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The Berry Grower Blake Cothron

The Berry Grower By Blake Cothron

The Berry Grower by Blake Cothron

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The Berry Grower is an innovative guide for small-scale growing and marketing of organic fruits and berries. Covers planning and strategy, organic soil care, profiles of profitable small fruits, cultivar selection, planting, organic weed and pest management, marketing strategies, and interviews with successful growers.

The Berry Grower Summary

The Berry Grower: Small Scale Organic Fruit Production in the 21st Century by Blake Cothron

Dig into the fruits of your labor! Profitable, innovative organic fruit farming strategies and skills for modern growers of any scale.

The Berry Grower is an innovative guide for growing and marketing organic small fruits and berries that offers intelligent strategies and solutions for successful small-scale, non-chemical fruit production in the 21st century. Coverage includes:

  • History, innovations, and 21st-century challenges in modern fruit farming
  • Creating your own market farming reality
  • Farm planning for efficiency and profitability
  • Factoring in climate change, drought, and extreme weather
  • Soil fertility, efficient weed management, and organic pest control
  • Modern tools of the trade for efficiency * Harvesting, fruit handling, and packing
  • Fruit profiles including raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, currants, gooseberries, figs, tomatoes, and more, including new cultivars
  • Innovative marketing methods and thinking beyond fresh fruit with multi-product strategies to maximize profit
  • Learn from other experts through interviews with successful growers and marketers from diverse areas around the USA.

From the market garden and small farm to the homestead and backyard, The Berry Grower is the essential guide for both new and aspiring organic small fruit growers and seasoned farmers looking to produce high-quality organic fruits and products for local markets and self-sufficiency.

The Berry Grower Reviews

Whether you're looking to grow for your family, or for production (or anywhere in between), this resource is absolutely stacked with actionable insights that you can utilize. Blake has done an amazing job at compiling an enormous amount of information into an easy to follow resource that anyone can use.
- Rob Avis, PEng, co-author, Building Your Permaculture Property and Essential Rainwater Harvesting

Blake covers everything from soup to nuts, figuratively, in growing these fruits in various settings, for home use or markets. A number of the fruits he mentions are not yet well-known, but are worth growing.
- Lee Reich, PhD, author, Growing Figs in Cold Climates and The Ever Curious Gardener

The Berry Grower is a terrific resource for anyone getting into small fruit production or those looking to diversify their crops. It is loaded with helpful background, tips, tricks, and recommendations that will benefit small fruit growers of any scale or level of experience!
- Dan Dalton, PASA Sustainable Agriculture

Blake uses 20 years' experience growing berries and other small fruits to provide valuable practical, effective, up-to-date information (including addressing climate chaos) to encourage more localized and resilient organic food production, garden by garden.
- Pam Dawling, author, The Year-Round Hoophouse and Sustainable Market Farming

I've cracked open your book and like what I'm seeing so far!
- The late, great Michael Phillips, author, The Holistic Orchard and The Apple Grower

About Blake Cothron

Blake Cothron is an organic farmer, nurseryman, writer, musician, and speaker, with over 20 years' experience in organic agriculture, botany, horticulture, and growing food. He is the co-owner and co-operator of Peaceful Heritage Nursery, a 4-acre USDA Certified Organic research farm, orchard, and edible plant nursery. Author of Pawpaws: The Complete Growing and Marketing Guide, he has also written for Permaculture Design magazine and various online publications. Blake has an educational blog and YouTube channel devoted to fruit growing, and he is an educator with the Organic Association of Kentucky. He divides his time between farming, research, writing, beekeeping, gardening, travel, yoga, meditation, and being a husband and father in beautiful Kentucky.

Table of Contents


1. Why Small Scale, Small Fruits?

- Why small fruit growing? - How and where to start? - Understanding current climate challenges - Small fruits to the rescue - Why micro fruit farming? - Limitations of small fruit growing - Maximize profits by being the workforce- The future of small and micro farming

2. 21st Century Strategic Planning
- Planning it out - How to research - Evaluating agricultural profit forecasts - Understanding your bioregion and regional climate - Choosing cultivars - How many plants?- Pollination

3. Sourcing Plants and Navigating the 21st Century Nursery Scene
- Sourcing plants and plant material - Sources to avoid - Organic or conventional? - Navigating the nursery scene - Quality nurseries

4. Creating Beds
- Creating space for small fruits to thrive - Mechanical tillage - No-till options - Spacing - Managing walkways - Stale bedding - Planting the beds - Planting in rows- Cover cropping

5. Managing Soil Fertility Organically
- Practical considerations - Soluble and insoluble organic fertilizers - Animal-product based fertilizers - Vegan plant-based fertilizers - Mineral fertilizers - Compost and manures - Consider the impacts - Applying organic fertilizers- Unlocking latent soil fertility

6. Planting Successfully
- Handling and inspecting nursery stock - Storing dormant plants - Effectively handling cuttings - Pre-planting preparations - Proper planting practices- Post-planting care

7. Organic Weed Management
- Using permanent grass cover - Mulch - Landscape fabric - Flame weeding - Plant Guilds

8. Tools of the Trade

9. Maintenance, Protection, and Organic Pest Control
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - Insect management - Common animal pests - Frost protection

10. Blackberries
- Types of modern blackberries - Site considerations - Cultivation - Fertilizing - Mulch and irrigation - Pests/Diseases/Challenges - Harvest - Marketing- Recommended cultivars

11. Blueberries
- Species - Cultivation - Planting - Weed control - Irrigation - Pruning - Pests/Diseases/Challenges - Cultivars (by region)- Harvesting and marketing

12. Raspberries
- Species - Cultivation - Irrigation - Pruning - Thinning - Trellising - Mulch- Propagation - Pests/Diseases/Challenges - Marketing- Cultivars

13. Strawberries
- Cultivation - Growing Methods - Thinning - Planting - Irrigation - Harvesting - Marketing - Pests/Diseases/Challenges- Cultivars

14. Juneberries
- Cultivation - Best species by region - Irrigation - Pests/Diseases/Challenges - Marketing- Cultivars

15. Muscadine Grapes
- Cultivation - Irrigation - Pollination - Pests and diseases - Marketing- Cultivars

16. Mulberries
- Species of mulberries - Cultivation - Irrigation - Potential for commercial production - Harvesting - Pests/Diseases/Challenges - Marketing- The future of mulberries- Recommended cultivars

17. Gooseberries
- Cultivation - Irrigation - Pests and diseases - Harvesting - Marketing- Recommended cultivars

18. Currants
- Cultivation - Irrigation - Pests and diseases - Harvesting - Marketing- Cultivars

19. Figs
- Cultivation - Cold region (USDA zones 5-7) - Understanding high tunnel fig growing - Warm region (USDA zones 8-10) - Harvesting
- Marketing - Pests and diseases- Cultivars

20. Tomatoes
- Cultivation - Pests and diseases - Irrigation - Marketing- Cultivars

21. Other Small Fruits Worthy of Consideration ...Or Not
- Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa) - Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) and Goumi (Elaeagnus multiflora) - Bush and Nanking Cherries
- Kiwiberry (Actinidia arguta) - Cactus Fruits - Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) - Hardy Passionfruit (Passiflora incarnata) - Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis) - Feijoa (Acca sellowiana) - Goji (Lycium barbarum) - Hybrid Cane Berries - Rosehips - Seaberry/sea buckthorn(Hippophae rhamnoides) - Munson Grapes - Che (Maclura tricuspidata) - Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea)

22. Harvesting and Post-Harvesting
- Harvest efficiency- Protecting, storing, and chilling

23. Market Planning and Strategies
- Direct marketing methods

24. The Future of Small Fruit Growing
- Climate change and fruit growing- Rescuing the genetic pool by selecting your own local cultivars

25. Interviews with Successful Small Fruit Market Growers

26. Conclusion

Appendix: Jivamritam
About the Author
About New Society Publishers

Additional information

The Berry Grower: Small Scale Organic Fruit Production in the 21st Century by Blake Cothron
New Society Publishers
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a new book - be the first to read this copy. With untouched pages and a perfect binding, your brand new copy is ready to be opened for the first time

Customer Reviews - The Berry Grower