Compagnia delle Primizie is working on a new project to grow blackberries in Basilicata. A few years ago, the company introduced raspberry cultivation to the Ionian area.
"We started harvesting blackberries a few days ago. We are trying to assess the feasibility of the project and plan a production calendar that can cover multiple months within a year," explains agronomist Giuseppe Santarcangelo.
"In February, we decided to transplant 1500 plants of the Loch Ness variety. With the first blossoming, we will manage to commercialize over 600 fruits per plant (around 3 kg/plant). As this is our first year, we are expecting a second round around the early autumn months."
"As the climate in the Ionian area is not ideal to grow these plants, we need to find the right balance between temperature and light exposure. This is why crops have been under films between February and a few days ago. Now everything is ready to be harvested and we have set up shading nets to guarantee at least 30% shade within the facility as the light could damage the fruit."
"An excessive increase in temperatures inside greenhouses could be countered with some agronomic techniques. Opening the top or the sides of the structures helps obtaining constant temperatures even when it gets too hot."
"Although quantities are limited, the produce will have a good placement on the market thanks to the experience and professionalism of Compagnia delle Primizie. Our blackberries are commercialized via the Terra di Luce PO under the 'Berrita' band in markets in northern Italy such as Turin, Milan and Bologna. Over the next few weeks, when there will be additional quantities available, we will also test retailers
"We are already planning the next campaign. Demand is increasing, making it possible for us to extend our crops. In the future, we might even introduce other products such as blueberries."