Domex Superfresh Growers has recently commenced their first blueberry season in Oregon. The company has partnered with Norris Farms in southern Oregon and offers both conventional and organic blueberries. According to Catherine Gipe-Stewart of Superfresh Growers, the company wanted to expand into blueberries, and forming a partnership with Norris Farms proved to be a perfect fit.
“We didn’t want to expand our fresh fruit offerings unless it could provide value to the customer and consumer in a way that was unique,” she said. “Our partnership with Norris farms is exactly that - an ideal partnership between two multi-generational family owned farms. Our blueberries have a longer growing period due to their southern Oregon location that starts earlier and ends later than many other Northwest farms. It’s an ideal match.”
As Gipe-Stewart mentioned, the window of the southern Oregon blueberry season is longer than other Northwest regions. The generally warmer climate and optimal rainfall provides good growing conditions, whilst avoiding many of the extremes that some other regions can face at times. Blueberry picking began in mid-June and will continue into mid-October. Gipe-Stewart also shared what packaging options are available and how Superfresh Growers is promoting the new line.
“All packing configurations are available,” she stated. “We are co-branding with Norris Farms as they are known world-wide for their quality. Superfresh Growers has multiple social media campaigns that we are activating this summer and we are also working with retailers on an individual basis."
Superfresh Growers plans to expand the blueberry program over the coming years with increased acreage. It also intends to increase its organic mix.
Working in conjunction with other programs
The timing of the blueberry season in Oregon coincides with that of the cherry season – another of the products available from Superfresh Growers. Gipe-Stewart noted that this is beneficial to both programs. “Our blueberry program works hand-in-hand with our cherry program, as they are the same timing,” she explained. “This helps with logistics and promotions. We are pleased to have the top two summer fruits offered at the same time.”
As the summer fruits season approaches its end and before the new crop apple and pear seasons begin, Superfresh Growers has another specialty that it will harvest. The kiwi berry season will begin in late September, and according to the company, these are also gaining in popularity.
“We will also have kiwi berries that we will harvest at the end of September,” Gipe-Stewart concluded. “Kiwi berries are becoming more popular since they are similar in taste and appearance to their larger cousin, kiwi fruit. The kiwi berries though, have no fuzz, thin skin and are easily snackable without peeling!”
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