Berry Production

Course CodeBHT309
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Why Grow Berries?

  • Berries have experienced a sharp rise in popularity and production mostly due to their high levels of antioxidants.
  • They are easy to preserve for long term use
  • Many berry processed products can provide additional income

 Learn the most commonly used horticultural principles and practices for growing berries 

Why Study this course?

Different people study this course for different reasons; for example:

  • Students of horticulture wanting to get a solid understanding of berry growing
  • Farmers looking to move into new crops
  • People already working in the berry industry may take this course for professional development: to refresh, update or fill the gaps in their knowledge.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of the system of plant identification
  3. General characteristics of the berries
  4. Information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs etc.) Which Varieties to Grow
  5. Lesser Grown Varieties of Berry Plants
    • Culture
    • Planting
    • staking
    • mulching
    • watering
    • pest & disease
    • feeding
    • pruning
    • protection from wind, salt, air, etc.
    • Propagation
  6. Methods of propagating berries
  7. Propagation of selected varieties
  8. Weed Control & Irrigation
  9. Harvesting & Marketing Berries
  10. Commercial Berry Growing

Aims

  • Differentiate between different types of berry fruit cultivars.
  • Determine varieties of berry fruit suitable for growing in a specified locality.
  • Explain the cultural treatment for a range of berry fruits, in specified situations.
  • Determine how to propagate a range of different berry plants.
  • Explain the harvesting of different berry crops.
  • Develop strategies for commercial success in a berry fruit enterprise.

What You Will Do

  • A photo, illustration or pressed specimen
    • Cultural details
    • Harvest and post harvest
    • Uses (eg. valuable products).
  • Develop criteria for the selection of suitable berry fruit varieties, to grow in a specified locality.
  • Evaluate the performance of four different berry varieties growing in the learners locality.
  • Determine appropriate varieties of different berries to grow in a specified locality, including:
    • Strawberries
    • Brambles
    • Other berries.
  • Describe an appropriate planting method for each of three specified genera of berry fruits.
  • Illustrate an appropriate pruning methods for each of four different genera of berry fruits, using sequences of drawings, photographs, or video.
  • Determine appropriate irrigation practices for two different, specified berry plantings.
  • Develop feeding programs for a twelve month period, for three different berry crops suited to growing in the learner's locality.
  • Conduct simple soil tests to determine soil characteristics relevant to a proposed berry planting in the learner's locality. Soil tests should include:
    • Soil type
    • Water holding capacity
    • pH
    • Drainage
  • Recommend appropriate soil preparation for the tested soil, in 3.5, prior to planting a specified berry crop.
  • Compare four different weed control practices appropriate for specified berry crops.
  • Develop soil maintenance programs for a twelve month period, on a monthly basis, for three different berry crops.
  • Identify ten different health disorders (e.g. pests and diseases) on berry plants in the learner's locality.
  • Develop a pest and disease control program for a twelve month period, for a specified berry crop.
  • Describe different methods for propagating five specified berry plants, including:
    • Cuttings
    • Runners
    • Division
    • Layering
  • Demonstrate cutting propagation of two different berry species.
  • Produce marketable berry plants representing two different genera, either as bare rooted or container plants.
  • Compare the commercial viability of propagating one specified berry by two alternative propagation techniques.
  • Explain how to determine when five different types of berries are ready for harvest.
  • Describe different methods for harvesting five different types of berries, including:
    • Manual
    • Mechanical
    • Explain the harvesting of five types of berries before they are ripe, and ripening of the berries off the plant.
  • Determine appropriate post-harvest treatments for a specified commercial berry crop.
  • Develop a resource file of thirty items of information relevant to the berry fruit industry, including:
    • Suppliers of berry plants
    • Trade or grower associations
    • Publications
  • Determine criteria which are significant in the commercial success of a specific berry farm, visited by the learner.
  • Explain how a range of five different berries are prepared for the market.
  • Prepare a chart of ten different berry species that lists their shelf life.
  • Evaluate the commercial viability of three different methods of packaging and presenting berries for sale.
  • Compare common marketing strategies for berry fruits, including:
    • Selling at wholesale markets
    • Selling on contract to chain stores
    • Selling to processors
    • Roadside stalls
    • U-pick selling
  • Develop a marketing plan for one specified type of berry fruit.

Apply your learning to a commercial farm or more seriously at home

There are many berry crops in widespread commercial cultivation. There are many other berries that are not in widespread commercial cultivation however. When selecting varieties to grow in a new location, it is worthwhile to investigate not only the common berries available, but also less common varieties with commercial or dietary potential.

 

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?

This course is for the enthusiast through to the commercial grower:

  • Start your own berry growing farm
  • Set up a fruit garden in your own backyard or property
  • Commercial growers
  • Berry Farm staff
  • Hobby Gardener
  • Horticulturist

 

 

HOW TO ENROL

 

 

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