberry-production-ins-and-outs Tue, 26 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT Blueberry Production Ins & Outs

Commercial growers are increasingly drawn to blueberry cultivation, driven by rising market demand and the berries' nutritional and culinary appeal.Known for their antioxidant-rich profile, blueberries offer increased market opportunities, adaptability to diverse climates, and an extended harvest period, making them an attractive choice for crop diversification. With low-input requirements, decreased pest pressure and high productive lifespans, blueberries present growers with a compelling option for expanding their crop offerings.

Site Preparation 

  • Soil pH is one of the most important factors of a successful blueberry planting. Our recommendations are a pH in the 4.5–4.8 range. 
  • Even a pH of 5.0 is too high! 
  • We advise taking soil samples to get a read on your pH early in the year prior, to make changes well in advance of planting. It is important
  • to test the soil’s pH level, so you are able to amend it properly. 
  • Elemental sulfur is the best material to use to reduce soil pH. Amend soil with sulfur, not ammonium sulfate or aluminum sulfate. 
  • The amount of sulfur to be incorporated varies according to the soil type: sand (light), loam (medium), clay (heavy), as well as the present pH level of your soil. 

  • 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 4–5 feet in the row and 10–12 feet between the rows. 

Planting & Mulching 

  • We recommend planting early in the spring when soil temperatures are in the 45–50 degree range. 
  • Wood chips can be mixed into the soil prior to planting. Wood chips aerate the soil, increasing drainage and root penetration. 
  • Put a 2–3 inch deep layer of wood chips over your planting row and incorporate it thoroughly into the top 6–8 inches of soil. 

Fertilization 

  • Do not fertilize at planting. To avoid burning the roots, wait four to six weeks after planting before fertilizing however, do not fertilize after the end of June. 
  • During the planting year apply 1 oz. ammonium sulfate in a circular band around each plant. 
  • Subsequent years, apply 2 oz. of ammonium sulfate at bloom time, and again one month later. 

Do not use fertilizer which contains potassium chloride as blueberries can be adversely affected. We also do not recommend aluminum sulfate. 

Irrigation

  • Drip irrigation is an essential component to successful blueberry production. 
  • Blueberries have a shallow, fibrous root system and do not like wet soils. They perform best with frequent, short-duration watering cycles. 
  • Maintain moisture, and do not allow roots to dry out. Water one to three times per week, not every day. Drip irrigation placed beneath the mulch layer is the healthiest and most efficient method. We suggest having your local irrigation sales company review your field layout for the best recommendation.

Pruning 

  • Remove all flowers during the first two to three years. Do not allow berries to develop. 
  • No pruning is needed during the first three years, unless you discover broken, damaged or diseased branches. 
  • After the first three years, blueberries should be pruned annually during the dormant period. 
  • Prune to have approximately 12 canes per plant. Older, heavy branches in the center should be removed to improve air circulation and light penetration. 
  • Remove lower, weak and damaged branches and branches less than 6 inches long. These branches will never fruit and can serve as an entrance point for disease. 
  • New wood produces the largest fruit. Canes should be a mix of 1–3 year-old and any canes over 2 inches in diameter should be removed. 

Pest Management 

  • Good weed control during the first year is essential. Maintain a 3”-4” layer of aged wood chips as mulch to support water retention. 
  • Avoid treated or colored wood chips or mulch. Do not use Cedar or Black Walnut chips. Also avoid using leaves, or an excessive amount of sawdust, as both can mat down and prevent moisture from reaching the plant’s roots. 
  • Regular, manual weeding will be necessary. 
  • While relatively free of major pest concerns there are still some pests which 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) 
       - Botrytis Fruit Rot (Grey Mold) 
       - Blueberry maggot 
       - Fruitworms 
       - Mummy Berry 
       - Leaf Blight 
       - Mites

Venturing into blueberry production promises both a fruitful harvest and a resilient addition to your crop portfolio. Meticulous site preparation, emphasizing soil health, and strategic planting to effective pruning techniques and vigilant pest management will play a crucial role in ensuring the success of your blueberry cultivation. 

We have an excellent supply of many of our blueberry varieties available in one-liter pots!  Shop now.

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Five Points to Prepare Spring 2024]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-spring-2024 https://noursefarms.com/news/postfive-points-to-prepare-spring-2024 Tue, 26 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT Five Points to Prepare: Get Ready for the Season

1. Mulching Raspberry and Blackberry Plants

Effective weed control is essential for good establishment of raspberry and blackberry plantings. Young brambles are sensitive to most pre- and post- emergence herbicides, making applications during the planting year risky. Mulches can be an effective way to reduce weed pressure while also improving cane berry establishment. Mulching during the planting year improves root establishment, increases vegetative growth during the planting year, and increases primocane emergence the year following planting. 

Inexpensive options like rye, oat, or wheat straws effectively suppress weeds and retain soil moisture without hindering new cane emergence, however, it can cause issues with root and crown rot if left on after the planting year, especially in heavy soil. Plastic mulch, also cost-effective, provides excellent weed control and limits soil moisture depletion, but requires drip irrigation due to its water-excluding nature; also excluding new cane emergence. Landscape fabric and woven ground cover, while pricier, offer long-lasting weed suppression and support root establishment but exclude new cane emergence and most precipitation. 

Mulches should be removed from the row at the end
of the planting year to decrease pressure for root and crown rot. Heavier fabric options can be used in drier areas for blackberries and black raspberries but not red raspberry which spreads from its roots. Avoid bark mulch, wood chips, and stone products, which can hold excess moisture and impede cane growth, and mushroom compost which may pose a risk due to high soluble salt content. 

Selecting the right mulch is paramount for successful establishment and growth of raspberry and blackberry plantings. Though mulches can offer effective weed control and support root establishment, careful consideration must be given to factors such as soil type, precipitation, and the specific requirements of each berry variety. By choosing the appropriate mulch, growers can foster a thriving bramble patch that yields bountiful harvests for seasons to come. 

2. Combating Flower Feeding Insects For Fruitful Harvests

In recent years, growers have faced escalating challenges from flower-feeding insects, particularly western flower thrips and tarnished plant bugs. These pests, with a broad host range including grasses and weeds, pose a significant threat to fruit crops. Damage often goes unnoticed until fruit formation, making early detection crucial. Populations can surge rapidly, especially during mass migrations into small fruit fields after the harvest of other host crops or cultivating neighboring fields. To mitigate losses, a proactive program starting early is essential. 

These pests, though distinct in their physical characteristics, life cycles, and preferred host plants, share a common threat to fruit crops through their feeding habits. Western flower thrips, with their minuscule, 1/16- 

inch-long bodies and feathery wings, inflict damage by piercing plant tissues with tiny mouthparts, causing misshapen blossoms and bronzing of fruit near the leaf cap. In contrast, tarnished plant bugs are 1⁄4-inch long. Recognized by their brassy appearance and yellow and black dashes, they target unopened buds, flowers, and young fruit tips, leading to the development of misshapen "cat-faced" berries. 

Both pests require scouting starting from early bloom, by tapping flower clusters into a white cup or paper plate. Initiate control measures if the average thrips per fruit cluster exceeds ten. Tarnished plant bugs necessitate attention if the average nymphs per fruit cluster surpass one. 

Growers facing these challenges must embrace proactive scouting and timely control strategies from early bloom onwards to ensure the resilience of their crops against the distinct yet equally damaging impacts of these flower-feeding insects.

3. Point of Sale Enhancements

Nourse Farms has been selling small fruit through our roadside stand for over 30 years. During this time, we have offered a variety of materials for our berry customers. 

Try any or all of these to enhance your customers' experience. 

RECIPES 

Recipes are very popular with our customers and increases their purchases. Our most popular recipe is our Favorite Fresh Berry Pie, originated by our late co-founder Mary Nourse. 

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BERRIES 

Highlighting the nutritional benefits of berries will increase sales! In our
Fall 2023 Commercial Newsletter, we included a one-page handout, “The Health Benefits of Berries,” designed so our plant buyers can
print the page or take sections of it to share with fruit customers. You
can find past issues of our Commercial Newsletter here. 

CROP SCHEDULES 

Growing other crops for U-Pick or to sell at the stand? A great way to increase repeat visits is a simple handout (or flyer) that includes a list of your crops and their ripening times. Don’t forget to include your logo, phone number, and website. Note where customers can find you on social media so they can receive updates there, too! 

STICKERS, COLORING BOOKS, AND OTHER TAKEAWAYS
Fun takeaways like stickers, coloring books, magnets, key chains, and bags are a great way to get your name out there! Growers have found that marketing investments pay off not only in customer goodwill but also in more repeat sales. Purchasing in advance for two to three seasons for quantity discounts will save you money! 

Contact us at 413-665-2658 or info@noursefarms.com if you have questions about sourcing point-of-sale materials. 

4. Frost-Proofing Strawberries

Strawberry plants are at high risk for frost and freeze damage in the spring due to their low stature and early flower emergence. Temperatures in fields can often be colder than forecasted. Cold-related damage can cause injury to plants and significantly reduce yields. Given increased spring temperature fluctuations, growers must be prepared to protect their crop or risk losses. Strawberry crops are most susceptible to damage at open blossom, although damage can occur at any stage of development. 

There are several options for frost protection including overhead watering, floating row covers, wind machines, and stack heaters. Overhead irrigation is effective for frost protection when air temperatures are below 32°F and wind speeds are less than 10 MPH. 

A single layer of lightweight row cover, 1oz. typically will provide up to 3o to 4oF of cold protection. Row covers can be applied as a double layer to increase protection. Overhead irrigation can also be combined with row cover which can improve protection when temperatures are low and wind speeds are high. 

Wet bulb temperature is a crucial element in determining the correct time to begin frost protection. This refers to the cooling effect of evaporation at a given humidity. At 100% humidity, ambient temperature and wet bulb temperature are the same but wet bulb decreases as humidity drops. Therefore, start temperatures for irrigation are high at low humidity and low at high humidity. 

For frost protection irrigation should be started before wet bulb temperature reaches the critical temperature and continued until wet bulb temperature exceeds the critical temperature. 

Wet bulb temperature can roughly be calculated by subtracting 1/3 the difference between ambient temperature and dew point from ambient temperature. For example, if ambient temperature is 36°F and dewpoint is 24°F, the wet bulb temperature would be 32°F. 

As strawberry growers navigate the challenges of unpredictable spring temperatures, adopting frost protection methods, including overhead irrigation and row covers, becomes essential, ensuring a safeguard against frost-induced damage and promoting robust yields for a thriving strawberry harvest. 

5. Maximize Bramble Yields with Trellising

A trellis system enhances air circulation and light penetration, improves disease control and picking efficacy, and notably reduces losses and damages caused by cane breakage from wind and crop weight. 

A T-trellis is a single vertical post, with one or two 18”–24” horizontal cross-arms at 3’ and 4.5–5’ above the ground. Wires run through holes near the ends of the cross arms, down the length of the row. Construct a simple T-trellis with a 4 x 4 post and one or two 2 x 4 cross arms. 

V-trellises are similar to T-trellises but have two vertical posts. Posts can be set in the ground vertically on either edge of the row, spaced 18”–24” apart, or from the center of the row and angled outward toward the aisle. The top gap is 18”-24”. Construct a simple V-trellis with two predrilled angle iron posts or U-posts. With the V-trellis growers can change wire heights or add additional levels of wires as needed without the need to add additional cross-arms. Increase stability by attaching the top of the end posts to one another with a cross arm. 

What are the pros and cons of each? A T-trellis is typically made of wood and with only one vertical post, they are generally less expensive to install than a V-trellis. With only one vertical post and one cross arm, the T-trellis can also provide more access for pruning and weeding. With a V-trellis however, growers have increased availability for wire spacing and adding additional wires for better support and adaptability to individual varieties or situations. Also, since they are normally made with metal posts, V-trellises tend to have greater longevity than T-trellises. With either trellis, end posts should be anchored to limit shifting 

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Strawberry Plants: Plugs vs Bare Root]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-plants-plugs-vs-bare-root https://noursefarms.com/news/poststrawberry-plants-plugs-vs-bare-root Tue, 26 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT What's best for your program? 

For over 50 years, bare root strawberry plants have been the cornerstone of our business. In response to growing customer interest, we’ve added strawberry plugs to our offerings. How do you determine which option best suits your program? 

Bare root plants are versatile, suitable for both matted row systems in early spring and plasticulture systems from mid-June to early July, depending on your location. 

On the other hand, plugs are designed exclusively for planting in the standard, staggered, double-row plasticulture system and should be set in the fall, roughly 30 days after bare root plants. While bare root plants necessitate hand planting into plastic, plugs offer the convenience of mechanical planting. 

Due to their earlier planting time, bare root plants require more meticulous irrigation management. Plugs must still be carefully managed after planting, but with their later planting window, demand less time and management for a full crop the following June. Runner removal is critical for developing good branch crown growth in both bare root and plug plantings. 

Our catalog boasts approximately 30 varieties of bare root plants. For 2024, we are offering plugs of Galletta, Darselect, Cabot, Yambu, Flavorfest, Jewel, Albion, and Malwina. 

When it comes to pricing, bare root plants come in at a base price of $0.21 per plant, whereas plugs are priced at $0.62 per plant.
Bare root plants have no order minimum, while plugs require a minimum order of 7,500 plants. Shipping options vary for bare root depending on the order size and plug orders must be shipped via Freight Carrier. Freight costs tend to be higher for plugs due to case size. 

In summary, bare root plants offer a more cost-effective solution, especially for large-scale planting where budget considerations are paramount. And for those prioritizing variety availability, bare roots may be favored due to their broader selection. 

However, if mechanical planting or efficiency is a priority, plugs may be the preferred choice despite their higher cost. Plugs, planted later, require less management and field time, making them appealing to growers seeking reduced crop management intensity or needing to work around other seasonal crop and farm demands. 

For more information on ordering plugs, contact Amanda Emond at aemond@noursefarms.com or 413-665-2658 x221. 

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Nourse's Sustainable Focus]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postnourses-sustainable-focus https://noursefarms.com/news/postnourses-sustainable-focus Tue, 26 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT Exciting developments are ahead as we embark on a transformative journey towards Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) awareness, and we're eager to share this journey with you through our bi-annual Newsletter! 

Over the next few months, our strategy includes moving towards a circular ecosystem with reusable solutions, waste reduction, and incorporating more sustainable practices. We plan to work with experts to explore waste reduction and start recycling non-organic materials in shared spaces. Ensuring a safe and supportive workplace is crucial, so we'll roll out a multi-site safety program, including checklists and training. Moreover, we're committed to benefiting our community by offering internships (stay tuned!) and prioritizing local sourcing to lessen our environmental impact and bolster local economies. 

Stay tuned as we establish our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and targets, ensuring that our ESG initiatives are not just aspirations but actionable strategies driving tangible results for our business and the communities we serve. 

Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey towards a sustainable future. 

Ashly Mellon, COO

Posted in: Newsletter

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<![CDATA[Greetings from Whately, Spring 2024]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-spring-2024 https://noursefarms.com/news/postgreetings-from-whately-spring-2024 Mon, 25 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT

Please join us in extending our sincerest good wishes to Tim Nourse as we share the news of his retirement. Having devoted a lifetime to the berry plant industry and significantly influencing Nourse Farms’ reputation as an industry leader, Tim now passes the torch to the company he founded. Together with our team, including many dedicated employees who have built Nourse Farms alongside him, Tim has poised the company for its exciting next chapter, and for that, we are grateful.

In this next chapter, we are expanding in Massachusetts and North Carolina while integrating cutting-edge technology to address the burgeoning demands of our industry. But what does this mean to you?

State-of-the-Art Facilities

In Massachusetts, we have broken ground on a new building across the street from our headquarters. This state-of-the-art establishment will feature a modern tissue culture lab and a seven-acre greenhouse dedicated to foundation material cultivation.

Increased Plant Production

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a 15-acre greenhouse will bolster our plant production capabilities, producing a greater supply of our top-tier products to meet the needs of our customers.

The Plants You Love

You can continue to rely on us to provide you with the high-quality bare root plants that you know and love.

Unwavering Customer Service

Our dedicated team remains steadfast in offering ongoing support, from site selection and variety consultation to nutritional insights, pest management strategies, and marketing counsel.

Everything we do is crafted with your needs at the forefront. We offer our heartfelt gratitude for your enduring trust and support, eagerly anticipating the opportunity to grow alongside you.

John Place, CEO

Posted in: Newsletter, Newsletter Greeting

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<![CDATA[Grower—Mills River, NC]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgrowermills-river-nc https://noursefarms.com/news/postgrowermills-river-nc Thu, 07 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Grower – Mills River, NC
Department: Production          
Job Status: 
Full Time
FLSA Status: Exempt                         
Reports to: 
Head Grower
Job Type: Regular                    
Amount of Travel Required: 
None
Positions Supervised: 10          
Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, rotating weekends

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 Grower to support the Head Grower in the management and care of small fruit plants at our facility in Mills River, NC. The 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. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in Horticulture, Agriculture, or a related field (preferred).
  • 2 years experience in greenhouse operations or agricultural work.
  • Must have a North Carolina pesticide license
  • 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.

Click here to apply now.

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Head Grower, Soil-Based Propagation—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/posthead-grower-soil-based-propagationwhately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/posthead-grower-soil-based-propagationwhately-ma Fri, 01 Mar 2024 00:00:00 GMT Department: Operations                       
Job Status: 
Full Time
FLSA Status: Exempt                              
Reports to: 
Production Director
Job Type: Regular                                  
Amount of Travel Required: 
10%
Work Schedule: Monday- Saturday        
Positions Supervised:
 12-22

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 and Pasco, Washington for the Farm/Nursery soil-based propagation operations. The Head Grower will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of plant production, crop management, and maintaining the highest standards of plant health and quality. 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:

  • Propagation Leadership: Direct and monitor every stage of soil-based propagation, ensuring processes comply with our protocols, resulting in robust plants.
  • Team Guidance: Lead the farm team, ensuring they receive instruction, mentorship, and a high proficiency in propagation practices.
  • Resource Optimization: Collaborate with the Whatley General Manager to allocate resources efficiently, aiming to maximize propagation processes and achieve production goals.
  • Data Analysis: Launch data capture methods for tracking propagation efficiency and growth rates. Utilize this data to identify trends and make informed decisions to bolster propagation outcomes.
  • Quality Assurance: Implement rigorous quality checks, ensuring propagated plants meet our quality standards. Address concerns like pests, diseases, or other hazards promptly.
  • Documentation: Maintain detailed records of propagation activities, covering plant schedules, inventory, and quality assessments.
  • Pesticide Management: Retain an active pesticide applicator's license, apply pesticides safely and adhere to all relevant regulations.
  • Safety Advocacy: Promote the well-being of all staff by endorsing adherence to safety protocols and nurturing a safety-first culture.
  • Progressive Development: Regularly identify areas for improvement, advocating innovative solutions to uplift farm operations.
  • Performance Reporting: Diligently report on weekly, monthly, and quarterly KPIs, ensuring the alignment and achievement of departmental targets.
  • Site Collaboration: Travel to and collaborate with our Pasco, Washington soil-based propagation site several times a year, especially during planting, digging, and packing of raspberries and asparagus.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture, Agriculture, Plant Science, or a related field preferred, or equivalent experience required. 
  • Experience: 7+ years of progressive and hands-on experience in soil-based propagation and farm management, including leadership experience. Analytical Skills: Ability to collect and interpret data, make data-driven decisions, optimize cultivation techniques accordingly, and meticulous record-keeping.
  • Must have a Massachusetts pesticide license.
  • 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 related to plant health and productivity.
  • Physical Stamina: Ability to lift up to 50 lbs, standing for extended periods, and working in varying temperatures.
  • Deep understanding of plant propagation techniques.
  • A valid pesticide applicator's license.
  • A staunch commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly farming methods.

Click here to apply now.

 

Posted in: Jobs

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<![CDATA[Grower, Greenhouse—Whately, MA]]> https://noursefarms.com/news/postgrower-greenhousewhately-ma https://noursefarms.com/news/postgrower-greenhousewhately-ma Wed, 28 Feb 2024 00:00:00 GMT Job Title: Grower, Greenhouse—Whately, MA
Department: Production                       
Job Status: 
Full Time
FLSA Status: Exempt                              
Reports to: 
Head Grower
Job Type: Regular                                  
Amount of Travel Required: 
None
Work Schedule: Monday–Friday, Rotating weekend duty            
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 motivated and dedicated Greenhouse Grower to support the Head Grower and Greenhouse Manager in the management and care of small fruit plants at our facility in Whatley, MA. The 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:

  • Greenhouse Operations: Collaborate with the Head Grower to manage all aspects of greenhouse operations. This would include monitoring environmental conditions, 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 all plant varieties,
  • as well as grower activities such as scouting, applying pesticides and biological controls. 
  • Quality Control & Sanitation: Support quality control efforts to ensure that all plants meet or exceed established quality standards. Assist in greenhouse sanitation before transition to new production.
  • Team Collaboration: Collaborate closely with the Head Grower and/or Greenhouse Manager as well as 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 met. 
  • Environmental Controls Utilization and Data Analysis: Proficiently utilize Priva/Argus environmental software to monitor and control greenhouse climate conditions. Use this information to fine-tune cultivation techniques which will contribute to the optimization of plant growth.
  • Equipment and Facility Maintenance: Participate in the maintenance and minor 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.
  • Obtain a pesticide license within four months of hire.
  • Additional Duties: Collaborate with Head Grower and/or Greenhouse Manager on other tasks and responsibilities related to greenhouse operations, as required. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

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 Environmental Controls (Priva/Angus) experience a plus 
  • Must have a Massachusetts pesticide license
  • 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.

Click here to apply now.

Posted in: Jobs

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<![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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